A cartoon drawing representing the woman's reproductive area with lighting bolts around the area where women experience period pain. The Heading is the shorter version of the title that is "what's normal in Period Pain and PMS Symptoms

In my decade-long practice, I’ve seen women enduring excruciating monthly pain, often dismissing it as normal. Or worse, being dismissed by professionals. I think it all starts with education. A big part of the problem is that we as women just don’t know what’s normal in period pain and PMS symptoms.

How to Assess and Track Your Period Pain

It’s crucial to grasp that while some discomfort is typical due to prostaglandin-induced contractions, it shouldn’t disrupt your life. You shouldn’t miss work, school, or social events, nor rely heavily on pain relief. If this sounds familiar, seeking professional help is imperative to identify the root cause.

To accurately assess your pain, rate it on a scale from 0 to 10. 

  • Zero signifies no pain, while 
  • 10 implies pain persists despite medication. 
  • Note the pain’s nature—sharp or dull, and 
  • Duration. Is it continuous, or does it come in spasmodic bursts?

Ideally, there should be minimal or no cramping. Normal period pain occurs:

  • Just before or during the first day of your menstrual cycle.
  • Subsides after the initial days of your period.
  • Can be managed with simple remedies.
  • Doesn’t hinder your daily routine, including work, school, or social engagements.
  • Aligns with a regular menstrual cycle.

Abnormal Pain: When It’s Not Just “That Time of the Month”

Pain that disrupts your life, persisting even with medication, isn’t normal. This could indicate conditions like endometriosis, demanding immediate diagnosis to then get the right treatment.

By understanding and rating your pain, you can distinguish between typical discomfort and potentially serious issues, ensuring you receive the right care so you can move closer to a healthier, pain-free life.

Understanding when PMS symptoms are actually PMS

With over 100 documented symptoms associated with PMS, it’s no wonder it often seems like opening a can of worms. However, it’s crucial to discern genuine PMS indicators from symptoms rooted in other causes.

For a symptom to be categorised as PMS, it must manifest in the ten days leading up to your period, particularly after ovulation, and dissipate within a day or two of menstruation. These symptoms encompass a broad spectrum, ranging from:

Emotional Challenges like heightened irritability, mood swings, anger, sadness, short tempered to,

Physical Discomforts such as breast tenderness, fluid retention, disrupted sleep, headaches, food cravings, and skin issues.

To effectively identify PMS, meticulously record your symptoms and the days they occur across several menstrual cycles. This tracking will show patterns, confirming whether these symptoms align with your menstrual cycle.

While PMS symptoms are common, they shouldn’t be dismissed as the norm for you. Sometimes, these signals are your body’s way of urging better self-care. The great news is that PMS often responds positively to natural therapies. It’s essential to confirm that these symptoms align with your menstrual cycle, occurring post-ovulation and subsiding with the onset of your period.

Stay tuned for my upcoming blog, where I’ll delve into natural PMS treatment options, empowering you with effective ways to manage these symptoms and foster your overall well-being.

Seeking Help: The Vital Step

If after reading this article you discover that you may not be experiencing healthy and normal period pain and PMS symptoms or if your period or cycle raises concerns, seek professional help. It’s disheartening when women feel unheard by healthcare providers. Remember, you have the right to find a practitioner who listens and understands your concerns. Hormone imbalances, ovulation problems, uterine health, nutrient deficiencies, or underlying conditions might be causing your period pain and PMS symptoms. It’s essential to feel supported and valued by your healthcare practitioner.

Conclusion: Empowerment Through Knowledge

Understanding these signs is your first step toward a healthier menstrual cycle. Recognising abnormalities and seeking help are acts of self-care, ensuring your well-being and vitality. Whether through informed healthcare professionals or educational resources like my ‘Master Your Menstrual Cycle’ course, you don’t have to navigate this journey alone. Remember, your body communicates; it’s time to listen and respond with the care and attention it deserves.

Here’s to happy and healthy cycles! 🌸✨

Amanda xx