Do you have mood swings before your period?


Sandy has whole set of tantrums when she is about to have her period, she wants to have hot chocolate brownie and chocolate soup from a particular restaurant even at odd hours. Tracy before her period wants to be in her couch all day watching movies and sipping her favourite orange juice while Natasha gets irritable and gets irritated even at smallest things. Different girls different symptoms but the root cause is same – They all behave in an unusual manner before they are about to have their period. All these girls have a quite different attitude on normal days. Sandy is not so choosy about her food, Tracy is very active in all activities and Natasha is very nice and calm. So what makes them behave in this unusual manner before their period? It is the premenstrual syndrome or PMS. It is also known as late luteal phase syndrome.

What is PMS?

PMS or premenstrual syndrome is the term for whole lot of problems that many women experience before their period. PMS is a complex of physical signs and behavioural symptoms occurring during the second half of menstrual cycle. It usually resolves with onset of menstrual flow. This is the time when lot of hormonal changes are taking place in your body and hormonal levels are fluctuating in your body during this time. This hormonal imbalance may cause you to have mood swings, become irritable and sometimes extremely emotional.

When PMS occurs?

PMS is totally a normal phenomenon. It is experienced by most of the women of reproductive age. PMS usually starts a week prior to your period begins. You may get all range of symptoms or experience no change at all. The degree to which you experience symptoms is actually very subjective and varies from person to person. Some females don’t have any of the symptoms whereas some females experience a lot of emotional turmoil.

What are the symptoms of PMS?

If you observe some symptoms don’t worry and just relax. Do what makes you feel good and happy. About 30% of women in the reproductive age group and ≥ 20% adolescents experience PMS; the absence of objective findings makes this difficult to corroborate. It does not relate to the presence of dysmenorrhea, which is much more common in this age group. Don’t worry as it gets better with age and you learn to overcome these. Symptoms that you may experience are:

  1. Breast fullness
  2. Tenderness of breast and nipples
  3. Bloating and stomach fullness
  4. Fatigue
  5. Drowsiness
  6. Headache and restlessness
  7. Craving for sweet and salty foods
  8. Inability to concentrate
  9. Emotionally low.
  10. Tearfulness
  11. Irritability
  12. Lower backache and abdominal pain.

How is it diagnosed?

There are no tests that are conducted to diagnose a PMS. It is a very simple procedure and you can know it all by yourself too. For the diagnosis of PMS, maintain a mood diary. Record all bizarre symptoms and any mood swings that you observe and also note the date of periods. Do it for 2-3 months. Now you can use any of the applications available on your smartphone that can help you maintain your period diary. If bizarre behaviour patterns are associated with onset of menses it is quite possible that you are among the females who have PMS. You can consult with your healthcare provider as well.

What are the treatment options?

As such premenstrual syndrome doesn’t require any special treatment. But for the symptomatic relief for symptoms like headache and body ache and abdominal pain you can take over the counter painkillers or any medicine that your healthcare provider asks you to take. Agnus castus fruit extract have demonstrated some therapeutic efficacy in small trials. But the basic thing that can help you overcome PMS is your self-control over your emotions and the willingness to stay happy.

Things that might make you feel better

  • If you feel like crying, go ahead it might make you feel better.
  • Have your favourite chocolates or hot chocolate drinks or cakes. As chocolate releases hormone endorphins that make you feel happier.
  • Listen to music that makes you relax and makes you feel happier.
  • Practice breathing exercise to relieve stress.
  • Spend some quality time with your friends and relax.


  1. Nelson textbook of paediatrics, 19th edition, Kliegman, Stanton, St. Geme, Schor, Behrman. Elsevier publication. ISBN: 978-1-4377-0755-7. Chapter-110.
  2. Current Pediatric Therapy, 18th edition, Frederic et al, ISBN-13: 978-0-7216-0549-4. Chapter-6

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