You exactly know the date when your periods start, that too a few days before they actually do, don’t you? Of course, those unusual abdominal cramps are to be credited for it. This happens because your body starts preparing for the eventual periods a week before. However, those cramps are not the only signals that a body sends to a woman before her periods start. Every woman’s body has its own tell-tale signs to indicate a start to ‘that time of the month’. But they probably would go unnoticed because we assume it’ll always be those cramps only. So, here are 5 such weird signs that signal the start of your menses.
1. Mood Swings
Do you feel cranky and edgy a few days before your periods? How often have you, out of the blue, snapped at your partner or a colleague at work only to regret your actions later? After ending up doing something which might actually be against your true nature, you start re-analyzing the situation. What is it that might have triggered such a reaction in the first place? Was it simply an over-reaction from your end? Blame it on the pre-menstrual mood swings (1). These are caused by the hormonal changes that occur during your menstrual cycle. However, they soon dissipate once you have periods. They might recur a few days after your periods or a few days before the next one.
2. Tender Breasts
Have you ever noticed your breasts while showering or changing just before your periods start? In the weeks preceding your menstrual cycles, there is a great chance that your breasts might become tender. You might also notice that your regular, well-fitting bra might seem too tight for you during those days. This is because the rise in the progesterone levels causes your breasts to swell, become tender, or even change in shape and size a bit. However, all these changes are temporary as they soon resolve during or after your periods (2).
3. Sweet Cravings
Those food cravings are not reserved for pregnant women alone. They can occur to a woman before her periods as well. The serotonin hormone, which is responsible for the ‘feel-good’ emotions, depletes a week before periods and gives rise to cortisol, which is a stress hormone. That is why the body starts to crave for foods such as chocolates and sweets that give a feeling of happiness and well-being (3).
With so many changes going on in your body at so many levels, you are bound to feel a bit tired and lethargic during the week before your periods. It could also probably be a fallout of the Pre-Menstrual Syndrome, that is a fact of life for a large population of women. And one of its symptoms is fatigue (4). So, if you are feeling a bit sluggish on those days, then taking things a bit slow might help.
Just before your periods, the estrogen and progesterone hormone levels drop in your body. This condition often contributes to headaches during periods. And these headaches can be both, tension headaches – caused by stress – as well as migraine headaches. In fact, nearly 60% of women with migraine headache condition suffer from an unusual type of menstrual migraines during their periods. However, discuss with your doctor, who treats your migraines, regarding your treatment options and you shall soon be fine (5).
Periods are very much a part of most women’s life until they hit menopause. It has a lot of benefits and acts as a protective barrier against many life-threatening conditions. Yet, it has a few of its own pitfalls too, which are not greater than the benefits though. So, take note of such signs and keep a track of them to know if you suffer from them. If you do, check with your doctor and attend to them. Rest adequately, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food, and you’ll easily sail through ‘those days’ like you always do! Good luck!