Looking for information about menstruation, PMS or contraception? Concerned about a late period or irregular periods? Our menstrual cycle can sometimes play tricks on us.

Find plenty of information and advice on the subject below!

PMS: What are the symptoms?

The most frequent PMS symptoms are the following:

Symptoms related to fluid retention: weight gain, aching or heavy legs, heavy sweating of the hands and feet, and breast tenderness;

Emotional and psychological symptoms: irritability, mood swings, crying spells, anxiety, depression, anger;

Cravings for salty or sweet foods;

Headaches or migraines;

Physical pain, especially to lower back, stomach and pelvic areas;

Severe fatigue with sleeping disorders (insomnia or hypersomnia);

Skin problems: acne, oily skin, greater hairiness;

Increase or decrease in sexual desire;

PMS symptoms tend to become more severe for women in their thirties or forties.

These symptoms vary in nature and intensity for every woman. Far from being mild, these symptoms can really take their toll on everyday life. The quality of life (work, social, etc.) is definitely affected.  However, even if 70% of women experience discomfort before their period, only 3 to 5% have PMS. Of this group, 10% have symptoms that are so severe that they are affected to the point of not being able to go to work.  

There is no physical exam or blood analysis to establish a PMS diagnosis. If you think you have PMS, you should keep a log of your symptoms, their severity and their pattern of occurrence for a few cycles. Then, at your next doctor's appointment, you can bring your observations.  It will then be easier to guide you through the most effective treatment to find some relief.

Your lifestyle also increases the risk of having PMS, and also aggravates these symptoms:

Depression and anxiety;

Dysmenorrhea (painful periods);

High level of stress;

Smoking;

Excessive consumption of alcohol, caffeine, salt or chocolate.