The menstrual cycle is divided into 3 phases: estrogen phase, progesterone phase, and menstrual phase.
This phase begins during the week following your menstrual period when levels of estrogen begin to rise. It lasts 7–12 days and usually ends in ovulation.
During this phase, you generally feel and look your best—no bloating, food cravings, or imbalanced moods.
During the estrogen phase, your body prepares itself for ovulation and fertilization; nature helps you to focus on finding your mate and reproduce. This explains why a lot of women experience increased libido and sexual drive during this time of the month.
Estrogen is also responsible, during this phase, for creating a clearer skin complexion and glossier hair. Your body metabolism is increased during this time; you might feel energized, attractive, and self-confident.
This phase begins during ovulation (days 14–16 of your menstrual cycle) and lasts about 2 weeks.
During this phase, your body prepares for a possible pregnancy. Your metabolism slows down, and your body becomes calm. Once the body realizes that there is no pregnancy, progesterone levels drop.
This is the time when the majority of premenstrual symptoms develop. Approximately 3–5 days before your “period” (the actual time of bleeding—shedding the accumulated lining preparation in the womb for pregnancy), your body goes into progesterone withdrawal, causing myriad symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.
This phase begins the day you start bleeding and lasts 3–6 days while your uterus sheds its lining.
During this phase, your levels of progesterone and estrogen hormones are relatively low; a hormone-like substance called prostaglandin is released at this time.
As a result, your uterus experiences mild contractions to force the release of the lining it prepared in case you became pregnant. Your emotions become more stable during this time, while your body might experience discomforts such as cramping, headaches, and body aches.
Premenstrual Syndrome – PMS is a condition involving a variety of symptoms (emotional, physical, and behavioral) that are directly related to a woman’s menstrual cycle and develop 7–10 days prior to your period. It is considered the luteal or progesterone phase of the menstrual cycle during which time there is a shift of hormones from estrogen to progesterone and might be linked to insufficient production of progesterone.
Some of the PMS symptoms might result from an interaction between progesterone and brain neurotransmitters called serotonin (which is responsible for our mood stability). Research shows that serotonin levels are much lower during the luteal phase in women with PMS.
This fact might explain the symptoms of anxiety, moodiness, irritability, and depression that occur with this condition. Other symptoms of PMS, such as fluid retention and bloating, may be caused by the impact of progesterone and estrogen on kidney function, affecting the balance of salt and fluid retention in the body.
If you experience severe menstrual pain and heavy bleeding with clots, it warrants an evaluation by your gynecologist as these might be symptoms of more serious conditions such as:
In addition, if behavioral and emotional symptoms are intense and interfere with daily activities, they might represent a more serious condition called Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD).
It is recommended that you see your health care provider immediately, if you have symptoms of hopelessness, despair, lack of energy to perform your daily activities, and feel overwhelmed or out of control. PMDD is a more serious condition than PMS and warrants a careful diagnosis, medical treatment, and monitoring of symptoms.
In our practice, we utilize an individualized integrative, functional medicine approach and offer extensive hormonal testing to people suffering PMS symptoms.
We might ask you to keep a symptom journal where you will record your symptoms on a daily basis. It will help us to determine your premenstrual symptoms triggers and different problems associated with them.
It might also help you to see the pattern of your symptoms and you could predict when the symptoms will start again.
Our goal is to help you to alleviate your suffering and we will provide you with an integrative therapy program to balance your hormones including:
Mild symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) may be successfully treated by simple changes in your lifestyle and some home remedies.
Health and Wellness Center, Inc. Mohammed M. Ali, MD Clinic in Lake Forest and San Clemente, California strive to provide holistic and individualized care to help you on your journey to a better health and vibrant appearance.