Written by: Mutshidzi Kwinda
If you are a woman of bearing age. Chances are you’ve heard of the term premenstrual syndrome (commonly known as PMS). Whether it is from fellow women or through the media. As a healthcare professional in training, I have already come across several women who complain about menstruation-related issues ranging from dysmenorrhea to menstrual dysphoric disorder. And as someone who has struggled with dysmenorrhea myself, I understand why we hear more of the negative symptoms and not the positive ones. After all, pain and suffering have always demanded more attention. So much so that they often overshadow the little pleasures and victories.
What is PMS?
PMS is a combination of emotional (positive & negative) and physical symptoms experienced by women their monthly menstrual cycle. These symptoms may occur up to two weeks before the start of the menstrual cycle. And often stops when the menstrual cycle is done.
Some of the negative or undesirable PMS symptoms include headaches, breast tenderness, bloating, altered mental stability, mood swings, fatigue, and cramps. Each of which range in severity and duration. However if the symptoms are severe in a way that they prevent the woman from carrying on with her normal daily activities, medical intervention is highly recommended.
Positive symptoms of PMS
Recently, I read an article that shed a light on my own experience with menstruation-related issues. As a woman I have always associated everything that came with or because of menstruation as negative. Except that it is preparing my womb to bear some fruits in the future. But beyond that periods were painful. That was at least until I read the above mentioned article and I realized that periods do also have some positive effects. Some positive symptoms, that several people, including myself, have experienced include increased appetite, increased sex drive, enhanced sense of smell (especially for food), higher confidence, creativity, and motivation. As well as others like heightened sensibility to nice & meaningful things like art, enhanced taste buds, increased feelings of euphoria, increased affection towards others and self, great dreams, etc… the list goes on.
This article is not, in any way, belittling common symptoms of PMS. Instead, it is aiming to help women recognize positive symptoms when they come. Thus not laking periods all about the bad stuff.