Menstruation is something that happens to all women at some point during their lives. This is when the uterine lining is shed and is known as a “period” or nicknamed “Aunty Flo” for many women.
It happens when a girl hits reproductive age and continues until she hits menopause. There are many women that experience some menstruation symptoms during the “time of the month”, while others will not notice anything bar their periods.
Menstruation symptoms before the period
Some women will experience cramping around the time their periods are due. Sometimes this will be during the days of the flow and sometimes it is the week or so leading up to it. The pains vary between very light to excruciating – there are some women who need strong painkillers and medical care when the pains are so bad.
The pains occur due to the muscles in the uterus contracting and sometimes going into a spasm. This is because they are aiding the body to release all of the fluid.
For those women who suffer from bad period pains, there are times that it travels into the hips and lower back.
Non-physical menstruation symptoms
Something that most people will be aware of is “PMS” which is pre-menstrual stress or syndrome. Others will know it as “PMT”, which is pre-menstrual tension. This causes the quick mood swings that women experience – being happy one minute and angry or depressed the next. This is due to the fluctuating hormones that are in the body.
The estrogen is higher during “that time of the month” because one of the eggs has been released and it is the best time for a woman to conceive. Other hormones are also high, which lead to the constant mood swings. This also has an effect on the sex drive and tiredness. Many women will feel fatigued around this time and will just not want to do anything.
Water retention is one menstruation symptom
Women who are trying to lose weight will notice that once in every four weeks there will be a weight gain. There are a number of reasons for this but the most common one is due to water retention. This is a phenomenon to medical people, but it is temporary and most women will notice a loss at the scales the week after. The water is usually retained in the stomach or breasts.
Bloating is a side effect of the water retention. This is one of the most common menstruation symptoms and it often leads to women not fitting in their usual clothes and wanting to opt for comfortable clothing with stretchy waistbands instead. The week after the period, the bloating will go away because the body will not retain water anymore.
Menstruation symptoms vs. pregnancy symptoms
When looking at all of the symptoms, it is common to mistake them for early pregnancy symptoms and vice versa. If you do suspect that you could be pregnant then you should take a test on the first day your period is due – if it is late.