Aching, cramping, bloating — these are the period symptoms often referenced when discussing menstrual cycles. But, unlike our periods, these symptoms can last much longer than a week-long cycle. In fact, many can last all month long.
Find out the most common period symptoms women experience at any given time, ahead.
One of the most common symptoms women experience throughout the month — and sometimes even every day — is migraines. According to the Migraine Research Foundation, 18% of American women experience migraines. And while not all are menstrual related, a large percentage of women who experience migraines can find the connection between the debilitating head pains and their periods.
According to this article on Cosmopolitan, hormones are largely to blame. “Most headaches in women are caused by fluctuating levels of hormones,” Aly Dilks, Clinical Director at The Women’s Clinic shared with the publication. “Which is why they can worsen as women approach the menopause, when hormone levels are disrupted,” she added.
Pain from ovulation
Another period symptom that can be experienced throughout a good portion of the month? Ovulation pain. Ovulation occurs 14 days before the start of a woman’s period, and a little pain or discomfort is considered normal for women.
And while the pain is often mild and only experienced within that 14 day period, the discomfort that comes with your period can feel similar and tacks on another 6-7 days. Meaning, some women experience discomfort 20 days out of the month.
In addition to pain, many women have complained about menstrual-related fatigue. While many will blame hormones for the feeling of fatigue, there is actually no data to back that up.
That said, there are some logical reasons why you may be experiencing menstrual-related fatigue all month long. For one, the discomfort you are experiencing — whether it be migraines, abdominal pain, or pain from ovulation — may interrupt your sleep patterns, resulting in fatigue.
With fluctuating hormones comes mood swings and, boy are they not fun (for you and the people around you). And while you may not feel the mood swings every day of the month, symptoms like fatigue, discomfort, and even migraines can make you feel a little on edge, to say the least.
When it comes to menstruation, abdominal pain is probably one of the most common of all the period symptoms. Whether it be the discomfort you experience during ovulation or cramping during your cycle, many women can experience this side effect before, during, and after their periods.
When it comes to period symptoms, bloating is all too familiar. While it’s possible to experience bloat from other factors (i.e. what you eat), menstrual-related bloating is the worst kind. Not because it is actually worse, but because it likes to accompany other period symptoms like cramping, discomfort, and so on.
Think period-related acne is a thing of your teenage past? Think again. Many adult women can experience hormone-related (aka, menstrual-related) acne well into their adulthood. And while the pimple may pop up around your time of the month, it doesn’t always go away when your cycle ends. Hormone-related acne likes to linger around (especially if you pick!) and wreak havoc on your skin all month long.
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