Abdominal cramps Before Periods
Menstrual cramps are a widespread symptom before periods start. It's the first and one of the most noticeable signs your period is coming tomorrow. Menstrual cramps typically occur in the lower part of the abdomen. They can also occur closer to your back and upper thighs.
Studies have found that the intensity of menstrual cramps varies for every woman. Some experience light to moderate pain, while others experience serious pain. Abdominal cramps are usually at their peak during the initial days when blood flow is heavy. You can even experience blood spotting 5 days before a period. This may be due to hormonal changes in the body.
Menstrual cramps occur due to uterine contractions. These contractions are responsible for shedding the uterine lining when pregnancy doesn't occur.
Lower abdominal cramps a week before period are usually common and are experienced by most. However, severe pain followed by other symptoms is not normal and needs a doctor's consultation.
Remedies for Period Pain
If menstrual cramps are interfering with your daily life, the following remedies might save you.
Putting heat on your abdomen and lower back helps alleviate cramps. A study claims that a heat patch at 40 degrees celsius applied to the lower abdomen provides as much relief as a painkiller like ibuprofen does. You can use a heating pad, a hot water bottle, or even a hot towel.
Sip Hot Liquids
You might have heard your grandmother emphasizing the importance of drinking hot liquids during menstruation. This is because research suggests that hot beverages promote blood flow in your body and aid pain relief.
Tender Breasts Before Periods
Women usually feel discomfort and pain in their breasts just before their period. This pain can increase as one gets closer to their period date. Some also notice swelling and a change in breast size. These changes occur due to the fluctuation of hormones in the body. Before your period, progesterone levels and estrogen levels increase, and this causes breast tenderness. This is one of the most common signs of your period coming.
Skin Issues Before Periods
Many women experience acne before their period. This is also one of the most significant signs of a period coming soon. As per a study, the reason behind these breakouts is the slight increase in the production of androgen (a reproductive hormone), which stimulates sebum production in the body. An excess of sebum in the body results in acne and breakouts. This acne usually dissipates after the menstrual cycle.
Also read: How to use Cinnamon for periods
Body Fatigue Before Periods
Another sign which signals the arrival of your period is body fatigue. You might notice that your energy is dipping. This happens due to fluctuating serotonin levels (a hormone to stabilize mood). Feeling tired and out of energy before your period is entirely normal, and you have nothing to worry about. However, if you feel extreme tiredness, then you need to consult your doctor.
Bloating Before Periods
Do you also feel bloated or have a heavy tummy sometimes? If yes, then your period might be on its way. The alternating estrogen and progesterone levels cause the body to retain more salt and water than it usually would. This results in bloating. It's a temporary feeling, and it dissipates after your period ends.
Digestive Issues Before Periods
Some women also experience bowel issues before their periods. Our digestive system is sensitive to hormonal changes which occur during menstruation. You may experience diarrhoea, constipation and nausea.
Mood Swings Before Periods
One of the most evident PMS symptoms is a fluctuating mood. It's due to the lower secretion of serotonin hormones during your menstruation. If you feel overly emotional or cranky, it's a sign that your period is coming. Some women even experience severe mood swings. Your mood swings can trigger irritability, anxiety and depression.
Trouble Sleeping Before Periods
Elevated estrogen and progesterone levels in the body take away your sleep. If you're wide awake for no reason or if you're having trouble sleeping, then your period may be the reason why.
Headache Before Periods
Since hormones play an essential role in generating reactions, it's comprehensible that shifting hormonal changes during periods may cause headaches. So, if you have headaches and there is no significant reason for it, you might get your period soon.
Food Cravings Before Periods
You might crave different types of food right before your period dut to hormonal changes in the body. Your body may crave sweet or spicy food.
High Libido Before Periods
Your hormones are the reason for a high sex drive. You might feel a heightened sexual urge before your period. This indicates that you are about to get your period.
Also read: Is it ok to have sex during periods?
Clumsiness Before Periods
If you're not usually clumsy, but you find that it's not easy to manage things, then you might be one step away from getting your period. Research suggests that clumsiness is a sign that you may get your period soon and usually occurs due to insufficient sleep and fluctuating hormone levels.
Shahindokht Navvabi Rigi, Fatihe kermansaravi (2012) Comparing the analgesic effect of heat patch containing iron chip and ibuprofen for primary dysmenorrhea: a randomized controlled trial (BMC Women's Health) https://bmcwomenshealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1472-6874-12-25
Junyoung Jo, Sun Haeng Lee (2018) Heat therapy for primary dysmenorrhea: A systematic review and meta-analysis of its effects on pain relief and quality of life (U.S. National Library of Medicine) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6214933/
Sangita Ghosh, Soumik Chaudhuri (2014) Profiling and Hormonal Therapy for Acne in Women (Indian Journal of Dermatology) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3969667/
Joanne Cunningham, Kimberly Ann Yonkers (2009) Update on Research and Treatment of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (U.S. National Library of Medicine) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3098121/