• Shruti GOCHHWAL

What Physiological Changes Will I Go Through During A Period?

Menstrual cycle brings a lot of physiological changes in a woman’s body.  The body undergoes many hormonal shifts. Even before your period starts, you may start experiencing a variety of changes which are referred to as Premenstrual syndrome. These are some common indicators given by your body before your period is about to begin. It starts between 5 days to 2 weeks before your period. About 90% of women experience some signs of PMS at some point in their life. For some, the experience could be mild, while for others, it could be extreme enough to disrupt their daily routine.

Physiological Changes During Period

Some changes you might experience are:

  1. Bloating: You might feel either bloated or gassy. The reason is that the change in the body’s estrogen and progesterone levels can cause your body to retain more salt and water. You might feel discomforted with heaviness in your stomach. But this is not weight gain and it may subside when your period starts.

  2. Diarrhoea or Constipation: Either of these two extremes could occur as digestive problems owing to your menstrual cycle changes. This is because prostaglandins which are released during menstruation promote uterine contractions. They may, as a result, also cause altered bowel movements, leading to nausea, diarrhoea, or constipation.

  3. Fatigue: During your periods, your body tries to adjust in a way that promotes shedding of your uterine wall, this bodily change may cause fatigue. You’ll feel tired the whole day, and unable to sleep at night, and so you may look even more tired the very next day. These symptoms are quite like that of chronic fatigue syndrome.

  4. Tender Breasts: Your breasts might feel swollen and enlarged during PMS. The rise in estrogen levels causes your milk ducts to grow during the first half of your menstrual cycle. Physical changes during period the second half, when you are ovulating, the progesterone level rises to cause swelling and tender breasts.

  5. Acne: The outbreak of acne can be experienced as a symptom of premenstrual syndrome. This takes place mostly around the chin and the jaw, but for some women, it also occurs all over the face or on other parts of the body. This is because your body has a fall in estrogen and progesterone levels. In case, if you are not pregnant, there is a rise in the androgen levels which in turn leads to sebum production and acne.

  6. Cramps: While abdominal cramps occur intensely physiological changes during period, your they also occur while you are undergoing pre-menstrual syndrome before your periods. These cramps are felt in your lower abdomen and may spread to your lower back and upper thighs. The cause is due to the uterine contractions that are brought by the release of the prostaglandins. It also regulates ovulation and menstruation.

  7. Mood Swings: This is the most common symptom. Even if you are not experiencing extreme ones, there will be some fluctuation in your mood. Emotional changes, anxiety or even depression might occur. Having a history of anxiety or depression aggravates your symptoms even more during PMS. Also, the estrogen production in our body affects the feel-good hormones, like serotonin, causing the mood swings.

  8. Skin changes: The fluctuating levels of estrogen and progesterone during your periods can influence numerous characteristics of the skin epidermis, including skin surface lipid secretion and sebum production, fat deposition, hydration of the skin, and barrier function.

Treatment

Identifying which symptom is bothering you is the first step towards a treatment for the Physiological Changes During Period you experience before or during your period. If any of them occur severely, you should consult a doctor and get help.

Things that you can do on your own to ease the discomforts include using a warm pad or bottle filled with warm water and kept on your abdomen to relieve abdominal cramps. Limiting salt intake to prevent bloating, and using pain relievers for headaches and backaches.

Meditating, exercising and doing yoga can provide you relief from these symptoms. Eating meals at proper intervals can help maintain your blood sugar levels. It will prevent your mood from suddenly changing.

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