Did anyone else experience PMS-like rage when watching radio and TV presenter Fifi Box on The Project last Wednesday night? Box, in a segment on a controversial, new PMS study (more on that later) boldly declared she would no doubt offend the sisterhood with her somewhat-smug confession she doesn’t suffer PMS.
Say, what?! I’m actually happy for her if she doesn’t, because it sure as hell isn’t something you want another person to have to suffer.
Research suggests up to 80 per cent of women experience premenstrual syndrome (PMS), previously known as premenstrual tension (PMT). And while I’m sure I don’t have to tell you what it is, dear lady reader, but for any men out there reading this: PMS is a condition entailing varied physical and emotional disturbances, due to some pretty serious hormonal fluctuations in a woman’s menstrual cycle, and it affects women and girls of all ages. It occurs after the ovulation stage and lead-up to your period.
PMS symptoms can include irritability, swollen and sore breasts, bloating, cramps, moodiness, acne, mood swings, migraines, food cravings, depression, fatigue, digestive upset and more. Lucky you, Ms Box! Please, tell us your secret?! Hell, I was once so premenstrual, post-babies, with crazy hormones still swirling around, that I may or may not have kinda, sorta, accidentally on purpose nudged my husband with my car upon exiting a fight. His fault for not getting out of the way fast enough, clearly!
So, back to this latest, bizarre new PMS finding, as also revealed on The Project: Professor Michael Gillings from Macquarie University’s Department of Biological Sciences has controversially claimed an evolutionary basis for PMS. Yep, the good professor believes PMS is actually nature’s way of making women unbearable to live with so that we can get rid of an infertile male to make way for a new, virile male partner whose manly, fertile seed shall populate the earth. OK, I’m exaggerating here, but you get the drift.
“We’ve stigmatised a perfectly normal consequence of fertility at work,” says Prof Gillings, “PMS is not a disease or syndrome, but a normal consequence of evolutionary adaptation ‘similar to morning sickness’,” he says.
And, yet another bizarre, recent PMS study conducted by researchers at the University of Toronto basically said the condition did not exist. Hmmm, try telling that to the eight out of ten sufferers, I say!?
And while some women are very mentally sensitive to hormone changes, while others are not, can we all just agree PMS exists, regardless of its supposed evolutionary role, and look at better ways for women to manage it? Good PMS management involves comprehensive collaboration between a woman and her GP, and an integrated treatment approach, experts say.
And keeping track of what symptoms occur and when, can also make life easier: try some of the highly rated period iPhone apps on offer. My favourite is the free Period Tracker. Or wine – sweet, sweet liquor helps ease PMS pain too, I find.
How do you cope with and manage your PMS?
Main image via pixabay.com and someecards.com cartoon via msmorphosis.com