Here’s Why Some Women Get Pre-Period Depression

Sufferers of PDD experience profound feelings of sadness before their period.

THIS Is When Women Are The Most Horny (And Why)

You’ll be shocked to find that THIS is when women are the horniest…

Chronic PMS Almost Ruined My Life

I’m 26, and this is the first time I’ve ever experienced feelings of despair that I was born a woman.

These Women Tried Weed Tampons And This Is What Happened

“We’re gonna put marijuana inside our lady parts.”

Start-up Launches Product To Make Period Sex Easier

Soon you’ll be able to get it on whenever you want.

Whoopi Goldberg Just Launched A Marijuana PMS-Relief Line

Getting high once a month just might be the answer to dealing with your period pain.

7 Signs You Have A Hormone Imbalance

Sometimes our hormones can get the better or us, and we’re not just talking about that time of the month. Did you know that low energy, increased fatigue and even unusual cravings can all stem from a hormone imbalance?

RELATED: How To Naturally Balance Your Hormones

If you are feeling under the weather without warning, your general practitioner will run a quick and easy test to determine the state of your hormones. In the meantime, watch out for these common signs:


Feeling unusually tired even after a good nights sleep? This could be more than just a lazy day, especially if your body and mind feel like they’re working over-drive.

Mood swings

While we all suffer from mood swings every once in a while, watch out for those which never seem to pass. If you do feel like they’re getting out of control, run yourself a warm bath and try to relax with some aromatherapy candles.


Trouble sleeping at night could have more to do with your hormones, rather than your mind. While it might feel impossible trying to get to sleep, a warm cup of chamomile tea will help to keep your body relaxed – try it!

Weight gain

A little extra weight gain can be a symptom of many other disorders such as an over-active thyroid, so make sure to document any odd weight patterns.


Watch out for those spots around your mouth, chin and just under the nose since they are usually a sign of your hormones acting up. Drinking more water and avoiding sugary foods is the best way to regulate your entire system from the inside out.

Joint pain

Although joint pain is also a major sign of an impending cold or flu, it is also one of the main symptoms of a hormone imbalance. Make sure to take it easy, and try to relax as much as you can.


Even though we all suffer from PMS in our own way, it is important to document any major shifts from the previous month. Cysts are easy enough to find with a simple ultrasound and could be the source of your pain.

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Lady Business: Why Australia Needs A Period Help Centre

Has your period arrived like a punch in the face (and uterus), forever ruining your beautiful, new luxurious designer white lingerie?

RELATED: Why Detox Diets Are Dodgy And Don’t Work

Take heart, sister – the exact same thing is happening to millions of other women right now. Small comfort, I know.

I have long though there should be an emergency period help centre for PMSing women and those who’ve just started their period.

“Excuse me, is that the Period Help Desk? I need 20 packets of Tim Tam, a hot water bottle, a packet of Nurofen and a vat of chardonnay right now!

“Oh, and I also need you to take my husband far, far away!”

periods, women's health, PMS

And while as far as I can tell no one’s actually launched this service in Australia – sad face – some bright sparks in the US have stolen my idea, sorry, launched genius business The Period Store via

But before you get too excited about a cool monthly package service that allows you to choose awesome lady products from around the globe – they don’t actually ship to Australia just yet, but easy tiger, they’re working on it.

The cool and clever New-York based start-up allows you to customise your monthly package, to coincide with your menses, whereby you can choose from traditional, alternative, international and/or eco-friendly period products.

Want something decadent and sickly sweet? Or how about some super-comfy period undies? Heat therapy for your poor, sore lady parts? The Period Store has it all and more.

periods, women's health, PMS

You can also pre-order a thousand pads and tampons so you never run out and instead have to rummage around in your bathroom cabinet on a desperate hunt for “feminine hygiene products” when your period unexpectedly arrives in the middle of the night.

Oh the frigging joys!?

God damn, I wish I’d thought of this online store first! It’s awesome, in my opinion and we desperately need The Period Store to start delivering to Australia.

Anyone want to start a petition?!

What do you think – would you buy a monthly care package via a period store?

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Recognising Premenstrual Syndrome

A staggering 85 per cent of women with a menstrual cycle have at least 1 symptom pertaining to Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) or Premenstrual Tension (PMT). This is according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. With such a high number of women experiencing some indication of PMS, it’s important to be aware of what yours are and if they are serious enough to seek medical help.

RELATED: How To Naturally Balance Your Hormones


Symptoms usually present 1-2 weeks prior to menstruation and may continue until the commencement of your period. Each woman is different. Symptoms can present in isolation or in combination. They may be physical, which includes the following;

  • Acne or outbreak of pimples
  • Stomach problems; such as bloating, diarrhea or constipation
  • Feeling tired and worn out
  • Headache or migraine
  • Backache
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Insomnia
  • Swollen or tender breasts
  • Appetite changes or food cravings – chocloate is popular
  • Weight fluctuations

For many women, emotional changes are common. These not only affect the individual, but can have a significant impact on their relations with others. The most common emotional symptoms include:

  • Tension, irritability, mood swings, or crying spells
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Trouble with concentration or memory

Treating symptoms

If you have identified one or more of these symptoms; treatment is available. There isn’t a one size fits all solution, so working out what assistance is best for you, is recommended. Lifestyle changes, medications and alternative therapies may be a viable solution.

Lifestyle changes

A healthy lifestyle, will not only assist PMS symptoms, but will improve your overall health and well being.

  • Exercise at least 3 times a week
  • Eat healthy and avoid salt, sugary foods, caffeine, and alcohol, particularly when experiencing symptoms
  • Try to get 8 hours of sleep each night
  • De-stress, such as gardening, yoga, meditation; whatever works
  • Throw the cigarettes away! You know they are slowly killing you


Pain relievers, reduce pain. Loads of women avoid pain meds, but the stress which pain can place on the body, can often override any health benefits of avoiding medications. It’s very much a personal choice. Some PMS associated pain is due to inflammation, cramps, headache and backache. Meds, which reduces these symptoms include ibuprofen, ketoprofen, naproxen and asprin.

Alternative therapies

Vital vitamins and minerals are lacking in many busy peoples diets. Multivitamins are a great source for all round extra protection. For combating PMS symptoms: vitamins D, B-6 and E are all effective. Folic acid, magnesium and calcium are also recommended.

What next

If you find that you’ve made some changes and your symptoms are still apparent; you will need to visit your GP. The GP, will ask you to track your symptoms. Using a simple PMS tracker will help the GP establish if you have PMS and if it’s mild, moderate or server. Only 3-8 percent of women have severe PMS; known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). For these women, PMS is severe and disabling.

Most women will have a very mild to moderate indication of PMS. Avoid suffering in silence. Most treatment is relatively simple. So, come on ladies; what do you have to lose?

PMS Tracker:

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5 Tips To Improve PMS Symptoms

The majority of women have at least one PMS horror story up their sleeves. Whether it’s mentally attacking your partner for breathing too loudly or having to take two days off work to cope with the cramps from hell, research has shown that eight in every ten women experience PMS (Pre-Menstrual Syndrome) symptoms of some kind. But the truth is that although PMS is very common, it’s actually not normal.

What causes PMS?

According to the experts, there are four main categories of PMS:

Type A: The most common type of PMS affecting up to 80 per cent of women, this category is defined as being the ‘Anxiety’ form of PMS and includes mood swings, anxiety, tension and irritability.

Type C: Affecting up to 50 per cent of women in the days before their period, Type C (for ‘Cravings’ includes headaches, fatigue, increased appetite and yep, you got it, longings for sweet foods.

Type D: Labeled as the ‘Depression’ category, this type of PMS can be felt as depression, loneliness, decreased co-ordination, clumsiness and forgetfulness.

Type H: This type of PMS manifests as a water imbalance or ‘Hyperhydration’. Affecting over 40 per cent of women before their period, symptoms include bloating and weight gain, water retention and breast tenderness.

The key? Each of these forms of PMS is linked to hormonal imbalances. For Type A’s (the most common type of imbalance) the cause is excessive oestrogen and decreased amounts of progesterone. For Type D’s, the opposite is true with not enough oestrogen and excessive amounts of progesterone being the cause.

You can determine the exact hormonal imbalance(s) wreaking havoc with your period by visiting your naturopath and asking for a saliva test. Until then, you can follow these five easy steps to support and nurture healthy hormonal balance:

1. Manage stress

Known as the ‘stress hormone’, cortisol is a vital hormone secreted by your adrenal glands throughout the day. In small doses cortisol can have a positive influence on the body, but when excreted in higher and more prolonged doses, it can negatively impact your cognitive function, sleep patterns, blood pressure, thyroid function, blood sugar levels, bone density, immunity, abdominal fat and more.

And although cortisol doesn’t cause PMS directly, as cortisol production is favoured over progesterone even when oestrogen levels are normal, this sneaky stress hormone can actually manage to make PMS symptoms worse. To help combat this reaction, you can actively engage in activities that calm and relax your nervous system. Our top five relaxation boosting activities are meditating, journaling, practicing yoga, creating a gratitude journal and spending time in nature.

2. Boost your intake of greens

Cruciferous and green veggies such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, cauliflower and bok choy contain Indole-3-carbinol, which is a powerful agent used in detoxifying the liver and helping to process hormones along better pathways. Aim for a splash of greens in every meal and you’ll be well on your way to balanced hormones.

3. Eliminate processed foods

Research has shown that simple carbohydrates such as white bread and sugary snacks like croissants, cakes and cookies can increase PMS symptoms such as irritability and water retention.

As a general philosophy for happy hormones, our motto is to eat as close to what nature provides as possible. If you’re feeling stuck (and are really craving something sweet!), you can always try swapping a sweet treat for a healthy raw dessert. Check out the White Zebra blog for some easy dessert ideas.

4. Invest in your sleep

It’s now common knowledge in the medical and wellness world that there is a symbiotic relationship between sleep and hormones. Hormonal imbalances can cause chaos with your sleep patterns and in the same way, disruptions to your sleep quality and length can negatively impact your hormone balance.

The secret to healing your hormones from the inside out? Chomp down on magnesium rich foods like leafy greens, nuts and seeds, fish, whole grains, beans and lentils. You can then follow it up with a relaxing sleep ritual that allows you to wind down at least an hour before bed. Next, aim for eight hours of quality sleep a night and you’ll see some positive changes in your health, energy levels and hormone balance before long.

5. Get help from an expert

And finally, consider visiting a naturopath for herbs or supplements to help improve your liver function. A naturopath can also help with herbs for managing stress, improving sleep quality and improving progesterone production.

Healing your hormones needn’t be a difficult task: with the right approach and mindset and by following the above tips you can start balancing your hormones and combating PMS almost immediately. 

By Fiona Caddies, co-designer of WhiteZebra, a health website set to centralize the teachings of a credible suite of esteemed health professionals which feature a high concentration of current news and practical ideas. A yoga, running, dancing and gymnastics fanatic, Fiona naturally flips and moves with electricity through life. She created a thriving Personal Training, Yoga & Nutrition Coaching Studio in NSW and touched the lives of hundreds of people. WhiteZebra was born out of her desire to inspire an unlimited amount of people searching for authentically sophisticated information on holistic health.   

Warning: New PMS Studies May Induce Rage

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.

Period Pain, PMS, PMS Pain, PMS symptoms. PMS studies

How do you cope with and manage your PMS?

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Natural Solutions for PMS

Put your hand up if you’ve ever suffered from PMS? I’m imagining a lot of hands in the air, as anywhere up to 80% of us experience significant changes in the lead-up to our period.

What is PMS?

Premenstrual syndrome is as a collection of physical, emotional and behavioural symptoms that occur throughout the menstrual cycle, usually appearing 1-2 weeks before the start of your period. The symptoms may last 1-2 days, but for some women it can be much longer.

Hormone balance plays an important role in PMS, particularly progesterone, oestrogen and prolactin. These hormones vary naturally during the course of your menstrual cycle, which is why symptoms appear at different times of the month. There is much more to PMS than just hormones, however, including your stress levels, whether you exercise, what you’re eating , your body fat percentage, whether you’re on medication or supplementation, etc… all of these can have an effect.

What are PMS symptoms?

PMS symptoms can differ greatly from person to person, however some of the most common include:

Abdominal bloating
Fluid retention
Change in bowel function
Sugar cravings
Breast tenderness
Lethargy and fatigue
Depressed mood
Back pain

How can I get rid of my symptoms?

First of all, it’s important to understand the underlying cause of PMS symptoms. For example, is it because of hormonal imbalance or because you’ve been under more stress than usual? By working this out with your healthcare practitioner, you can also work out the best course of treatment, specifically for you.

However, happily there are a number of general health changes you can make that will help with PMS and also improve your overall wellbeing.

1. Eat well

You need to get rid of processed foods, immediately.

Pre-packed and processed foods have very little nutritional value, are often high in sugar and full of preservatives. This is no good for health generally, can mess with your energy, upset your metabolism, and exacerbates PMS symptoms. Cut it out.

Focus on increasing the amount of whole foods and fresh produce in your diet, include plenty of leafy greens! Eat good quality protein with all your main meals, such as grass-fed meats, free-range poultry and eggs, sustainable fish, natural yoghurt, legumes, nuts and seeds, etc. Also make sure you’re having plenty of healthy fats in your diet, including nut and seed oils, fatty fish, avocado, coconut oil, yoghurt, grass-fed butter, etc.

Lastly, keep your fluids up. Drink water regularly – throughout the day, every day. Hydration is one of the most important factors in maintaining good health and will also help with PMS.

2. Move your body 

Regular exercise is important for more than just fitness. It also keeps your heart healthy, improves circulation, can help to reduce inflammation and does wonderful things for mood. Incidental exercise (e.g. taking the stairs instead of the lift, walking partway to work, or chasing your toddler) counts too! Aim to move your body every day, doing whatever works for you – that might be running, riding, hiking, swimming, dancing, yoga, Pilates, etc. If you can factor in some relaxation as well – e.g. long bath, meditation, massage – even better.

3. Get some sunshine

Regular doses of delicious sunshine will help to boost your vitamin D levels. This essential nutrient is important for many body processes, including calcium absorption, immune function, cardiovascular health, blood sugar metabolism and hormonal health. Unfortunately, many of us are deficient and, as it’s hard to obtain large amounts from the diet, sunshine is your best natural option.

What’s more, getting a regular dose of sunshine in the early part of the day helps to balance your sleep-wake hormones, which helps to regulate your sleep-wake cycle… which can also improve energy, mood and hormonal balance. Plus, it feels nice to sit in the sun!

4. Natural medicines

There are a lot of herbal and nutritional interventions that can help with PMS, you’ve probably tried some of these already. However, it is important to speak with a practitioner before supplementing, as every woman’s needs will be slightly different. That’s the beauty of being an individual!

What’s your best tip for improving PMS?

Kathleen Murphy is a clinical naturopath, practicing out of Sydney’s largest integrated medical centre Uclinic. In practice, Kathleen focuses on optimising day-to-day living through diet, lifestyle and herbal therapy. She loves working with people from all walks of life, helping them institute changes that can become life-long health habits. Kathleen blogs regularly, on health, herbs and nutrition, over at Your Health. Your Life. She also lectures nutrition and herbal medicine, occasionally writes for media publications, and is a contributor to academic health journals and clinical texts.

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