We're conditioned to attribute ALL PMS discomfort to normal menstruation. The fact of the matter is, we all have some unlearning to do.
If your periods and PMS are unbearable, you could be experiencing more serious conditions. You’ve probably heard some multi-syllable mouthfuls, such as endometriosis, but you might not know what they really are or how they can disguise themselves as sh*tty PMS. Many women are incorrectly diagnosed or not diagnosed at all - so it’s important to be in the know and recognize if you have symptoms that may need medical attention.
With that in mind, we’ll give you a quick run-down on 5 health conditions relating to reproductive health, how they differ from “normal” PMS, and what to look out for. In case you missed it, check out last month’s blog where we went through what’s “normal”.
What we’re covering:
Let’s get into it!
Affects 10% of menstruating women
What’s happening: Reproductive hormone imbalances cause missed or irregular periods, which can lead to cysts developing in the ovaries or infertility
Affects 3-5% of menstruating women
What’s happening: Increased sensitivity to the shifts in reproductive hormones that take place during the menstrual cycle
What it can feel like: Severe PMS (physical and emotional) with particularly intense mood shifts and usually one of the following emotional/behavioral symptoms standing out:
Note: Many women with PMDD go undiagnosed or are incorrectly diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
Affects 70 to 80% of women at some point in their lives, not everyone develops symptoms or requires treatment
What’s happening: Growths, usually non-cancerous, develop in the uterus
What it can feel like:
Affects 6-10% of menstruating women
What’s happening: Endometrial tissue grows on the outside of the uterus, may affect the fallopian tubes, ovaries or bowels, and can cause infertility. FYI, endometrial tissue consists of the glands, blood cells, and connective tissue that normally grow inside the uterus.
What it can feel like:
Affects 20-65% of females, typically 35-50 years old
What’s happening: Endometrial tissue grows into the outer muscular walls of the uterus.
What it can feel like: Many people don’t have symptoms, but some experience:
Long story short, if you start experiencing abnormal bleeding, severe cramps, or unusual pelvic pain several weeks (or menstrual cycles) in a row, you should consult your doctor and investigate what could be causing the discomfort. Take care of yourself and your uterus!
If you haven’t tried FLO yet, check out our Reviews and search your symptoms - a FLO subscriber has probably shared their story of a similar experience.