Premenstrual syndrome is the scourge of women everywhere. But for those who don't suffer from it, there is little understanding of the bloating, pain and emotional swings the rest of us have each month when our "little friend" comes to town. A new pill with promising results in Sweden seems destined to come to American women, and while many are concerned its cure is only the placebo effect, the rest of us don't care. Whether it's fake or not, if I think my PMS is gone, hand that pill over. With some chocolate, please.
Serenol is a non-prescription supplement that contains bee pollen. In Sweden, a similar product called Femal has been around for years and had very positive results with PMS symptoms. "A 2002 randomized, placebo controlled, double blind study of 29 women on Femal showed that it improved PMS symptoms like irritability and bloating," according to New York Magazine.
Now, obviously, this could be a placebo and 29 women isn't a huge study. But it is hopeful. And even a placebo is better than what we have now, which is a handful of pain pills and a lot of people who throw shade on PMS and say we make up the symptoms.
The fact is, PMS is something women have been embarrassed to admit to going through. But for those of us who suffer through it, we know that the week leading up our periods will be full of bloating, cramping, mood swings and discomfort. Think about it: A quarter of our month is spent feeling deeply uncomfortable. Who wouldn't want a cure to that?
PMS is not an excuse for women to work less hard or to behave badly and get a pass. But it is a real thing that many women feel and experience to varying degrees, and it would be nice to have something non-hormonal and not related to birth control that could regulate it. As of now, all we have are a series of low-dose hormones and birth-control options, some of which allow us to skip our periods altogether, control the acne portion of PMS and treat some of the symptoms with varying side effects and unknown factors.
I was on hormonal birth control for years in my 20s and have since decided never to go back. For women like me, suffering until menopause seemed like our lot in life. If this pill holds even the slightest hope, I'd try it. In a second. Bring it on.
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