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7 Symptoms That Might Indicate Your Period Is Coming

HelloFlo is a womens health company committed to normalizing the conversations we have about womens bodies so that we can all live healthier lives.

Paying attention to your body (and the calendar) can let you know when your period is coming

Wondering when you’re period is going to come but not sure what symptoms to look for? You’ll start to notice your body giving off signals to indicate that menstruation is about to start. This is known PMS, or premenstrual syndrome.

Here are the most common symptoms of PMS and suggestions of how to handle the discomfort.

1. Cramps

Menstrual cramping, also known as dysmenorrhea, is the most common symptom of menstruation and can be identified as a lower abdominal pain that may begin one to two days before your period. Cramps can last up to two to four days, and the severity of the pain may be different for each individual. About 15 percent of women describe their menstrual pains to be severe according to a Medical News Today article.

In most cases, over-the-counter medication or painkillers should put the cramps at ease. However, if you think your menstrual cramps are more severe, contact your doctor to review your options.

More: New marijuana-based capsule aims to eliminate PMS

2. Food cravings

When thinking of food cravings, one word comes to mind — chocolate. Why does it seem that all women crave this sugary substance around that time of the month? According to Psychology Today, hormones released by female gonads, estrogen and progesterone affect every organ in your body, including cravings kicking in.

It’s OK to satisfy your sweet tooth and indulge in chocolate every now and then because you deserve to treat yourself. Just be sure to limit your intake and not go overboard with the sugar.

3. Mood swings

It’s no secret that women tend to experience mood swings or intensified emotions before or during their period; this is where the overused phrase “you’re PMS-ing” comes in. This phrase is often thrown around to offend women or hint that they're being “too emotional,” but mood swings are completely normal, and it’s OK to express your emotions, so let it out.

More: 5 foods you should eat during your period (to calm the rage monster inside)

4. Acne breakouts

As a teen or young adult, you’re prone to hormonal acne as you experience puberty. During a time of growth and development, your hormone levels are fluctuating. Hormones may cause oily skin, which may clog your pores, thus stimulating a breakout. The best way to treat acne is to cleanse your face twice a day. If you think your acne is severe, use products containing salicylic acid or contact your doctor for more information (check out this post).

5. Body aches

Many women tend to experience aches before or during their periods. The most common areas of tenderness include the breasts and lower back. This can be taken care of with painkillers or over-the-counter medication. Take it easy for the next few days and schedule some time to yourself to relax.

6. Bloating

According to the Period Vitamin website, bloating is fluid retention that may result in feeling full or swollen around the waist area, and it can feel uncomfortable or bothersome. Although you cannot fully prevent bloating, you can limit the factors that contribute to bloating.

The best way to eliminate extreme bloating is to keep an eye on your dietary intake, especially salt, sugar and caffeine. Also, exercising will increase blood circulation and will help prevent bloating.

More: 6 PMS symptoms that are (and aren't) normal

7. Fatigue

Although there isn’t a scientific explanation for fatigue around your period, it’s extremely common among women. Some women may have trouble getting a good night’s sleep because of heavy flow or cramps, whether it be because of waking up from pain or going to the bathroom to change a tampon.

If you do have an abnormal flow or unbearable cramps that prevent you from sleep, visit your doctor.

By Katlyn Tolly

Originally published on HelloFlo.com.

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