How Predictable Is PMS?

For the most part, PMS, or the unpleasant symptoms you experience in the days before your period, is pretty predictable. If you get PMS one month, you can easily predict that you will get it again next month. PMS symptoms tend to reoccur in a predictable pattern.

Your age and stress levels can also predict if you will experience PMS and its severity. Obviously, only women experience PMS because men do not ovulate nor have a menstrual cycle. But if you are a woman, how likely is it that you will experience PMS? Doctors estimate that 75 to 85 percent of ovulating women will experience PMS. So, it’s pretty likely that you will get PMS at some point. Women of any age may experience PMS symptoms, but women in their late 20’s and early 40’s are the most likely to get it.

Unfortunately, PMS symptoms tend to increase in likelihood and severity as women age, and peak in severity as women approach menopause. Your risk will also rise if other women in your family (who are biologically related to you) get PMS. HOWEVER, there are some factors that can contribute to your likelihood of experiencing PMS or the severity of your symptoms. Improvements in these three areas have been shown reduce PMS occurrence!

#1. Diet

Do you eat too much salt? Do you eat your vegetables? Do you drink too many caffeinated beverages? You may be tired of hearing about the importance of a healthy diet, but what you eat can affect your likelihood of getting PMS. Vitamin deficiencies, particularly in calcium and B6, affect mood. You may need to take a supplement to make sure you are getting all your vitamins. Caffeine, sugar and salt affect anxiety, pain and bloating.

#2 Exercise.

If you feel down before your period, exercise can help. It can also improve tension, mood, fatigue and pain. If you aren’t exercising, it’s time to step it up. Getting 30 minutes, 3-6 times each week can really help you feel better. Or keep you from feeling bad at that time of the month. And it will improve your health overall.

#3 Stress.

Stress does not cause PMS but it can make it worse. If you need to reduce your stress levels, make sure you are getting enough sleep. Massage, yoga and deep breathing and relaxation exercises have also been shown to help.


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