It's natural to hate that time on the month. Whether your period woes are severe or not, it can still have an impact on your mood and energy. If you notice signs your PMS symptoms are abnormally bad, and you might need to see a doctor, make sure to schedule an appointment ASAP and get checked. If you keep with the pain, you might put yourself at risk for other health conditions (and it'll just suck, especially).
As a certified health coach, I work with clients on managing their PMS symptoms and also being in tune with their bodies. That way, if something's off, you can get to the root of the cause right away and start feeling back to normal. When on your period, you might experience the typical symptoms, like moodiness, abdominal cramps, ravenous appetite, and more, but there can also be a slew of uncommon symptoms that require additional guidance. If you're starting to feel different this month, don't just sit idly and take it. Here are 11 signs your PMS is worse than you think and you might need to get a second look at what's really going on down there. A doctor can help you take the next steps.
1. You're Having Intense Mood Swings
While moodiness might occur normally during a period, if you're having crazy swings, it could be linked to a serious issue, says Dr. Michael Cackovic, an OB/GYN at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, over email with Bustle. "By definition, affective (mood) symptoms predominate in women with PMDD, although most women with this condition also have physical symptoms such as bloating, food cravings and fatigue to name but a few," Cackovic says.
2. You're Having Suicidal Thoughts
According to Cackovic, suicidal thoughts can be a sign of abnormal PMS. "Some work suggests that women with PMDD, especially those with more severe symptoms, have an elevated risk of suicidal ideation and attempts," Cackovic says. If you have these, see a doctor and therapist to discuss.
3. You're Depressed
According to OBGYN and Professor Andrea Rapkin at the UCLA School of Medicine over interview with CBS, if you're feeling super depressed during this time, and it's pretty chronic, it could demonstrate a PMS abnormality. See a doctor to get tested for any complications, if so.
4. You Don't Socialize
This isn't the same as staying in to Netflix and chill during your period. If you're feeling withdrawn from all human contact and social activities, especially activities you'd normal participate in, it could be linked to strange PMS symptoms, explains Cackovic.
5. Your Cycle Is Super Short
If the length of your cycle changes, and it's super short, it could mean you're experiencing abnormal PMS symptoms and should get checked out by a physician. It might seem great to have a one-day flow, but it could mean your hormones are off.
6. You Have Heavy Bleeding
According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, if you're bleeding heavily during your period, more so than you normally would, it could indicate that you're suffering from scary PMS symptoms. If left untreated, it could lead to a hysterectomy or other blood disorders.
7. You're Unusually Tired
It's natural to feel more sluggish during your period, but if you're feeling way more lethargic than usual, it could indicate a larger problem with your hormonal balance. A few ways to stay more awake when on your period is to time your eating habits and napping, track your menstrual cycle on an app, and increase your exercise the week before your period.
8. You're Getting Huge Breakouts
Yes, a pimple or two during this time of the month is perfectly acceptable, and expected, but if you're getting huge flareups, it could mean you're hormones are out of whack. Bad acne during your period can mean something's off, so getting a physical could help you get some answers as to what's really going on.
9. You Have Blood Clots
A few clots here and there is okay, but if you're getting some serious blood clots throughout your period, it could signify a greater problem down there. It could be related to anemia, as you're losing a lot of blood, for instance. If you're clotting a lot, go see a doctor for better guidance.
10. You're Blood Is Gray
If you're seeing shades of red, that's totally normal. For instance, blood might be redder and brighter at the start, and more dark and brown towards the end. However, if you see shades of gray (not the good kind), you might have an infection or be pregnant. See a gyno immediately.
11. Your Period Is Super Long
The dreaded never-ending period; not fun. If your flow is lasting past a week, it might be time to see a doctor to see what's going on. Even if this is normal for you, it's not normal for the average person. It could be linked to hypothyroidism or iron deficiency.
If you experience any of these PMS symptoms, or extremities of the more common, normal ones, make it a priority to get a second look at what could be going on.