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10 signs your period is coming

Have you ever felt bloated before periods or had a headache before menstruation? These are just a few signs your period is coming. Scroll down to know them all!
View All Images period pain
Know the signs that your period is coming. Image courtesy: Adobe stock
Arushi Bidhuri Updated: 21 Mar 2024, 23:05 pm IST
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Medically Reviewed by

You may start experiencing certain changes in your mood or body a few days before your periods. This is known as premenstrual syndrome (PMS), the period most women dread because it is attributed to poor sleep, mood swings, bad hair days, and more! PMS is when you experience chemical changes in your body, causing your hormones to fluctuate and disrupt your daily routine. Some people who menstruate may experience mild symptoms while others may go through severe changes that affect their daily activity. Here are the most common signs your period is coming.

What is premenstrual syndrome?

Premenstrual symptoms (PMS) is a combination of emotional and physical symptoms that many people experience in the days or weeks leading up to the menstrual period. Over 90 percent women in the US,

10 common signs your period is coming

Each person’s menstrual cycle is different, so you may experience different symptoms of menstruation than others. Some people might not experience any signs before their periods. Here are the common signs your periods are coming:

1. Acne

Are you breaking out? You might notice some acne pop up on your face just before you get your period. Breakouts that happen due to period are known as cyclical acne which happens due to excess sebum protection, which clogs the pores and causes acne, especially around your chin and jawline. According this 2001 study, at least half of all women experience pre-menstrual acne flare-ups.

Woman with pimples
Acne is one of the symptoms you may experience before you get your periods. Image courtesy: Freepik

2. Heavy or sore breasts

Have you ever noticed that your breasts get heavy or tender before you get your periods? Well, that happens in some cases due to the increase in the levels of the hormone progesterone. Just like other PMS symptoms, you may notice them go back to normal when your period arrives. Some women may also feel breast pain or mastalgia. Cyclical breast pain is associated with the menstrual cycle, and it may be caused due to hormonal factors or stress.

Also Read: Why do your breasts hurt when you’re menstruating?

3. Tiredness

Feeling lethargic before your periods is another signs your periods are coming. This happens due to the fluctuating hormones such as estrogen and progesterone that affect your sleep patterns, making you feel tired even when you are well rested. But you should be wary of severe tiredness and unpredictable emotions as these can signal premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), which may require treatment.

4. Changes in bowel movements

Do you feel constipated before your periods? Changes in your progesterone levels can cause digestive issues such as constipation and diarrhea. While some people experiencing PMS symptoms experience constipation, others may get diarrhea. Some home remedies for constipation and diarrhea may help. A study published in BMC Women’s Health found that 73 percent of 156 participants in the research experienced gastrointestinal symptoms pre and during their menstrual cycle.

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5. Feeling bloated

The changing levels of progesterone and estrogen in your body may cause water and salt retention, which can lead to bloating and other digestive issues. While it may subside when you get your periods, you can also manage it by reducing your salt intake, staying well hydrated, and doing some exercise. While exercise might feel like too much at this moment, doing some kind of exercise like yoga for bloating might help.

6. Mood swings

One of the most common signs most women experience before getting their periods is mood swings such as anxiety, depression, and irritability. While this is a common form of PMS symptoms women experience, some women may experience the extreme version known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) or enhanced mood disorders. However, this is a rare symptom that may affect some women.

7. Lower back pain

Painful periods don’t only impact the abdomen, they may affect your back as well. You may also feel contractions in your back or thighs due to changes in prostaglandins, which are naturally occurring substances that line the uterus.

8. You get headaches

The changes in your estrogen levels are the contributing factor to headaches. People with migraine are more likely to suffer from headaches before they get their periods. A study published in the Therapeutic Advanced in Neurological Disorders have a migraine before they get their period.

9. Food cravings

Many believe food cravings to be a source of comfort but it is a way of your body telling you that your period is on its way. Once again, your hormones are to be blamed for this. Hormonal fluctuations can make you crave salty, spicy, or sweet foods at different points of the menstrual cycle. While a treat once in a while is not a problem, don’t forget to maintain a healthy diet to avoid problems like bloating.

10. Joint and muscle pain

Believe it or not, the list of menstrual period symptoms also includes joint and muscle pain. When your estrogen plummets before your period, it can cause joint and muscle pain. It can be very uncomfortable and can make you feel restless.

Also read: Signs of first period: Menstrual health awareness every girl needs before puberty

Does everyone experience these signs before their periods?

Not everyone who menstruates experiences premenstrual (PMS) symptoms, and the severity and symptoms may vary from one person to another. While some people may experience a range of symptoms before their periods, others may experience a range of symptoms, including mood swings, breast tenderness, headaches, food cravings, and more. Pregnant women may experience a change in PMS symptoms before and after pregnancy.

Woman experiencing back pain
Not everyone experiences premenstrual symptoms. Image courtesy: Freepik

How long does PMS last?

When the body’s levels of progesterone and oestrogen start to rise, PMS symptoms normally go away five days before a period. About 4 days after the start of a person’s period, this usually happens.

Do you need to consult a doctor if you experience these symptoms?

While having PMS symptoms doesn’t always mean that there is a medical issue, it may be a good idea to see a doctor if the symptoms are severe or substantially interfere with day-to-day activities. They can offer direction, suggest courses of action, and assist in successfully managing symptoms.

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About the Author

Arushi Bidhuri is a journalist with 7 years of experience in writing, editing, and conceptualizing story ideas across different genres, including health and wellness, lifestyle, politics, beauty, fashion, and more. Arushi has a strong connection in the industry that helps her write concise and original stories as she believes in working towards writing pieces that can enlighten people. ...Read More

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