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Post-menstrual syndrome: Here’s what may happen after periods

Some women may experience symptoms like mood swings even after period ends. It may be due to post-menstrual syndrome.
A woman holding a calendar
You may experience post-menstrual syndrome symptoms after period! Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Natalia Ningthoujam Published: 12 Dec 2023, 10:41 pm IST
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We know what period cramps, bloating and mood swings before and during menstruation feel like. While the severity and specific symptoms can vary widely among individuals, premenstrual syndrome or PMS affects many women during their menstrual cycle. But do you still have some of these symptoms after your periods? It may be post-menstrual syndrome. Read on to know what post-menstrual syndrome is and how it is different from pre-menstrual syndrome.

What is post-menstrual syndrome?

Post-menstrual syndrome isn’t a recognised medical term. However, it might colloquially refer to symptoms that occur after menstruation, such as lingering fatigue or mood changes, says obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Gayatri Deshpande. These symptoms, if severe or significantly affecting your quality of life, might be indicative of an underlying condition.

A woman experiencing period pain
PMS is different from post-menstrual syndrome. Image courtesy: Freepik

How is post-menstrual syndrome different from PMS?

Premenstrual syndrome and post-menstrual symptoms are distinct in terms of their timing and symptomatology.

1. Premenstrual syndrome

PMS, which is a recognised medical phenomenon, encompasses a variety of physical and emotional symptoms that typically occur in the days or weeks leading up to your periods. Its symptoms can include:

• Feelings of irritability and moodiness
• Bloating
• Breast tenderness
• Headaches
• Fatigue
• Changes in appetite
• Sleep disturbances
• Difficulty concentrating

These symptoms usually alleviate once menstruation begins or shortly thereafter.

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2. Post-menstrual syndrome

Some women may experience symptoms after period ends. These symptoms could include:

• Lingering fatigue
• Mood variations or emotional changes

The distinction between PMS and post-menstrual symptoms lies in the timing of the symptoms. PMS occurs before or during menstruation, while post-menstrual symptoms might manifest after menstruation has ended. Some individuals may continue to experience mild symptoms, but these symptoms might not be consistent or severe enough to be categorised as a syndrome. For most individuals, any symptoms experienced after menstruation tends to be relatively short-lived, lasting anywhere from a few days to a week, says the expert.

What are the causes of post-menstrual syndrome?

Symptoms that might occur after menstruation could be influenced by various factors.

1. Hormonal fluctuations

After menstruation, hormonal changes continue as the body prepares for the next cycle. Fluctuations in hormones, such as oestrogen and progesterone, might contribute to some post-menstrual symptoms.

2. Fatigue

Menstruation can lead to temporary changes in energy levels and haemoglobin levels due to blood loss, which might cause post-menstrual fatigue, shares Dr Deshpande.

A woman holding up a calendar
Stress might influence how you experience symptoms after menstruation. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Stress and lifestyle factors

Stress, inadequate sleep and poor nutrition are all linked. They might influence how women experience symptoms after menstruation.

4. Underlying health conditions

Certain medical conditions like anemia, thyroid disorders or chronic fatigue syndrome might manifest symptoms that are noticeable after menstruation. So, you might think you are experiencing post-menstrual syndrome.

5. Individual variations

Each person’s body responds differently to hormonal changes and other factors associated with the menstrual cycle, resulting in varying experiences after menstruation.

What are the home remedies for post-menstrual syndrome?

There are a few things that may offer relief for women experiencing mild post-menstrual symptoms.

1. Rest and sleep

Fatigue can be a common post-menstrual symptom. So, adequate rest and quality sleep are crucial. Ensure you get enough sleep to support your body’s recovery and energy levels.

2. Healthy diet

Go for a balanced diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains. This provides essential nutrients and helps to stabilise energy levels. Iron-rich foods might be beneficial to replenish iron lost during menstruation, says the expert.

3. Hydration

Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, as proper hydration supports overall bodily functions and can help to alleviate fatigue and discomfort.

4. Gentle exercise

Light physical activity such as yoga, walking or stretching can help to improve mood, reduce stress and alleviate mild discomfort. Listen to your body and engage in exercises that feel comfortable.

5. Stress management

Practices such as meditation, deep breathing exercises or mindfulness techniques can help to manage stress levels. Reducing stress may alleviate some post-menstrual symptoms.

6. Warm compress or bath

Applying a warm compress or taking a warm bath might help to ease any lingering discomfort or mild cramping after menstruation.

But the specific treatment approach should be customised based on your personal symptoms, health history and the severity of your condition.

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About the Author

Natalia Ningthoujam has written on various subjects - from music to films and fashion to lifestyle - as a journalist in her career that started in 2010. After getting stories from the crime scene, police headquarters, and conducting interviews with celebrities, she is now writing on health and wellness which has become her focus area. ...Read More

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