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Is Your PMS "Normal"?

Ah, the period experience. How do you know when your symptoms warrant further investigation

and support? The short answer… when you suspect there is something bigger going on. Of course this can be hard to tease out since menstrual pain and mood shifts are almost considered a right of passage for those of us with a uterus. However, any major shifts or symptoms warrant a bigger conversation with a health care provider… If your periods are causing significant impairment in your day to day life, you deserve a proper assessment. So where can you start?

Monitor for symptoms such as:

  • Extreme cramping

  • Severe mood swings

  • Significant bloating

  • Depression or anxiety

  • Migraines

Keeping a symptom diary can be extremely helpful. This gives you a better idea of symptom

timeline and allows you to track intensity. You’ll want to track symptoms for at least 2-3 cycles.

But not to worry- supports can be put into place WHILE you work on consistent symptoms

tracking and further assessment.

Once you have a clear idea of your symptom calendar, it becomes easier to differentiate

between menstruation, premenstrual syndrome, premenstrual exacerbation and premenstrual

dysphoric disorder.

Premenstrual Syndrome


Premenstrual Exacerbation


Premenstrual Dysphoric

Disorder (PMDD)

Physical symptoms and

mood changes which occur

before the menstrual period

(and disappear after the

onset of the period)

Symptoms of an underlying

condition (depression,

anxiety) that gets WORSE

during premenstrual stage

Severe, sometimes disabling,

extension of PMS, with a

tendency towards extreme

mental health symptoms.

Work impaired >3 days/month

Social/Family life impaired >5 days/month

Still unsure where you fit? Don’t worry, there are practitioners who specialize in the nuances

between these conditions. Consider booking in with one of our Naturopathic Doctors for a full

assessment and to discuss the best next steps for you.