It is nothing new! Nothing to worry about really! It is just the hormones
Hormones owe us the responsibility of almost all the physiological processes that take place in a normally functioning body. And they fluctuate very often!
‘So, what is it with periods?’ Someone may actually ask. This is an important question for the health of every woman. The answer is simply hormones.
There are many things you need to know about hormonal fluctuations. They are responsible for the different symptoms and the length of cycles in different women.
Symptoms that your period is around the corner
There is no specific number of symptoms of the onset of your menstruation cycle. Hormonal fluctuations as said earlier will be different in every woman, and this is an important point to note.
For every woman, the symptoms come in phases. In some women, the phases are regular, while for others, it is a little different, not being able to track the specific phases, and this is normal.
This is basically a post period phase, a phase of relief for most women and may take an average of 4 to 8 days.
During this phase two hormones, estrogen and progesterone are at the monthly lowest an occurrence that literally translates to post period symptoms that border dips in energy levels and low libido. Many women at this phase are generally ‘tired’.
There is no much activity in your physiological processes around this time and it is actually the best time to build closer relations with husband and family.
Getting back into the hormonal cycle is the major activity in this phase. Levels of estrogen begin to build up once again. There is usually a surge of energy sexually and normal vaginal discharge picks off as a result of more cervical mucus.
Women at this point are more excited because of increased hormonal activity as a result of the ovulation phase that awaits to set in. Some of the observable symptoms include an increased olfactory sense, intellectual finesse, and better coordination.
Women at this point feel more confident about themselves and are better placed to make serious decisions.
On the downside, since the body is preparing itself reproductively, a woman may experience recurrent single pimples occurring almost always at the same spot and sometimes accompanied with acne breakouts.
Women who have estrogen imbalances, especially premenopausal women, may have different symptoms including a gain in weight, problems with water retention as well as headaches and breast tenderness.
This phase draws nearer to a close when a woman feels a little curious and a little extra experimental. At this point, the hormones are now preparing the body for the next reproductive phase.
This phase is the post-ovulation phase and in some women, it is difficult to know where the previous phase (pending ovulation) ends and where the post-ovulation phase starts. In others, the difference is marked.
The difference with the third phase from the second phase is the increase in progesterone hormone. It is also known as the luteal phase and it is a phase where the woman is at an all-time high in the month.
The luteal phase is associated with an increase in progesterone that triggers the hypothalamus to increase temperature by 4 tenths. The hormonal increase also relaxes the smooth muscles in the gallbladder, uterus, the intestines, and the sphincter muscles.
The hormonal imbalances in this phase can affect levels of serotonin thus affecting the sleepfulness and wakefulness cycle. Premenstrual-Syndrome (PMS) symptoms like anxiety, depression, irritability and mood swings are associated with this phase. Cravings for carbohydrates and sugar increase due to the depleting serotonin levels.
This fourth and final phase is the egg-producing phase. It is triggered by a drop in estrogen and progesterone, which leads to the collapse of the uterus lining. The beginning of the menstrual cycle coincides with the beginning of the release of the Follicular Stimulating Hormone (FSH) cycle which stimulates the production of an ovum.
During a normal period, symptoms may include cramping which is caused by a prostaglandin that causes spasms of the uterus. The periods normal time may run from a few days to seven days (spotting to heavy flow)
Everything that runs between a few days to seven days is normal. Very heavy bleeding that extends this period should be reported to a doctor immediately as it could indicate infections if not the presence of fibroids or endometriosis. It is always good to take precaution when abnormalities appear.
In this fourth phase, you will experience lots of cramps and bleeding but at the same time, there will be a sense of peace and calm. This is because the hormonal levels are low hence a cool and docile demeanor.
Other symptoms of this last phase are a sense of relief, release and euphoria, creative energy, exhilaration, and increased sexual drive.
It is perfectly normal to have PMS and its associated symptoms. There is no need to panic. Most importantly, you should educate yourself and take care of your body!