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PMS & menstrual cramps

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a list of symptoms that occur about a week before a woman’s period each month. These symptoms can range from mild to severe. Before a young girl’s first period, she may experience PMS symptoms for as long as six months to a year before her first menstrual cycle occurs.

Signs of PMS:
    • Acne
    • Swollen or tender breasts
    • Fatigue and trouble sleeping
    • Upset stomach, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea
    • Headache, backache or lower abdomen cramps
    • Appetite changes or food cravings
    • Joint or muscle pain
    • Trouble concentrating or memory issues
    • Tension, irritability or mood swings
    • Anxiety or depression
    • Difficulty handling stress

If your symptoms persist, talk to your mom or a trusted adult about your situation. If the pain is so severe that you can’t attend school or perform your daily activities, ask your mom or a trusted adult to bring you to your Novant Health pediatrician or primary care physician. Novant Health can help you manage the pain and examine you to ensure there are no other issues.

A few things you can do at home to relieve your PMS symptoms include:
    • Put a warm compress over your abdomen for cramps or on your lower back where you may be experiencing a backache.
    • Ask your mom or a trusted adult for an over-the-counter pain reliever such as Naproxen, Ibuprofen, or Acetaminophen.
    • You can draw a warm bath and relax a bit. This helps ease stress and tension.
    • Make sure you continue to exercise like normal each week as you are able. This helps to relieve stress and keep the body functioning appropriately.
    • Make sure you eat healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains and drink lots of water. Avoid foods that worsen PMS such as excess salt, sugary foods and caffeine.