95% of people who get periods get symptoms before their period arrives - bloating, feeling irritated, sad or upset.
For some people these symptoms are strong enough to interfere with day-to-day life.
What causes Premenstrual Syndrome?
The exact cause isn't known, but it's thought that changing levels of hormones in the body are at least partly to blame.
When do PMS symptoms happen?
Most people with PMS find symptoms start a few days before their period arrives, improve when bleeding starts and disappear soon after bleeding stops.
How can tell if I have PMS?
Keep a diary for three months.
Note when you start and stop bleeding and when you feel any of these:
- irritable and bad tempered
- feeling depressed
- a general feeling of being upset or emotional
- difficulty sleeping
- difficulty concentrating
- feeling full and 'bloated'
- breast tenderness
- some weight gain (up to 1 kg).
If they begin around the same number of days before you start bleeding, they could be linked to your periods.
Then ask yourself 'are these symptoms so bad they're interfering with my life?'
For example, were you unable to go to school because you felt so bad? Did you miss out on fun stuff because of these symptoms?
What can I do about my PMS?
If PMS is a problem for you, speak to your doctor - there are a number of treatments that can help.
In the meantime, looking after yourself in other ways will help:
Head back to the Periods page for more info on periods.