Monthly Bleeding 51
Pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS)
Some women and girls feel uncomfortable a few days before
their monthly bleeding begins. They may have one or more of
a group of signs that are known as pre-menstrual syndrome
(PMS). Women who have PMS may notice:
• sore breasts
• a full feeling in the lower belly
• constipation (when you cannot pass stool)
• feeling extra tired
• sore muscles, especially in the lower back or belly
• a change in the wetness of the vagina
• oiliness or spots (pimples) on the face
• feelings that are especially strong or harder to control
Many women have at least one of these signs each month
and some women may have all of them. A woman may have
different signs from one month to the next. For many women,
the days before their monthly bleeding starts are a time of
unrest. But some women say they feel more creative and
better able to get things done.
What to do:
What helps with PMS is different for each woman. To find
out what will help, a woman should try different things and
notice what makes her feel better. First, try following the
suggestions for pain with monthly bleeding (see page 50).
These ideas may also help:
• Eat less salt. Salt makes your body keep extra water
inside, which makes the full feeling in
your lower belly worse.
• Try to avoid caffeine (found
in coffee, tea and some soft
drinks like cola).
• Try eating whole grains,
peanuts, fresh fish, meat
and milk, or other foods
that are high in protein.
When your body uses
these foods, it also gets
rid of any extra water,
so your belly feels less
full and tight.
• Try plant medicines. Ask
the older women in your
community which ones work.
help with the
signs of PMS.
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012