Understanding Post-Menstrual Syndrome and its Symptoms
Menstruation is a natural process faced by women. Even if natural, we often see it being a topic of taboo. Nobody wills to talk about it and menstrual hygiene. While discussing the menstrual cycle, we come across a common term – pre-menstrual syndrome, also known as PMS.
PMS is a group of symptoms that appear one or two weeks before our period. That includes mood swings, anxiety, and appetite changes, among others. This term is widely known and acknowledged by all. However, did you know that there is another similar term for the post-menstruation period? Yes – the post-menstrual syndrome.
More than 90% of women report that they get PMS, while only around 10% of women are believed to experience post-menstrual syndrome; that is to say, they get the same symptoms after their periods instead of before.
What is Post-Menstrual Syndrome?
Menstruation is just a way of your body letting go of something that is no longer needed. ― Adriana Vandelinde
Although not medically recognized, the post-menstrual syndrome is very much real.
Post-menstrual syndrome refers to the symptoms women go through after their monthly cycle ends. It is similar to pre-menstrual syndrome, which occurs before the period begins.
However, post-menstrual syndrome comes with more intense psychological symptoms. According to the Woman Health specialist, Dr. Soma Mandal, this condition occurs due to a surge of hormones like estrogen and testosterone. On the contrary, pre-menstrual syndrome happens when progesterone levels decrease.
More research is still needed to prove this theory.
According to holistic health coach Nicole Jardim, 10 percent of people who visit her practice have post-menstrual difficulties.
Causes and Symptoms of Post-Menstrual Syndrome
Not everyone goes through post-menstrual syndrome. Infact, it is way less common than pre-menstrual syndrome. While 90% of women experience premenstrual symptoms, only 20-40% go through post-menstrual. Also, people who suffer from one do not necessarily feel the other.
That is, if a person is having pre-menstrual symptoms, they probably won’t experience the post one.
Post-menstrual syndrome has various physical, emotional, and behavioral symptoms. It has almost the same symptoms but only happens at a different cycle phase. But as mentioned, the post-menstrual syndrome has more psychological symptoms than physical.
Post-menstrual syndrome is likely to occur in the presence of higher levels of estrogen and androgens in the system. Other factors include nutritional deficiencies, stress, lifestyle, and changes in hormonal levels, and so on. Hormonal changes can often confuse our bodies into thinking that we are having periods even after it has ended. So, the symptoms continue.
Some of the symptoms of post-menstrual syndrome are:
Feeling of irritability
Fatigue and clumsiness
Lack of coordination
Pain during sex
Pain in other parts like joints, neck, etc.
Post-menstrual symptoms usually last 2 days; however, for some, they can last upto 2 weeks after their period ends.
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How to Deal with Post-Menstrual Syndrome?
Post-menstrual syndrome can be dealt with similarly to pre-menstrual syndrome.
1. Regular Exercising
Physical exercise is a great way to keep our bodies healthy. Be it any health risk, workouts or simple walks and runs boost our overall health. These exercises help with cramps and release endorphins, the “feel-good” hormones.
Not to mention how they boost a healthy sleep pattern, which is crucial during post-menstrual syndrome. The more the body undergoes intense exercises, the better sleep it will get.
Get a full sleep of 8 hours daily.
Opt for a self-care routine through relaxation techniques like yoga or massage. You can use essential oils and relax, or you can do some quick and relaxing asanas bringing you and your body some peace and tranquility.
Yoga serves as a great antidote to headaches and muscle aches. Even deep breathing combats abdominal pain, clumsiness, and anxiety, among other things.
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3. Caffeine Intake
Maintaining a healthy diet is recommended when going through post-menstrual symptoms. Focus on more iron-rich foods like meat and legumes, as during menstruation, the iron levels go down. And staying away from caffeine is of utmost necessity as it can lower the levels more and stress you. And that can cause muscle aches and joint pain.
So, look out for salt and caffeine in your diet. Having a nutrition-dense diet with fruits and vegetables is crucial as periods often take a toll on your body, and during such times, eating healthy is a necessity.
Also, staying hydrated is another important factor during and after periods. It helps the body function smoothly during that time of the month and after it.
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4. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is widely recognized and known to treat various health issues like anxiety, depression, PTSD, and eating disorders. Since post-menstrual syndrome has more psychological symptoms, CBT is ideal for coping with it.
CBT is a goal-oriented form of therapy that helps one identify negative thinking patterns and work on them, thus improving their emotional well-being. So, this therapy will be very helpful in coping with the symptoms.
5. Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3-rich diet is a fatty acid known for its anti-inflammatory properties. The production of prostaglandins– a chemical that affects inflammation and leads to cramps is affected by omega 3.
It helps improve uterine blood flow and menstrual cyclicity while reducing period and post-period cramps. Including this in the diet is very healthy, especially for people with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome PCOS. It keeps the hormonal balance and is thus very beneficial for post-menstrual syndrome.
Yogurt is a calcium-rich product and helps regulate the muscles, which is important during period cramps. Also, as post-menstrual syndrome comes with several psychological symptoms, calcium supplements often come in handy to fight mood disorders.
It relaxes the muscles and helps one get pain relief.
7. Acupuncture Therapy
Acupuncture therapy is quite a popular way to fight post-menstrual symptoms. It is even known to support one in getting rid of physical and emotional symptoms. Several acupuncture points let one ease pain and inflammation while boosting blood circulation.
As per a 2018 study, a group of people received acupuncture therapy for 90 days and showed signs of improvement in pain, headaches, mood swings, and menstrual cramps (also known as dysmenorrhoea) compared to the ones who didn’t receive it. Another study proved that manual acupuncture is much better than anti-inflammatory drugs.
Acupuncture relieves pain through its effect on the nervous system.
Women experiencing dysmenorrhoea are likely to have period cramps, nausea, headache, pelvic pain, lower back pain.
8. Medical treatment from a Certified Clinician
There are several other treatments to identify the reasons behind post-menstrual syndrome. Whether it is because of PCOS or some other underlying condition, a visit to the doctor will be ideal. They would suggest the right treatment or therapy as per the diagnosis.
Being a woman is hard. With menstruation and PMS, we are stressed already. And we do not want something with a “post” now.
So, are you menstruating and waiting for the storm afterward? Do not worry anymore.
We got you covered with the ways mentioned above to deal with and eliminate post-menstrual syndrome and its symptoms.
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Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is a post-menstrual syndrome?
Post-menstrual syndrome refers to a series of symptoms that occur after the end of the menstrual cycle.
2. How long does post-menstrual syndrome last?
Post-menstrual syndrome usually lasts for a few days. But sometimes, it might last up to two weeks after the monthly cycle ends.
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