Ever Struggled with PMS? Here's a Look at What's Happening with Your Hormones

Ever Struggled with PMS? Here's a Look at What's Happening with Your Hormones

Can you believe it's already August? 🤯

Summer is quickly slipping by and soon we'll be in the "luteal" phase of the year: autumn.

That's the menstrual cycle phase I'm currently in: I'm on Day 24 and really feeling that pre-menstrual overwhelm rise.

This phase gets a bad rap--it's the most undervalued and over-criticized phase.

The PMS phase. The b*tchy phase. The rage phase. The moody phase.

Those are the types of messages we've culturally associated with the week before our periods, and it's certainly unfair--and incomplete.

Yes, we may be extra touchy during this phase, but our bodies are trying to recalibrate along with our dropping hormones.

I mean, just take a look at Day 21 - Day 28 of this chart of the hormonal pattern over the menstrual cycle:

Those are some seriously steep drops!

Our bodies are downshifting to function with falling levels of "the Beyonce hormone" a.k.a. estrogen (thanks to Maisie Hill for that incredible moniker), and dropping progesterone, a nervous-system soothing hormone, and declining levels of testosterone, which helps balance estrogen and progesterone, and impacts libido and wellbeing.

So *obviously* how we feel in this phase is impacted!

This hormone-dropping trend lasts for DAYS in menstruators, whereas the male hormonal pattern resets every 24 hours.

What we journey through over our cycle month clearly impacts us uniquely as menstruators. Our experiences are valid, our needs justified, our patterns distinct.

During this last week before my period starts, I feel like I just have a shorter fuse. Little things bug me, I feel more frayed, and I crave alone time.

I have less of these soothing, mood-boosting hormones to work with, so this makes sense.

But I love this re-imagining of the premenstrual week (and I wish I knew the brilliant person who coined this term!):

PMS = "Please Make Space."

Isn't that gorgeously filled with so much more grace?

Because that's exactly what we need at this time in our cycle.

We need to please make space for ourselves and our needs.

When we release the heavy negative baggage associated with "PMS" and instead embrace the kindness and patience implied by the term "Please Make Space," so much of our experience can change for the better.

Not only can we experience our pre-menstrual week in a more informed, patient light, we can also help our loved ones understand our needs and what our bodies are going through at this time!

And if we all do that, just imagine how much of a difference it will make all over the world. Ripples of change as more of us learn why and how to "Please Make Space" during this time.

What kind of shift can this make for you? I'd love to hear.

I'm sure it's obvious to everyone that the pre-menstrual phase is the most underrated, most maligned time in our cycle, but both understanding our hormonal pattern and remembering to Please Make Space can help us honor our needs here.

And don't forget--the premenstrual phase has its superpowers, too.

I love the clarity and discernment and trimming away of unnecessaries that comes naturally in this phase. I rely upon it.

Our premenstrual selves know to narrow our focus to what matters most, and prune what doesn't.

Without that, we'd burn out, overcommit, get stuck in frustration and overwhelm, and quit everything.

What a gift it is to tap into our premenstrual discernment!

And that is the reminder I'm carrying with me through this phase, and I hope you do too the next time you arrive in your premenstruum.

If you'd like personalized support as you navigate rocky PMS or periods, I'd love to hold space for you and help you gain vital body literacy and deepen your relationship with your cycle. Explore your options for working with me here. 

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