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What is Post Menstrual Syndrome? Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Updated: Mar 6, 2023

you know the feeling when your period ends but it doesn’t feel like it has ended? Even though you are not bleeding anymore, fatigue, mood swings and depression is still there. This stage of the menstrual cycle is called post-menstrual syndrome and 30-40% of women of their reproductive age experience it.


It isn’t as widely known as the premenstrual syndrome; this is caused by the lack of awareness and research on this topic. Still, there is some info on symptoms and treatment that we are happy to share with you.



what is postmenstrual syndrome

What is Post-Menstrual Syndrome?

Post-menstrual syndrome is the continuation of period symptoms after your period ends. It is commonly confused with premenstrual syndrome because they have the same acronym. The main difference between them is that post-menstrual syndrome starts right after your period and its symptoms are mainly psychological.


When does postmenstrual syndrome start?

The postmenstrual syndrome typically starts a few days to a week before a woman's menstrual period and ends shortly after the period starts. The exact timing and symptoms of post-menstrual syndrome can vary from woman to woman and cycle to cycle.


What causes PMS after your period?

What causes Post-Menstrual Syndrome After Your Period?

A number of things could be causing post-menstrual syndrome such as hormonal changes, nutritional deficiencies, and stress. Hormonal imbalances change estrogen and testosterone levels, which makes your body not quite understand your period has ended. So, the symptoms continue even though you are not on your period anymore.


If you are not getting enough nutrition and your body is lacking insulin, that can also trigger the post-menstrual syndrome. The reason for that is insulin greatly affects both estrogen and testosterone. Another thing that causes post-menstrual syndrome is stress. The stress we feel can manifest itself as physical and psychological symptoms of post-menstrual syndrome.


Why do I feel awful after my period?

Feelings of discomfort or dissatisfaction after a period can be attributed to a number of physiological and hormonal changes that take place during the menstrual cycle.


Cramps, bloating, exhaustion, headaches, mood changes, irritability, and food cravings are some of the typical post-menstrual syndrome symptoms. Estrogen and progesterone variations are the root cause of these symptoms.


The hormonal changes that take place throughout a woman's menstrual cycle can result in symptoms including exhaustion, irritability, and mood swings, both during and after the period.


Also, they experience frequent periods and run the risk of developing anemia, which can lead to weakness, exhaustion, and attention problems. They may have cramps, headaches, and other forms of pain before, during, and after their period. These pains might make her feel uneasy and unwell.


Why Do I Have Anxiety, Brain Fog, And Irritability After My Period?

Some women may experience symptoms of anxiety, foggy thinking, and irritability as a result of the hormonal changes that occur throughout the menstrual cycle, particularly variations in estrogen and progesterone levels.


Postmenstrual syndrome includes symptoms like these. Stress, insufficient sleep, and poor diet are additional elements that might contribute to post-menstrual syndrome symptoms in addition to hormonal changes.

What are Post-Menstrual Syndrome symptoms

What are Post-Menstrual Syndrome symptoms?

Not everyone experiences post-menstrual syndrome, but it is always a plus to be able to recognize when it happens. To identify what is happening with your mind and body you should learn about the symptoms. They can be examined in physical, psychological, and behavioral groups.


Physical Symptoms of Post-Menstrual Syndrome

Post-menstrual syndrome can affect how your body looks and feels. After your period ends, the bloating and tenderness in your breast may continue. You can experience fatigue, headaches, and muscle aches. So classic period stuff which should have ended with your period but doesn’t.


Abdominal pain is also one of the symptoms, but it is important to note that it can also be caused by endometriosis. If you are experiencing it, we recommend you see your OB-GYN.


Fatigue

Postmenstrual syndrome fatigue can be managed through a combination of lifestyle changes and medical treatments. Regular physical activity, such as exercise, can help boost energy levels and reduce fatigue. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate activity, such as walking or cycling, most days of the week.


A healthy diet, including plenty of fruits and vegetables, can also help provide the necessary nutrients to maintain energy levels. Adequate rest and sleep can also help alleviate fatigue, so it's important to aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night.


In addition, stress management techniques, such as mindfulness and relaxation, can help reduce stress and fatigue. If lifestyle changes don't relieve post-menstrual syndrome fatigue, over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, may be helpful.


Headaches

Ibuprofen and acetaminophen, both of which are accessible without a prescription, can help with headache relief. Headaches can be caused by dehydration, so drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated can help avoid them.


Deep breathing, yoga, and massage are among the soothing techniques that some women employ to relieve headaches. A balanced diet rich in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, as well as lean protein, can also help with headaches.


If your headaches don't go away, you should consult a doctor. Your doctor may give triptans or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or refer you to a specialist for more treatment options. The doctor may also advise keeping a journal to record your symptoms, such as the time and frequency of headaches, in order to determine the best course of therapy.


Muscle aches

Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, can help alleviate muscle aches. Gentle stretchings and light exercises, such as yoga or walking, can also help reduce muscle pain and stiffness.


Hot or cold compresses applied to the affected area can also provide relief. In addition, maintaining a healthy diet, rich in whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and lean protein, can help reduce muscle pain and aches.


Abdominal pain

A heating pad or hot water bottle applied to the affected area can also provide relief. Maintaining a healthy diet, rich in fiber and low in fat, can help reduce bloating and abdominal pain. Some women find relief from abdominal pain through relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or yoga.


Emotional symptoms of Post-Menstrual Syndrome

Emotional symptoms of the post-menstrual syndrome are much more common than physical symptoms. Many women who experience post-menstrual syndrome reported that they suddenly feel depressed and full of anxiety. Which can of course affect their life quality.


Other emotional symptoms are mood swings and irritability. You can find yourself getting angry suddenly or you can cry over the smallest thing. Your happiness can fade into sadness for no reason. These sudden changes in emotions mean you are likely experiencing the post-menstrual syndrome.


Mood swings

Exercises like cycling or walking can improve mood and relieve stress. Using stress-relief techniques like yoga, deep breathing, or mindfulness can also help stabilize your mood.


A balanced diet is a must. It should include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean protein can give people the nutrients they need to keep their emotions steady. Resting and sleeping enough might also help to lessen mood swings.


Anxiety

Living with anxiety can be difficult, but it is a curable illness. Self-care practices and medicinal interventions can work well together to control anxiety. Regular physical activity, like exercise, can improve mood and lower stress.


Deep breathing, mindfulness, meditation, or yoga are all stress-reduction strategies that may be used to reduce anxiety. Another crucial factor in lowering anxiety is getting enough rest and sleep. It's also advised to stay away from drugs like caffeine and alcohol because they might make anxiety worse.


Discussing your issues with a close friend or family member might help you feel better emotionally and reduce anxiety.



Depression

If you feel depressed during post-menstrual syndromewe recommend you see a psychiatrist. A psychiatrist is a medical professional who focuses on treating mental illnesses, such as depression. A psychiatrist can identify depression and create a treatment strategy that may involve either medication, psychotherapy, or both. They can also continuously assess symptoms and modify treatment regimens as necessary.


Other ways to solve post-menstrual syndrome depression are through regular physical activity, stress management techniques, and having a healthy diet.


Irritability

In reaction to mundane or inconsequential stimuli, irritability manifests as a negative emotional state. Aggression, impatience, and a short fuse are hallmarks of this personality trait.


Irritability is a normal reaction to stress, but it can also be a sign of something more serious like premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or a chemical imbalance in the brain.

To solve post-menstrual syndrome irritability you can do regular physical activity, stress management techniques, and have a healthy diet.


Behavioral symptoms

Behavioral symptoms of post-menstrual syndrome are very similar to the psychological ones, but these ones are about how you are showing yourself to others. Your loved ones can notice that you are acting differently than usual.


You can hurt their emotions with your sudden outbursts, or they might not understand why you are feeling blue all of a sudden. Don’t worry you will be back to normal in 2 to 4 days, just try your best not to strain your relationships in the meantime.


Sudden outbursts

Sudden outbursts are strong emotional reactions that happen quickly and can't be stopped. They may yell, cry, or act aggressively in response to things that aren't important or that happen often.


You may find it hard and challenging to deal with abrupt outbursts, but there are steps you can take to make it easier. Understanding what precipitated the outburst is a prerequisite to addressing the underlying issue. The first step of the way is to determine the source of the tension and work to alleviate it if the outburst can be attributed to it.


Try some deep breathing and some mind-body exercises to help you relax if your outburst was driven by rage. Another option is to be forthright and assertive when discussing your emotions with others. It's crucial to reach out for support from someone you trust, whether that's friends, family, or a mental health professional.


Never forget the importance of treating yourself gently and showing compassion to those around you.


Who is at risk for PMS?

Who is at risk for Post-Menstrual Syndrome?

The post-menstrual syndrome can be seen in every woman of reproductive age. But there are some factors that make you more likely to have the post-menstrual syndrome. One of which is mental health problems. Women who have depression, PPD, polycystic over syndrome, and a history of trauma is at high risk. Other things that can increase your risk of the post-menstrual syndrome are stress, being overweight, and smoking.


Here is a surprising fact about the post-menstrual syndrome, it is most likely for you to experience it If you are white.


At what point should you see a doctor?

You should see a doctor if your premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms are severe or interfere with your daily life.


Symptoms of post-menstrual syndrome can vary from woman to woman, but common symptoms include cramps, bloating, fatigue, headaches, mood swings, irritability, and food cravings. If these symptoms significantly affect your ability to work, study, or enjoy life, it's important to seek medical attention.


Your doctor can evaluate your symptoms and recommend treatment options, such as lifestyle changes, medications, or other therapies, to help alleviate your symptoms and improve your quality of life.


How is PMS treated?

How is Post-Menstrual Syndrome treated?

Unfortunately, there is no treatment for post-menstrual syndrome, not yet at least. The lack of research on this topic makes it hard to find a way to prevent post-menstrual syndrome. Therefore, the things we will list below are not treatments but merely suggestions that can help you relieve the symptoms.


Diet and lifestyle changes

First of all, take note of all your symptoms. Knowing what they are is the first step to making them manageable. Then you can start changing your diet. A healthy diet is key to a healthy body. When you get your period your iron levels go down.


So, we recommend you eat iron-rich food such as spinach, meat, legumes, and quinoa. But you might want to cut back on coffee since it can lower your iron levels and stress you.


Speaking of stress, the most important thing you should do is find a way to manage it. Stress puts you at high risk of the post-menstrual syndrome. Do whatever makes you feel relaxed, especially before your period. Meditation, yoga, and exercise can be beneficial for you. They can also help you balance your hormone levels.


Taking supplements

As we mentioned before having a healthy diet is important to relieve post-menstrual syndrome symptoms. This also includes taking supplements. Your body needs iron, magnesium, and vitamin B, and E for different symptoms that might arise from the post-menstrual syndrome.


Iron helps your body recover after a period. When you lose blood, you lose iron as well. Magnesium can help you with your mood swings, and depression and it is also good for sleep as well. Who doesn’t feel better after a good night’s sleep? Vitamins B and E can help you with fatigue. By taking them, you will feel more energetic and ready to start a new day.


Hormone therapy

Hormonal contraceptives are a type of birth control that stops ovulation. In some cases, using birth control can help ease post-menstrual syndrome symptoms. Especially the ones that make you experience pain. It can also help you with your mood swings.


What are the myths about PMS?

What are the myths about Post-Menstrual Syndrome?

For a long time, the post-menstrual syndrome was not seen as a real condition, it was a myth among women. Since many of them experienced different types of symptoms they were labeled as overdramatic.


Their period was over, and their bodies and minds should be back to normal but that was not the case. Now that we know that post-menstrual syndrome is real, and they are not overreacting it is time for these myths to go away.


Post-Menstrual Syndrome is not a real medical condition

The biggest problem with the post-menstrual syndrome is the lack of scientific research on it. Only a small percentage of women experience it. Also doesn’t happen every month. Women mostly experience post-menstrual syndrome during the months they did not have premenstrual syndrome.


Most of the information we know about it comes from people who experience it. Therefore, this led people to start questioning its legitimacy. Recent studies show that it is in fact a real condition and we need more sources to educate ourselves on this topic.


Post-Menstrual Syndrome is not caused by hormonal changes

You can experience post-menstrual syndrome for multiple reasons, one of which is hormonal changes. Hormonal imbalances can cause many conditions in our bodies. It is widely believed that sudden changes in estrogen and testosterone levels are one of the causes of the post-menstrual syndrome.


When those hormones go back to their normal levels, signs of post-menstrual syndrome go away. Doctors also suggest that it is linked to the serotonin levels in our brains. Periods lower serotonin levels and not enough serotonin circulating can trigger the post-menstrual syndrome.


Post Menstrual Syndrome is just an excuse for bad behavior

As we stated before there are some behavioral effects of the post-menstrual syndrome. Your mood can suddenly change, and you can be more irritable than usual. These are caused by hormonal changes in your body. Of course, you should never hurt someone’s feelings on purpose, there is no excuse for that. But that doesn’t mean post-menstrual syndrome is something people make up just to treat others poorly.


Difference between premenstrual syndrome and postmenstrual syndrome

Difference between premenstrual syndrome and postmenstrual syndrome

There are two separate disorders known as premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and postmenstrual syndrome.


Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a collection of behavioral, emotional, and psychological symptoms that appear in the days before a woman's period and disappear shortly after it begins. Each woman experiences post-menstrual syndrome differently, but common symptoms include cramps, bloating, headaches, exhaustion, irritability, mood changes, and food cravings. Many women experience post-menstrual syndrome but the degree of the symptoms can range from hardly noticeable to incapacitating.


There is no such thing as a recognized medical illness called a postmenstrual syndrome. A woman's post-period symptoms, such as exhaustion, bloating, and cramps, are commonly referred to as "postmenstrual syndrome," however these symptoms are not connected to one particular disorder and can result from a number of other causes.


In brief, "postmenstrual syndrome" is not a recognized medical illness, but it refers to symptoms that manifest prior to a woman's menstruation. It is crucial to consult a doctor if you experience symptoms right after your period in order to identify the underlying reason and choose the best course of action.


Is post-period depression a thing?

Yes, depression after your period is a real thing. It is a form of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), which is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). PMDD is thought to affect 5–10% of women who get their period. It causes symptoms like depression, anxiety, irritability, and mood swings that start a week or two before a woman's period and go away soon after it starts.



What is premenstrual dysphoric disorder?

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) that affects some women during the luteal phase of their menstrual cycle, typically in the week or two before their period.


PMDD is a diagnosed mental health disorder that is characterized by symptoms such as depression, anxiety, irritability, mood swings, fatigue, and changes in appetite and sleep patterns. These symptoms can interfere with daily activities and relationships and can be severe enough to affect a woman's quality of life.


Why Triwi?

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Self-breast examinations are an essential part of maintaining breast health since early identification of breast cancer can significantly enhance the odds of effective treatment. Additionally, completing self-breast checks empowers women and instills a feeling of personal accountability in them.


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