Managing PMS and Academics
“Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) refers to a group of physical and emotional symptoms that some women experience in the week or two before their menstrual period.” (1) PMS starts at a young age, with most girls in middle school or even intermediate school. While in college, young women are accustomed to the monotonous cycle every month as the symptoms related with PMS do not usually diminish. Menstrual cycles have their own time schedule and do not stop for any circumstance. Some of the worst effects a young lady has to contend with are cramps, bloating, headaches, irritability, or even starting the menstrual cycle during a class. There are a few remedies to help with this problem.
Over the counter medication can be your friend when the distress is severe. There are several that can be used to aid in lessening the headaches and cramps. While this is not a cure, it can help you cope with your daily activities.
One of the most troubling events that can happen to you is starting your period in class. The way to prevent this from happening is to track the menstrual cycle. This can easily be done in an agenda book you use to record homework and test days. On the first day of your period, mark it on the calendar and then count twenty-eight days, and that is when the next period should begin. Just be prepared a couple days before that day to avoid any accidents. However, some females do not have regular cycles so the best advice is to always be prepared. If your period does start during class, leave class with as minimum disruption as possible. When you return, try to sit where you won’t create a disturbance. After class, apologize to your teacher.
Your diet is one area that can affect how well you handle your period. You should focus eating healthier all the time, especially during the menstrual cycle. Caffeine, sugar, salt and fatty foods all should be reduced during this time. Not only is it healthier for your body, but it can reduce bloating, breast tenderness, dizziness and anxiety.
Finally, exercise and relaxation are other remedies used to help with PMS symptoms. Exercise can help reduce the PMS discomfort because your body is being taken care of. If you take care of your body, your body will essentially reward you. With exercise comes relaxation. Relaxing can help you clear your mind and reduce your level of anxiety or irritability.
What happens if your PMS discomfort is severe? Is this a reason to not go to class? Generally, NO. In most cases, faculty expect students to be in class. You won’t feel good every class day, but you should attend. If your PMS discomfort is serious enough to require medical treatment, you should notify your teacher. Otherwise you should go to class.
The menstrual cycle is not a pleasant experience and neither are the PMS symptoms that come with it. The answer is to be prepared and take care of the body. Over the counter medicine, preparation, a healthy diet, exercise and relaxation all have the ability to make the monthly cycle manageable throughout the college experience.
Topic content provided by Sarah Taylor, a student at West Virginia University..