The World of Pregnancy

Post Menstrual Symptoms: What Do They Mean?

Not all women experience post menstrual symptoms, but some of them do. What they usually experience after their period ends is rather similar to what they experience during their premenstrual stages of the menstrual cycle.

What Does Post Menstrual Syndrome Mean?

PMS refers to a series of hormone irregularities in those next 2 weeks after women finish their period. This is also known as post menstrual dysphoric disorder or PMDD. All diseases which can be experienced before or during menstruation can also occur during PMS. It`s estimated as 1/3 of women suffer of this disorder until menopause when it slows down.

What Is Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder?

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder is a medical condition that makes women go into serious sensations of irritability, depression signs or tension before menstruation. PMDD signs are much more serious than those that are encountered when premenstrual syndrome is concerned.

Causes of PMS

The exact cause of this syndrome is still unknown, but a series of factors can contribute to this condition:

  • Hormonal changes: The signs of postmenstrual syndrome can change along with hormonal fluctuations and disappear during pregnancy or menopause.
  • Brain chemical changes: Serotonin fluctuations, a chemical substance from the brain (neurotransmitter), which plays an essential role on mood, may trigger symptoms of this disorder. Insufficient amounts of serotonin can contribute to premenstrual depression, fatigue, cravings or sleeping issues.
  • Depression: Some women that experience the severe form of this condition suffer of undiagnosed depression, although depression on its own doesn`t produce all the symptoms.
  • Stress: Stress can aggravate some of the PMS signs.
  • Unhealthy diet habits: Some symptoms of the premenstrual symptoms were related to a low content of vitamins and minerals. Salty foods, which can determine fluid retention, as well as consumption of alcohol and caffeinated drinks can affect mood and determine disturbances in the levels of energy.

Post Menstrual Symptoms

These sign may appear anywhere from the next day after your menstruation until 2 weeks from that moment. Similar to premenstrual syndrome, this one generally produces issues for women who experience it:

  • Painful abdominal cramps all the way to the pelvic area or upper thighs.
  • Sore breasts.
  • Pain during sexual contact.
  • Vomiting and nausea.
  • Loss/increased appetite.
  • Back pain.
  • Fainting and dizziness.
  • Neck, shoulder or upper back pain.
  • Weight gain.
  • Severe mood changes – depression, aggression and anxiety.
  • Fluid retention.
  • Headache or migraines.
  • Diarrhea and constipation.

Although the list of potential signs is long, most women while experiencing postmenstrual syndrome will confront themselves only with a few of these issues. However, for some women the pain and emotional stress are so severe that may affect their daily routine. For most of these women, the signs disappear with menstruation.

A few women with PMS show very troubling signs every month. This form of the medical condition has its own name in psychiatry – premenstrual dysphonic disorder. This is a severe form of the syndrome with accentuate symptoms, including severe depression, feelings of hopelessness, anger, anxiety, low self-esteem, difficulties of concentration, tension and irritability. A number of women with severe post menstrual syndrome can show a certain parallel psychiatric disorder.

Post Menstrual Cramps

Uterine cramps are one of the most common sensations that women may experience after menstruation. There are 2 types of cramps:

  • Muscle cramps, mainly caused by prostaglandins – chemicals which affect muscle tone. Some prostaglandins cause relaxation, while other cause contraction. A diet rich linoleic and liblenic acids, found in vegetables and fish, increase prostaglandins which help in relaxing the muscles.
  • Congestive cramps cause the body to retain water and salt. If you want to avoid them, you should stop eating wheat or dairy products, alcohol, caffeine and refined sugar.

Natural Options for Reducing Cramps

  • Do more exercises – they`ll improve blood flow and oxygen throughout the body, including in the pelvis.
  • Don`t use tampons – a lot of women accuse cramps when using tampons.
  • Don`t use IUD as a birth control method.
  • Avoid red meat, refined sugar, milk and fatty foods.
  • Eat a lot of fresh vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and fruits.
  • Avoid caffeine – this constricts blood vessels and increases blood pressure.
  • Meditation, massage.
  • Drink cinnamon tea, especially if you experience fatigue.
  • Put the pepper when making food. This dilates blood vessels and improves blood circulation.
  • Take a deep breath.
  • Avoid soft drinks without sugar.

Post Menstrual Syndrome or Pregnant

Post menstrual symptoms and pregnancy signs are similar to such degree that at first it becomes quite difficult to establish a clear difference. Around 85% of women experience PMS at one moment or another – it`s a common characteristic of the menstrual cycle.

PMS actually means a combination of physical, psychological and emotional aspects of the menstrual cycle, which tend to have a certain effect on work, social relationships or the wellbeing feeling. These symptoms vary from mild to severe. Pregnancy signs also vary from one woman to another and especially depending on the pregnancy.

Nausea after Period Ends

Are you nauseous lately? Nausea is common before, during and after periods, but for a lot of women this body symptom can hang around quite some time after menstruation.

To better understand why women experience nausea after periods, we should take a closer look at the connection between the digestive system and menstrual cycle. As you may already know, a lot of the signs, such as nausea during or after periods, are caused the hormonal changes. In this situation, it`s believed to be related to prostaglandins.

Before a period starts, the woman`s body releases prostaglandins. This type of chemicals sometimes leads to muscle contractions that crash the endometrium of the uterus. However, high prostaglandin levels may lead to abdominal contractions, and when this happens, you may be left with a sensation of nausea or diarrhea. – Read more here!

Generally, the prostaglandin levels turn to normal after the period ends. However, sometimes the body may be dealing with hormonal imbalances, so the levels of prostaglandins might be elevated for longer period of time. This may mean that you can feel a bit nauseous for longer after menstruation.

Post Menstrual Bleeding

Bleeding outside the menstrual flow is called dysfunctional uterine bleeding or methorrhagia. According to experts, post menstrual bleeding isn`t something unusual in the case of young women who confronted recently with their first period, or in the case of women approaching menopause.

When women with a regular menstrual cycle are concerned, post menstrual bleeding may constitute a reason of concern because it may indicate the presence of endometrial cancer or other diseases.

Post menstrual bleeding may be a reason to worry when talking about endometriosis, adenomyosis, fibroids or polyps, pelvic inflammation, ectopic pregnancy, incomplete abortion or cancer. However, uterine or endometrial cancer incidence is lower than breast cancer, and in young women is quite rare.

Postmenopausal Syndrome

The postmenopausal period starts 1 year after the last period. The hormonal level continues to decrease and menopausal symptoms are present, possibly accentuated during the first year or the following years. Estrogen and progesterone are stabilized to low levels and the symptoms alleviate. This is the period women may enjoy the lack of menstrual cycles and contraception problems.

After 1 or 2 years of postmenopausal period, the estrogen level balances at a low level. Because estrogen plays an important role in other functions of the organism, the low level has effects which include the low of minerals from the bone tissue, thinner skin, vaginal atrophy and urinary tract.

Tired after Period Ends

Women who approach the reproductive years, who may experience abundant bleeding, fibroid tumors, uterine polyps or the ones who gave birth recently, may develop anemia, which is one of the main causes of fatigue.

The problems appear when bleeding leads to a deficiency of hemoglobin that carries oxygen absorbed from air in the lungs towards all the tissues and organs of the body. If these aren`t supplied with sufficient oxygen, fatigue may emerge.

Other causes which “stimulate” the development of anemia are: internal bleeding, iron deficiency, folic acid and B12 vitamin. Also, kidney diseases can manifest by anemia and signs of dizziness, chills and nervousness. – Check this out!

To diagnosis anemia, the doctor will make a blood test, and usually treatment consists of administrating iron supplements and consuming foods rich in iron, such as spinach, broccoli or red meat.

Note: with proper treatment, the sensation of constant tiredness will disappear in maximum 1 month.

Treatment

Your doctor can prescribe you one or more medications for postmenstrual syndrome. The success of these drugs varies from one woman to another. The drugs commonly prescribed for this medical condition include:

  • Antidepressants: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which include fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft) and others, were successful in reducing some of the symptoms, such as fatigue, cravings or sleeping problems. They are considered first-line agents for treating PMS. These drugs are, generally, taken on a daily basis. For some women who experience this syndrome, the use of antidepressants might be limited to 2 weeks before menstruation.
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): If they are taken before or at the beginning of menstruation, such as naproxen or ibuprofen, sodium can ease cramps as well as the discomfort in breasts.
  • Diuretics: When physical exercises and limiting salt intake aren`t enough to reduce weight gain and bloating caused by postmenstrual syndrome, diuretics can help the organism eliminate more water through the kidneys. Spironolactone is a diuretic that can help relieve some of the symptoms of this disorder.
  • Oral contraceptives: These medication can stop ovulation and stabilize hormonal imbalances, thus offering an improvement of the condition`s symptoms.
  • Medroxyprogesterone (Depo-Provera): In case of severe PMS, this injection can be used to temporarily stop ovulation. However, Deop-Provera can cause an increase of some of the signs, such as gaining weight, increase of cravings, headache or depressive moods.
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