Have you been feeling a little bit dysregulated, emotional, and unusually tired? It is very likely that these are signs your period is coming tomorrow.
It does not seem to matter what age we are, how long we’ve had our period, or even if we track our menstrual cycle – our periods can often take us by surprise in our busy day-to-day lives!
I can’t count the times I have said “oh that’s why I’ve been like that this week!” or heard my friends say exactly the same thing. “Ahhhh, that’s why I couldn’t stop crying yesterday” or “Oh that’s why I have been so hungry!”
PMS symptoms can be found in up to 48% of women according to this medical review. That’s around half of menstruators being influenced by fluctuating hormones – makes you wonder why this kind of stuff isn’t taught in schools huh?
One of the first signs your period is coming tomorrow would be experiencing common PMS symptoms (Premenstrual Syndrome) and hormonal changes:
Period-related breakouts and hormonal acne are uncomfortable but tell-tale signs that your period is due. Find a skincare regime that works for you and be mindful of taking extra care of your skin at this time.
Abdominal cramps of the uterine muscles can cause pain in your tummy, back, and thighs. Studies suggest that if you can reduce inflammation in your body then the pain will be reduced.
Cyclical breast pain is very common, breasts feel tender and uncomfortable. The increased Oestrogen levels enlarge ducts causing breast tenderness that eases once your period starts.
If you find that you have tender breasts throughout the month please get in touch with your health provider for a check-up.
If you have an upset stomach or swelling try drinking more water and avoiding salty or sweet processed foods. Due to hormone levels increasing and decreasing at this time it’s a bit of a roller coaster internally and can be helped by maintaining a nutritious diet.
Emotional symptoms like lower tolerance, anger, or tearful mood swings are very common at this time and can literally be blamed on the hormones.
Be particularly kind to yourself at this time. There is no ‘right or wrong’ at this time – if you are feeling low, rest. If you are feeling sad, cry. This will all ease when you start the menstrual phase.
When our body is craving something please pay attention. If it is something sweet, like chocolate our body is often requiring magnesium. Salty crisps? Our body is probably craving trace minerals and sodium. (I think it is also ok to have a little of what you crave as long it doesn’t make you feel worse!)
Menstruation fatigue is a real thing and not a symptom to be ignored. Our bodies are busy shedding the uterine lining and hormones are fluctuating daily! Remembering to schedule rest and relaxing into the calendar.
Vaginal discharge may be stickier, clear, or less at this time – a clear sign that your period is around the corner. This is the least fertile time of the month.
As above. Due to changes in your cervix, as you get ready to shed, your vagina and vulva area can feel dry. There are many good over-the-counter medicines you can use for this. Just because it’s not something that people talk about very often doesn’t mean that lots of women do not experience it! you are not alone.
Nip to your local pharmacies and purchase an ‘intimate’ moisturizer. This can make sanitary products more comfortable when your period arrives also.
Our core body temperature fluctuates at this point in our menstrual cycle. Many women find that hormone fluctuations leave them feeling hotter in the lead-up to their period.
Due to a rush of blood flow and a surge in hormones, women often notice a sudden peak in their libido a day or so before menstruation.
Back pain is connected to lower abdominal cramps at this time of the month. Heat pads, warm baths, and slow stretches are good for pain relief.
If you notice any of these signs your period is coming tomorrow maybe you could jot it down in your diary or phone app.
Noticing these things about yourself, and what makes them worse or better is extremely empowering.
Understanding the common signs of changes in your menstrual cycle allows you to know yourself better and start the journey of ‘befriending’ your cycle.
Gentle yoga, walking, and exercise are good for you when you have your menses. Nonstrenuous activities increase blood flow and can decrease pain levels.
This is a great opportunity to eat healthy food and as much of it as you want!
You could take this one step further and do some research on what it means if your body is craving something
With hormones fluctuating and emotions all over the place, this is a good time to hang out with loved ones that appreciate you, no matter what.
Maybe you just watch a movie or hang over a good meal, scheduling this into your calendar can give you something to look forward to.
If your anxiety and stress levels are high at this time nothing works better than a good night’s sleep! As before, knowing how to look after yourself in your cycle is very empowering and a practice of self care.
Drink lots of fluids (and I m not talking about coffee!) At this time in your cycle you retain a lot of fluids – it is vital to drink ‘clean’ and lots of it. This can help reduce bloating, cramps, and stomach upsets.
I’ve written the word ‘befriend’ because if you are anything like me, your period probably has not been a good friend to you over the years.
I have found that it has rudely interrupted special plans, romantic endeavors, or important meetings.
It has not been met with a surge of joy and expectancy (well, maybe on the odd occasion)Until recently that is. When I learned that there is a hidden power in this cycle of ours. According to this study from 2016, the average cycle lasts 28 days.
This is the first step to being friends with your period. Knowing when it’s coming and how long it will last can make all the difference in terms of managing the symptoms and feeling prepared.
You can use apps, a calendar, or even notches on a stick (our ancestors did this!) Whatever works for you. Once you know the length of your cycle and when it is arriving you can start to break your month into segments. I like to think of each cycle as a ‘year of seasons’.
A day or so before my period, and during bleeding, I consider ‘winter’ (the menstrual phase). I do not plan meetings or big events at this time, but try and do quiet restful activities with no big demand on my internal resources.
The next ‘season’ is spring (the follicular phase) In this season we are alert and full of ideas – a great time to have meetings and create new projects.
After spring, and summer (the ovulation phase) this can be much like last week, depending on our hormone levels. Like summer, it’s good to have fun, meet with friends and get on with projects in this season.
The final stage of the month (the luteal phase) is much like autumn. This is a great time to prep for the ‘winter’ ahead and gather a list of tasks that you can do. I use this season to complete the ‘grunt work/repetitive work’ that needs to be completed from the beginning of the cycle. I do not find this season an easy time to access my creative self, though every menstruator will have their own reality of this.
When you start noticing the patterns in your own cycle, use them to your advantage and empowerment.
Amidst all the varied signs your period is coming tomorrow there may be a few that you are beginning to realize are more unusual and intense for you.
When I was 16 my symptoms were violent and extreme. I was very ill every month. I discovered that I had endometriosis, and as I went through life adenosis and fibroids as well.
It was important to have these diagnosed so that I could make choices about my healthcare.
Hormonal birth control has revolutionized how women control their reproductive decisions. For many, hormonal birth control helps to reduce hormonal fluctuations, prevent pregnancy, or even combat severe periods.
By providing women with hormonal alternatives that don’t require surgery, hormonal birth control has made waves in the reproductive health field and given women more choices than ever before when it comes to their bodies.
Despite its popularity, hormonal birth control has its own challenges from side effects to increased risk of certain health conditions, so it is important for women to understand the risks involved in taking hormonal birth control before embracing it for long-term use.
If you have noticed any negative change in your mental health when on hormonal birth control, please consult with your healthcare provider.
If you are experiencing irregular periods, heavy blood flow, erratic mood swings, and changes in behavior leading to poor mental health please consult with your doctor. This may be caused by a disorder called PMDD or a disorder called primary dysmenorrhea.
The sooner you and your healthcare provider work out a care plan for you the better. Please do not suffer in silence. I did not know these conditions existed and felt very isolated for a long time. I don’t want that for you!
There are many subtle, and not-so-subtle signs your period is coming tomorrow. PMS symptoms vary from person to person but we can come to learn our bodies’ common period symptoms.