What Are the Symptoms of Having a Period?

Not all women will experience the same period symptoms, and some may not experience symptoms at all. Knowing it will allow you to manage your period effectively, identifying if everything is on track of if your period is not behaving normally and addressing any potential medical issues more quickly.

Common Symptoms of Period


Premenstrual syndrome or PMS is a common emotional disturbance that is very common. Women may experience mood swings and can be more likely to experience weepiness, fatigue or irrational emotional reactions. Those who are prone to psychotic episodes may see an increase in their symptoms during PMS, though this is much rarer. Women who are pregnant may also experience PMS-like symptoms.


Normal menstrual flow will follow a steady pattern. The flow will start out at a moderate level, increase to its peak point and then slowly taper off. When the flow is very slow or light, this is known as hypomenorrhea. This can be caused by taking birth control pills, but it can also be caused by a lack of the necessary hormones in the body. If your flow suddenly becomes heavy that exceeds 80 mL, then you may be suffering from a hormone imbalance, cancer or other dangers that may need medical attention.

Cramps and Pain

Menstrual pain is very common, especially in younger women as they go through their period. It may include a burning, nauseating, shooting or sharp sensation. This pain is often felt in the abdomen, though the lower back and upper thighs can also experience pain. You may also develop headaches from the alteration in blood flow. If the pain is extremely severe, this is known as dysmenorrhea. This is a very common symptom of younger women, including 67.2 percent of young ladies aged 13-19. This pain can be so severe that the patient is unable to take part in their daily activities when it takes on.

Binge Eating

As period symptoms, women often find themselves eating much more than usual during their period. Cravings for salty or "comfort foods" are particularly common. Doctors believe that the fluctuation of beta-endorphin levels which occurs at this time will cause this symptom to arise. Cravings or the desire to overeat will vary from cycle to cycle in most women who experience this symptom.

Breast Swelling

Due to the increased hormone levels and water retention during the menstrual cycle, the breast may begin to enlarge. This can be uncomfortable for some women who experience a significant growth during this time period.

Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding

Any time your flow is not functioning the way it normally does, it is important to take note. This is especially important if your periods do not follow a regular cycle or last longer than one week. If you are prone to having very long, very heavy periods you could be at risk for developing an iron deficiency or a significant hormone imbalance. Dysfunctional periods are also a warning sign for other conditions such as uterine fibroids, pregnancy, menopause, hormonal shifts or cancer, so you should have your symptoms checked by a doctor.

Relief for Period Symptoms

You should not try to ease the bleeding associated with menstruation. This is a healthy part of the process that allows your uterus to remove its lining so it may generate a fresh one.

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