I’m not going to lie, my world was rocked recently when I discovered that your period might not actually sync up with the cycle of people you live with. Have all those dorm stories I’ve heard been utter fabrications? I mean, it was believable enough, given how weird periods can be; stopping out of nowhere, being heavier some months than others, completely messing with our hormones…why wouldn’t they also sync up with other people’s passive aggressive unfertilized eggs?
But like I said, periods are weird, and there’s plenty of other weird menstrual facts to tide you over. For example, PMS can also be altered–usually, made a zillion times worse than it already is–by outside factors. Yep, while your body is going absolutely bonkers from hormonal hell on the inside, there are things on the outside–like your environment or your diet–that can also lead to absolutely monstrous PMS. From pets (yes, I’m serious), to traveling to a different time zone (yes…I’m serious), check out these seven weird things that can affect your PMS.
Your Cat's PoopRight, so let's just get right into this cat thing. Apparently cats’ poop contains a parasite called toxoplasma gondii. It can infect people and, at worse, lodge itself into the brain and cause people to develop schizophrenia due to the toxin changing the serotonin and dopamine level in the brain, causing behavioral changes. It can also cause miscarriages in pregnant women. At best, it can cause you stresses you out and makes your PMS worse. Er, in retrospect, the PMS aspect might not be the biggest concern.
Fatty FoodsWhen we’re about to get our period, we often crave salty, fatty, sugary foods. Well, because people with uteruses can never have a good time, it turns out that those things can actually make PMS symptoms like water retention, bloating, and tummy issues (okay, pooping issues) worse. Great. Why can't we have nice things?
TravelDo you travel a few times a year? Well, plan for you period to get a little out of whack, PMS included. There are a few reasons as to why travel can affect your menstrual cycle: Your circadian rhythm changes, which is your body clock. Your body's clock is a big reason why your period is timed the way it is in the first place. Mess that up, mess your period's scheduele up. Makes sense? Add stress (travelling is never that chill) and a lack of sleep and voila! Your period like, "WTF did you do to me?" Oh, and heads up: Your symptoms will be worse if you travel east. Why? Because your day will be shorter, and your body goes under a lot more stress adjusting to a shorter day than a longer day.
Not Having SexSo this is an odd one. There aren’t a ton of studies done on this, but apparently people who have less sex around that time of the month are more likely to suffer from PMS than those who have more sex. Honestly, since orgasms can help ease PMS symptoms like cramping and stress, that’s not too surprising. But hey, if you don’t have a partner, feel free to ease your PMS with a solo session.
Your BowelsHave you noticed that your pooping habits are a lot more, uh, noticable when you're PMSing? Thank prostaglandins for that. It's a chemical your body releases around that time of the month that helps the uterus contract, but since that's in close proximity to your bowels, the spasms it causes can trigger, well, poop city.
Skipping Your Birth Control PillsSkipping your pill more than once is bad news, and not just because your chances of getting pregnant Increase. See, hormonal changes can make your cycle (your period and the time right before it) all out of whack. The pill's job is, essentially, to control regulate your hormones, so when that regulation changes just a bit, all hell breaks lose. That can mean spotting and bleeding between periods, which is not what you want to be dealing with alongside your usual PMS side effects.
Exercising Too MuchOkay, what is the truth? You've probably heard a bunch of different sources say that you should exercise during and around your period to ease PMS. Well, apparently you just can't do it TOO MUCH, or else your hormones go out of wack and make PMS worse. Jeez, what can we effing DO?
Which of these facts is most surprising to you? Tell us in the comments!