By now, you probably all know the most common and telltale signs of PMS: cramps, bloating, the need to consume all of the chocolate in the world, headaches, irrational anger, and general emotional turmoil that becomes the subject of one too many TV and movie storylines. These symptoms are so common and discussed that, at a certain point, it can start to feel like these are the only things you should be feeling in the days before you get your period – and if you feel anything else, it’s probably unrelated, or according to WebMD, a sign you’re about to die. Stop stressing out, though, because there are other weird things that happen during PMS, they just aren’t talked about quite as much.
Let’s just a personal story as an example. I experience horrible PMS that lasts for a minimum of a week. A few days before I get my period, I have a day or two of unexplained misery where I suddenly find myself not only hating every inch of my body and every clothing item I own, but also hating every person on the planet. I turn into a horrible person who refuses to talk to or engage with my lovely friends, except to glare at them while thinking about how much I want to be in bed, by myself, a million miles away from another human. It is not my best quality, and it always feels like, “Sorry, I’m getting my period,” is a lame excuse for being such a raging bitch for days on end.
ANYWAY. Weirder things than that can happen, my friends, and maybe you experience some of them and think you’re all alone in the world. You aren’t! This Ask Reddit thread asked women about the strangest thing that happens to them when PMSing, and their responses are interesting and also comforting, so much so that we had to include them here:
Feeling Uncomfortable In Your Own SkinSometimes right before my period, I get this feeling of wanting to rip all of my skin off. I feel awkward in my body and everything bothers me about it. I've always felt freaked out by the feeling, but apparently, I'm not alone. User fyrephoenix911 says, "My skin and body get extremely irritable....like just air bothers me...ugh it's weird." It's probably just all of the hormones making you feel crazed. Source: iStock
Leg PainA lot of people complain about cramps or sore breasts, but other parts of your body can feel pain during PMS also. User The_Grand_Panjandrum says, "Leg pain. It took me a long time to make the connection. It's not the only symptom I get, and I don't get it every single time, but it's definitely the strangest." Leg pain is more than likely a symptom of water retention - not everyone feels it in bloating in their stomach, some people feel it in other body parts, like their legs. Source: iStock
Shortness Of BreathI usually know when I'm about to get my period, because the day or night before, I feel very short of breath. It took me a long time to make the connection, and it really stressed me out - but I'm not the only one who feels this! User DirtySoapFlakes says her strangest symptom is, "Feeling really out of breath." Source: iStock
A Stronger Sense Of SmellIt shouldn't be too surprising that PMS can trigger a stronger sense of smell - this is also an early symptom of pregnancy. User tomorrowistomato says, "My sense of smell becomes way more sensitive. Also, I get restless legs and have disturbed sleep/vivid dreams." Source: iStock
Not Wanting To Be TouchedIt's no secret that PMS can make a woman feel uncomfortable, angry, annoyed, and generally very moody. So, it sort of makes sense that one way that comes out is not wanting to be touched. User I3eeI3op says, "About a day or two before my period starts I do not want to be touched. No kissing no touching no cuddling. Than my period starts and like magic I want all the attention!" Same, girl. Same. Source: iStock
Swollen EyesYou've probably never been warned about swollen eyes during PMS, but it can happen! user Butt-Factory says, "A few days before my period, I wake up with my eyes swollen. It was a lot worse when I was a teenager, they would be very noticeably puffy and red all day long." This is also probably a side effect of extra water retention. Source: iStock
Sore, Sensitive NipplesYou're probably already aware that PMS can make your boobs feel sore and swollen, but not just your breasts - your nipples can feel it too. User EnjoyKnope says, "Extremely sore nipples for a few days beforehand. It's uncomfortable just wearing a bra. I hate it." Source: iStock
SweatingIf you feel like you're sweating more before getting your period, it might not be a coincidence. User Camembert_93 says, "I sweat like crazy at night time during the first few nights of my period. I look like I've been for a swim fully clothed sometimes. My boyfriend will roll over to give me a cuddle and I yell at him for even attempting to touch me. I get so hot and flustered with it. During the day I'm fine though. No sweating at all. Go figure. I'm 24 and if it's any indication of hot flushes during menopause then I'm stuffed." Source: iStock
A Sore ThroatHere's one of the weirdest PMS symptoms I've ever heard of: a sore throat. User rosewater98 says, "I get a horrible sore throat. Like, mono bad. My tonsils swell up to the point where they touch and I just feel like I need to sleep all day. Luckily my university schedule makes it so that I don't have that many hours of class and I can sleep during the day and work at night. But I get really irritated and crabby, because I can't eat anything without it hurting." Source: iStock
Extreme ApathyFeeling moody is just a normal part of PMS for many, many women. But what about feeling apathetic about everything? Sometimes it's even worse than the rage fits or the crying episodes. User abqkat says, "Also, the apathy. I'm hungry as hell but don't want to cook, horny but too lazy to find my husband or masturbate, bored but unable to find something to do, want to watch TV but will argue with myself for 30 minutes on what to watch. It's a very odd feeling of restlessness and annoyance at everything I, or someone else, suggest" Source: iStock
Sexual CravingsYou might already know that PMS can make you feel really horny - and sometimes that makes you want to do sex stuff you aren't normally into. User Srslyjc says, "right before i get my period the idea of receiving oral sex gets really appealing, even tho the other 95% of the time i feel totally neutral towards it. i guess my body's telling me to get it while it's hot" Source: iStock
Feeling Like The Left Side Of Your Brain Isn't WorkingOkay wait, this might be the weirdest symptom I've read: user recyclopath_ says, "Before I was on birth control there was about 2 days off my PMS that I basically couldn't contact the left half of my brain. I couldn't do more than basic math, any kind of logic, tying shoes are even difficult and I tended to be easily confused and frustrated. I'm an engineer so you can see how frustrating and different this would be for me. It feels basically like I am drunk with a fever. On my current birth control it's only about 12h, if I'm lucky I sleep through most of it." Source: iStock
Serious NostalgiaPMS doesn't just make women angry - it can also make them very sad and nostalgic. User thelittlemiss says, "Intense nostalgia. Two days before I start, I feel like I'm walking in a daydream of past memories - which usually leads to me crying etc. Sometimes happy crying, sometimes sad crying." Source: iStock
Eating Everything In SightIf you haven't heard, now you know: PMS can make you eat like crazy. This happens to me every single month! User bulborb says, "I have exactly one day, 24 hours, within 3 days of my period starting in which I eat like I'm a desperate starving animal. I can't help it. In the past, I have even started shivering while I binge." Source: iStock
What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to you during PMS? Tell us in the comments!