Posted at 10:40 pm by Charlotte, on January 24, 2011
Unsolicited uterus update! My problem is I have a wicked case of PMS. (No, I’m not pregnant but I scared you didn’t I?) Aren’t you glad you didn’t ask? Despite having my monthly, well, monthly since I was 16 – late bloomers holla! – I’m still surprised by its appearance every 30ish days. First my appetite ramps up; I’m still not weighing myself (!!!) but back when I was it was not uncommon for me to gain 3-5 pounds during the week before and during my period. Next I get overly emotional about stupid things like Teen Mom. Finally I get immensely irritated by every teensy thing my husband and children do. Somehow I manage to be depressed, enraged and sentimental all in the span of 5 minutes.
I have become a caricature in a birth control commercial. And not even a good birth control commercial! You guys, I’m this woman (yes, I even have the Mirena – which I love, by the way):
Except that if that were my husband sitting there eating jelly beans (first problem: a man who does not share his jelly beans) while my two monstrous children tore apart a supermarket, I’d be throwing the watermelons at his head and not smiling benignly. Seriously who made this commercial?! All it does is make me question the decision making skills of that woman.
In my quest to lessen my, and consequently my poor family’s, pain, I’ve been doing a lot of research lately (read: gathering anecdotal and hilarious stories that are not at all fact-based) into ways to cure PMS.
Being the whiner that I am, I brought up my PMS issues with my OBGYN at my girlie checkup a few weeks ago (also known as the scoot-n-spread). I even made sure to go during the worst of my PMS so that she could witness the horror first hand. She was so impressed – or terrified – by my histrionics that she immediately wrote me a prescription for Yaz and sent me on my pharmaceutical way.
All might have been a Veronica’s song happily-ever-after except that I stopped to look up Yaz on my phone first. In case you missed it, it’s the subject of about a zillion lawsuits from women who had strokes, gall bladder disease and a host of other nastiness from it. I never filled that prescription. Plus, my doctor told me it works by tricking your body into thinking it’s pregnant and so therefore it won’t ovulate. I hate being pregnant. Why on earth would I want to pretend I am?
My other medical option after birth control pills is a hysterectomy. And while it’s tempting to just get rid of the problem at the source, I don’t relish slamming my body into early menopause at 32.
Jenny McCarthy feels my PMS pain. In her new book Love, Lust & Faking It: The Naked Truth About Sex, Lies, and True Romance she talks about her period woes but then shares that not only were they magically cured but she also upped her libido by using prescription progesterone cream. She makes it sound so magical I would have called my doctor already except that it’s after hours. (While we’re discussing lady bits and further alienating any male readers I might have, she tells a hilarious story about the perils of not waxing before her first Playboy shoot.) Also, is this not the funniest book cover you have ever seen?
Other semi-medical options include a variety of supplements. My mother, a nurse, suggested I try wild yam pills as it is a plant form of progesterone that has been shown to help with both PMS and menopause. Other studies have shown that a combination of magnesium, zinc and calcium taken daily can reduce the severity of PMS symptoms by an oddly specific 48%. 5-HTP (also super popular in weight lifting circles thereby creating the only Venn diagram where Arnold Schwarzenegger and Kirstie Alley overlap), megadoses of calcium and even vitamin D have been shown to also reduce PMS pain.
Yoga already saved my life with my Irritable Bowel Syndrome so it is no surprise that it has a few suggested poses for relieving PMS. Unfortunately they include the always-hilarious “wind breaking pose” and my old nemesis “single-nostril breathing.” Plus it’s hard to trust a discipline that tells women they can’t do inversions during their period or it will back up the blood in their uterus. Some women swear by self hypnosis scripts (although I’m guessing these are the same women for whom Hypnobabies worked while instead I writhed in the iron maiden of natural childbirth screaming “What do you $%#@ mean “this is not pain, just pressure”?! It’s $%**$& PAIN morons!” Then there’s meditation, seeing as it’s good for pretty much everything that ails you. When you remember to do it, that is.
And let us not forget that one of the best proven ways to ameliorate PMS is to exercise! I’ve got this one down pat though and I still need more PMS help.
Help me out, I’m desperate! Anyone else get wicked PMS? (And I’m not talking a little chocolate-craving, pimple-ating day or two – I mean a solid week to two weeks of becoming a she-beast.) Have you ever tried any of the above options? What works for you?