Thursday, August 20, 2009

Is PMS worse after having children?

Sorry guys, this is a women-only post. You wouldn't be interested, trust me.

I have been wondering if there was any evidence that PMS symptoms can worsen once you've had a few children. I've done a little research on symptoms and treatments, and summarised the best I found here.

In my case, ever since my cycle resumed after baby number three, that time of the month has been starkly evident - much more than ever before.

Before I had this gorgeous boy of mine I noticed almost nothing. But since having him, this is what I've had:

  • Lots of bloating - to the point that my dad, with one look at me, asked if I was pregnant again! (Tact is not one of his strong points, but at least you can count on him to tell it like he sees it.)
  • Moodiness - more like full-on depression and edgyness lasting around three days. I was feeling awful the last few days and fighting back tears most of yesterday, and today, guess what?
  • Pain - not so much this time, but two whole days (!) of abdominal cramps the two previous months.
The black mood is the worst. The rest I can handle, no worries at all.
But this horrible, heavy, woe-is-me, can't-be-bothered to wash a dish or pick up the phone to call a friend-mood is the awfulest of awful.

I tell myself that there is no reason to feel this way; nothing particularly bad has happened, it is probably the hormones. It makes little difference.

I had to fight back the urge to call my husband and beg him to come home by four o'clock in the afternoon.
It even crossed my mind to wonder if post-natal depression can come 16 months after the event!
Three days of that is bad enough. To anyone who lives with this all the time - my heart goes out to you.
Today, all the colour is back in the world for me. And I had a thought; what if I'm thinking of it the wrong way?
What if my PMS has always been the same; it's just that I'm a lot happier with my lot in life than ever before, so the difference is a lot more marked?
Any suggestions? Anecdotal evidence that PMS, or the experience of it, is better or worse after having kids?

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  1. oh Marilyn,

    Here is a cyber hug first.


    I haven't ever thought about it in the past but pms was always pretty bad for me. I always feel really sad and the slightest sarcasm can set me right off.

    Even in pregnancy I find that mood swings can happen. Just last week I bit my poor husbands head off for a silly joke. I also felt really awful all day. Every time I looked in a mirror I thought you are so fat and ugly and really believed it. I was hating that my stomach is going to expand even more and thinking Steve would never want to look at me again.

    I often wonder if the mood swings are from eating habits since they happen to me no matter what my state in life.

  2. Have you tried St John's Wort? It's natural, but might affect other prescriptions you might be on.
    PMS really is the pits - men don't understand how good they've got it, thought they do have to deal with *us*, hehe!

  3. Thanks Laura, I'm not taking anything so I might give St John's Wort a try next time.

  4. Hi I came across your blog as I was experiencing the same thing. Many times, I myself thought I was pregnant again (my husband and I use natural form of protection as we aren't fan of condoms and pills) because of my terrible mood swings, headache, tender breasts and oh-so-bloated tummy. The volume of blood also changed: from 3 days of heavy to 1 light day to 1 to 2 days to moderate but longer light days. (I took pregnancy tests each time but they always come out negative. In contrast, whenever I get pregnant I always get two glaring blue lines even before missed periods and even with cheap pregnancy test kits).

    It doesn't help that I'm still carrying my post-pregnancy weight gain (I'm still working on weight loss through exercise and cutting down of sweets).

    I was thinking of going back to my OB to refer me to an endocrinologist as I'm beginning to suspect hypothyroidism (my Mom and grandma have/had it).

    After reading your blog, I guess it's normal after all. But I'm still on the look our for symptoms of hypothyroidism. Thanks.


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