PMS: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

In many ways, the very method that women learn about PMS as young girls in school teaches them that talking about PMS and the symptoms associated, like bloating, headaches, cramps, and mood swings, is taboo. In a world where national media coverage remembers to invade even the most private moment, the suffering of women across the world from the ravages of PMS has been forgotten and disregarded. From commercials that whisper about PMS to cartoon character depictions of women suffering from the symptoms, America at large does not speak of the problems or treatments of PMS.

WHY?

Overall, PMS is considered a taboo subject because of its relationship to sex and reproduction. Taught as a one hour extension in a health class with a small pamphlet full of female anatomy diagrams, most young girls feel overwhelmed, self conscious, and uncomfortable at the end of the hours lesson to ask questions. As most girls are not raised in an atmosphere that discusses sex and PMS freely, being thrown into a discussion of both, in front of other girls, at the most awkward stage of their lives is a little like throwing bricks to a drowning person.
What now? Here are some simple steps you can use to break the cycle of PMS before it breaks you:

Look for Changes: Where are the places that you can change PMS discussions? Usually, the best place to start is schools and civic groups. By engaging in your community, either online or offline, you help to spread the word that PMS discussions are acceptable and responsible.

Find the Best Information: When you are involved in groups that discuss PMS, you will learn tons of information about what works best for other women as well as feel connected into a community for support. By learning about what works from research and other women, you can feel in control of what is affecting your life.

Reach Out to Others: Form a group for teenage girls filled with women willing to talk about the symptoms and ways of dealing with PMS. This may be a painful step for most women, but sharing information will make it all easier. Plus, knowing that women will feel stronger because they don’t have to keep quiet about their pain is empowering.
For every step that you take to information yourself and other women of the ways to effectively change their lives during PMS time, you take a step toward fighting the secrecy and taboo status of the mere letters PMS. Let’s face it, if you are having cramps, bloating, and mood swings, then there is not a secret! People already know. All you have to do is acknowledge PMS and take steps to limit the way it changes your life every month.