How to track PMS in Clue

Feeling really out of sorts before menstruation? It could be premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

PMS is a recurring pattern of emotional, physical and behavioral changes in the days before your period that can impact your daily life. These include headaches, bloating, irritability, back pain, joint or muscle aches, and sleeping and digestive issues.

What’s considered normal and healthy

Up to 80% of people say they experience one or more premenstrual symptoms and 20–30% say their symptoms are so significant that PMS affects their daily lives (1).

Despite being common, scientists still aren’t sure exactly why PMS happens — or why some people have symptoms while others don’t.

Each individual’s experience of PMS is unique in intensity, length and variety of symptoms (2). If you experience PMS to any degree, the timing and collection of your symptoms will stay about the same, but may vary in intensity each cycle (3–5). Things like diet, caffeine, stress, increasing age and depression can increase the intensity of your symptoms (4).

Indicators

Over 150 symptoms have been attributed to PMS. Some common symptoms are:

  • Headaches and migraines
  • Breast pain, fullness and tenderness
  • Bloating, water retention and weight gain
  • Nausea and constipation
  • Anxiety, tearfulness, agitation or emotional sensitivity
  • Trouble sleeping, acne and food craving (6)

Tracking

Using Clue to track your premenstrual symptoms can help you define what PMS looks like for you. Tracking will also help you recognize the environmental factors that may amplify PMS (ie, lack of sleep, increased intake of sugar, etc).

You’ll find PMS located under the Emotions category in Clue and when you track PMS it’s represented as moving clouds in the cycle view. If you stop tracking it, they’ll go away.

Everyone’s premenstrual experience is different. Some people only experience physical symptoms, while others experience emotional symptoms. If you’d like to track a wider variety of premenstrual symptoms (rather than just general PMS), we recommend creating and tracking custom tags.

Not everybody experiences PMS

Culture and media play their part in shaping our perceptions and sometimes harsh presumptions of PMS.

Dealing with premenstrual symptoms does not necessarily equate to PMS. Premenstrual syndrome is a medical diagnosis that can severely affect a person’s life, while premenstrual symptoms can feel uncomfortable but mild.

It’s important to understand the difference and know your body. Tracking will help you learn more about your own unique experience rather than the generalized behaviors of all menstruating people.

Download Clue today to start tracking your premenstrual symptoms.


References

  1. Biggs WS. Premenstrual Syndrome and Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. American Family Physician. 2011
  2. Vliet Elizabeth. Screaming to be Heard: Hormonal Connections Women Suspect and Doctors Still Ignore. Revised Edition. 2001. First Rowan & Littlefield.
  3. Allen LM, Lam AC. Premenstrual syndrome and dysmenorrhea in adolescents. Adolescent dysmenorrhea in adolescents. Adolescent Medicine: State of the Art Reviews. 2012 Apr;23(1): 139–63
  4. Dickerson LM, Mazyck PJ, Hunter MH. Premenstrual Syndrome. American Family Physician. 2003 April 15;67(8):1743–1752.
  5. Braverman PK. Premenstrual syndrome and premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology. 2007 February. Volume 20, Issue 1, pages 3–12.
  6. Durain D. Primary dysmenorrhea: assessment and management update. Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health. 2004; 49:520–528