What is PMT?

by Anita Ryan

First Time Mum at 40


According to the definition:

‘Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) refers to physical and emotional symptoms that occur in the one to two weeks before a woman’s period. Symptoms often vary between women and resolve around the start of bleeding. Common symptoms include acne, tender breasts, bloating, feeling tired, irritability, and mood changes.’

Well then, I definitely have it and I’ve always had it!

My most common symptom, each month, is that feeling when you just feel ‘BLAH’ for no reason; like ‘I just want to lie on the couch and hardly speak – I’m not in a mood and no-one has done anything wrong – but I just feel lethargic.’  This is the best way that I can describe ‘that feeling’.

My next common symptom is 10-14 days before my period: I’m high as a kite; I get the giggles; I am massively business-driven; the house is cleaned from top to bottom at the speed of light; I offer everyone direction in their life whether they like it or not and I tick all my ‘to do’ list over and over. The next day: I crash! I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing with my life, I feel unfulfilled and overwhelmed! In a word: a roller-coaster!


The comedy to this is that my fella is well cottoned on to this by now…

…5 years together and 2 babies so he’s seen and heard it all!

Because I have my own business, with the highs and lows that come with that, he can spot my hormones a mile away.

When I have the giggles – which usually are at his expense – he is very good and laughs too, then he says, in his Irish accent: ‘ah, here she is: high as a kite and tomorrow she’ll be on the kitchen floor crying! She’s useless! Ha ha ha!’

It really tickles me when he says it, as I know inside that he’s so accurate.

Lately, my cycle has started to change from an accurate 28 day cycle to every 3 weeks and, every now and again, a later one – like 5 weeks – and then back to 3! Flipping heck, no wonder I’m all over the place!

I went to the doctors to check what was going on. They sent me for a scan and all is ok but she did say though, I’m PRE PRE menopausal.

I’m 43. I’m not shocked, I’m not in the menopause yet and I’m not near it, but I’m heading in that direction. Why wouldn’t I be? I’m not heading towards being 11, when I started my periods, I’m heading towards 50! Though, yes, I know it’s years away.


On a super positive note

I didn’t have my first child until I was 40 so there was clearly nothing wrong with my fertility. My partner and I were only together 6 months and we were very sexually active – not like now with 2 toddlers, haha! Though we had lots of time together and we were living the dream, then when we fell pregnant we were shocked, but delighted.

We had our first and, 4 months later, fell pregnant again and we miscarried. Though it wasn’t planned, every single minute I couldn’t believe we were pregnant.

And then again, 2 months later, when our boy was 6 months old, we were pregnant with a girl. She arrived safely, when I was 41 years old.

We fell pregnant yet again when she was 4 months old and, again, miscarried. At this point, off he went to get his tubes tied because we were pregnant just looking at each other, it seemed!

Now, in terms of contraception, after our first born they suggested the coil being fitted, so I went to the doctors but she couldn’t fit it, as it simply wouldn’t take, and so she referred me to a gynaecologist. I was waiting for my appointment and – would you believe it – we fell
pregnant in between. I didn’t think about other methods at that point, if you get my jist, we were just caught up in the moment!

After our second child, we had no plans as such, we were just bog-eyed with sleep deprivation and our lives were busier than ever. Plus, after two close c sections back to back, sex wasn’t really on my agenda.

So, off he went to get the snip and, ironically, we don’t really have that much time for each other now, though we are getting better as the children are getting older. Really, I know I’d be pregnant again and again, we only seem to look at each other and it happens.

It is so strange, after years and years of being on and off the pill, our previous failed relationships had led us to be together and now our kiddies at this stage of life are MINE, OURS and they have THEIR destiny ahead of them. I hope that my daughter’s future
menstrual health and fertility are healthy and that she has a partner as loving and understanding with her hormones in the future.


Anita x

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