Editor’s Note: We at POPSUGAR recognize that people of many genders and identities have female sex organs and menstruate, not just those who are women. For this particular story, sources referred to people who menstruate as women.
The symptoms you experience prior to getting your period aren’t necessarily set in stone, which is potentially good news if you thought you’d always deal with mood swings every month for the rest of your life spent menstruating.
“PMS symptoms are going to change really throughout life in general, so it’s not necessarily just when you’re getting older,” Tamika Cross, MD, a board-certified ob-gyn based in Houston, explained.
These changes are likely due to hormonal fluctuations within the body, Dr. Cross said. For example, there may be differences in your PMS symptoms and in your cycle before childbearing, after giving birth, and then also when you’re going through menopause.
Essentially, just because you had cramps as a teenager, doesn’t mean you’re definitely going to have cramps as an adult in your 20s or 30s.
According to Amy Roskin, MD, a board-certified ob-gyn and The Pill Club‘s head of clinical operations and medical director, PMS symptoms shifting can also be a response from changes in your physiology and environmental status.
Some people may even experience a wide range of period symptoms throughout their life. FYI: symptoms of PMS can really run the gamut from emotional symptoms, like anxiety and crying spells, to physical side effects, like headaches and joint pain.
However, it’s important to be mindful of the intensity and severity of your PMS and period-related symptoms. Dr. Roskin said that horrible, debilitating menstrual cramps could be a sign of other health conditions and should be checked out by a doctor. “If a woman had mild mood changes as her primary PMS symptom but these became more severe or associated with suicidal thoughts, immediate action with evaluation and treatment would be indicated,” Dr. Roskin added.
If you have any concerns about PMS or your period at all or notice any concerning changes, never hesitate to reach out to a doctor for advice.