Self Care

Maladies Of Mensies: Period Symptoms And Menstrual Disorders


Sjoe gurrrl, periods are exhausting, and not just the bleeding, right? Other less spoken-about symptoms can get you down during your monthlies too. Our hormones are up and down - and this makes us hungrier, sleepier, moodier, and for a lot of women, it can cause period flu.

Haibo - even more to deal with?!

What Is Period Flu?

Okay, so what’s the tea on period flu? It’s also known as Menstrual Malaise, and acts like a real flu -sniffles and all! It mostly happens midway through the menstrual cycle (about two weeks before you start bleeding).

Symptoms can feel a lot like Pre Menstrual Syndrome (PMS) and include:

  • Bloating
  • Feeling off-balance
  • Food cravings
  • Constipation or Diarrhoea
  • Headaches
  • Sensitivity to loud noises or bright lights
  • Sore breasts

Yoh, we are in the trenches when it comes to managing all the uncomfortable side effects, ghel.

Thankfully, these symptoms are usually gone within one to two days after your next period starts. The best thing to do is treat the symptoms as they come.

Easing The Pain:

A warm compress like a heating pad or hot water bottle takes care of most cramps and breast pain.

Try to rest as much as you can during your period to tackle any bloating and headaches - and drink lots of water. But we have bills to pay, exams to study for and a whole lot of life to live while on our periods. - so rest is not always an option, neh?

Try to get an over-the-counter pain relief to get you through the worst of it, babes. If you can, take your hot water bottle to work, and wear an extra layer or two to keep your torso warm.

There are also a few serious menstrual disorders to be on the lookout for. If you feel your period symptoms are sus, check with your clinic sister, doctor or healthcare professional ASAP, sis. You don't need to suffer!

What Are Menstrual Disorders?

Menstrual disorders are problems related to a woman's normal menstrual cycle - but these symptoms are a bit more hectic, and can disrupt daily life.

Symptoms May Include:
  • Abnormal bleeding
  • Pain or cramping
  • Depression and sadness
  • Headaches
  • Bloating or fullness in the abdomen

How Are Menstrual Disorders Diagnosed?

Your doctor will ask you questions about your experience with your period, and the different symptoms you may have had. If they suspect you may have a menstrual disorder, they may ask you to keep a diary of your menstrual cycles, including dates, level of flow, pain and any other symptoms.

Other Tests Include:
  • Blood tests
  • Hormonal tests
  • Ultrasound
  • Exploratory surgery

Two common disorders that many women face are endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).


Our sisters with Endometriosis report having constant pain, at any part of the cycle. The tissue (the make-up of cells inside the body) that grows in your uterine lining grows outside of it in patients with Endo. This can lead to inflammation and scar tissue forming in the pelvic area. Hun, it can sometimes spread even further in the body like the stomach and intestines (WTF??). This causes intense pain, irregular bleeding (bleeding even when you are not on your period), and even fertility issues.

The cause of endometriosis is unknown. There is no known way to prevent or cure it either, sis. But its symptoms can be treated with medicines or surgery.

PCOS: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

PCOS is a hormonal imbalance. It can lead to wacky hormone levels, unpredictable periods, extra androgen (male hormones) floating around, and even cysts in your ovaries! Ouch.

For women who are ready to start a family, those irregular periods can mess with your baby-making plans.

There is no cure, but you can tame some of its not-so-lekker symptoms, babes. There are meds to make you more comfortable, and certain diets that make the hormonal changes more tolerable.

If you have PCOS or diabetes in your family, ask your doctor or nurse about any period symptoms you think are dodgy. Chat to me on WhatsApp or via Facebook DMS and find some clinics near you!

I got your back!
Big Sis