If you’re concerned about your PMS symptoms and are worried that you may in fact be perimenopausal the first thing you need to do is identify the differences in the two conditions.

We’re all fairly familiar with the idea of PMS but have you ever really sat down and read about it? PMS or premenstrual syndrome refers to the emotional and physical symptoms that happen in the two weeks before your period. PMS is most common in women in their 20s and 30s but can happen at any age. There are many symptoms and you might have all of them or be lucky and experience just a few of them. The most common physical symptoms can include bloating, fluid retention, constipation or diarrhoea, headaches, nausea, muscle aches and pains, fatigue, weight gain, breast tenderness, skin changes, and a flare in cold sores or acne. The emotional manifestations might be crying spells, anxiety, depression, poor concentration, mood swings, irritability, disrupted sleep, reduced libido and food cravings.

lady in pain on the sofa


Well doesn’t that sound great? More than a few of us will recognise a number of those feelings. The important thing to remember about PMS is that the one thing that will ease it is the arrival of your period. So, you could have a combination of those symptoms for two weeks, then bleed for five days and then be fine for the whole rest of the month or, you know, about 11 days!!

Perimenopause is the phase of hormonal change that happens in the 10 years before the end of your period when the actual menopause kicks in. You may have your PMS symptoms but alongside those your period may change its flow or become more erratic. You might start to experience the one menopause symptom we all know about – hot flushes - but you could also experience vaginal dryness, unexplained weight gain, a difference in your moods and/or changes to your skin.

The symptoms of PMS and perimenopause are pretty similar and it can be hard to differentiate between the two but what’s important to note is that if it really is perimenopause the symptoms won’t be alleviated by the arrival of your period.

 Writing in a diary

But how do you get a diagnosis? The first thing you should do is track what’s happening, keep a diary of your cycle and the symptoms you’re experiencing for a couple of months so you’re able to identify if there is a pattern. Speak to your GP about what’s going on and what concerns you have.

Whether it’s PMS or the perimenopause, there are things you can do to help keep yourself balanced during your cycle. Maintaining a healthy diet is important (though you can leave room for an occasional Friday night chocolate binge, you are only human), getting out and doing some exercise is important, even when it’s the last thing on your mind; and taking time to rest and get adequate sleep can help.


If you are in perimenopause, you can try a supplement such as Cleanmarine MenoMin which has been formulated specifically to give extra nutritional support for peri-menopausal and menopausal women.