My Story: Having to Learn About PMS on My Own

By Saniya Ghanoui —

XY discusses the sources she used to learn about the PMS symptoms she was experiencing during her menstrual cycle.


OBOS Today: So how did you start to learn about this? From consulting doctors or doing your own research on the internet? Or a bit of both? Could you dive into that a bit? 

XY: Yeah, so, I learned about PMS from biology class and also sex-ed. But they only mention PMS, which is pre-menstrual syndrome, um, or pre-menstrual symptoms depending on who you ask um, there are only a few statements on textbooks and teachers don’t typically cover it simply because you know there is also people who don’t menstruate, men in class, so um, I took it upon myself to read kind of more into it because when I read the symptoms I was like, Hey, I do have most of the symptoms that they mention in the textbook. So, I read more into it and a kind of, jumped into this rabbit hole that’s really beneficial in the way of um, how does that link to hormones and what those imbalance in hormones do to me. And the second area I found was also through visiting a gynecologist who told me that I have imbalanced hormones and frankly until today I still don’t know if my hormones are balanced or not. I don’t know how to balance them. I just kinda go by whether I feel a lot better or a lot worse.   

OBOS Today: Yeah, so you really just have to try and advocate for yourself. That’s so much pressure on you. And honestly, there should be more information out there. You should have that information available to you, so um, that’s not right. Um, so how have you been managing these symptoms or treating them? 

XY: Frankly, so, um, doctor visits are expensive, much less specialized visits like to the gynecologist. And so, I tried Chinese medicine before and then actually kind of cured my cramps. Um, Chinese medicine is also something you have to take in the long-term. Um, and because I moved to the States, I didn’t continue taking them and so my cramps are back. Um, so that’s one way. And the other way is re-reading up again about hormones and how they get regulated or otherwise—really trying out different methods. Like, I’ve tried controlling diet like in the way of maybe eating less sweets and sugars and more vegetables and all of that. But they haven’t really cured my cramps and for a period of time I actually looked at the PCOS. I don’t really know what the long form is now, but— 

OBOS Today: I think it’s polycystic ovary syndrome. 

XY: Yeah. Because I remember a doctor saying that he saw like a growth in my womb, but it doesn’t seem to be harmful and so, I was worried for a period of time that that was what I have. But otherwise, those were the ways, it was really a trial-and-error method even kept away from cold foods like ice cream and cold beverages for five years. And um, that has helped that has helped with cramps, but I just couldn’t resist, you know. Who could ever resist ice cream and cold soda? So, um. Yeah.