PMS Relief: Natural vs. Medication

There are a lot of things we don't know about PMS, such as what exactly causes it, but we do know this: it tends to start during the second half of the menstrual cycle, and three out of four women experience symptoms. Of those experiencing it, 5% are completely incapacitated because of the severity of their symptoms! It's no wonder we reach for PMS relief as soon as we get an inkling of potential symptoms!

Before you dole out the drugs, though, consider: There are a variety of natural ways to deal with PMS symptoms like cramps, bloating, and sore breasts. Some of these treatments are as simple as little lifestyle changes:

  • Reduce irritability and prevent binge eating by snacking or eating small meals every three hours instead of the usual three meals a day.
  • While we're on nutrition, remember to eat a balanced diet of whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. Try to avoid a lot of extra salt and sugar.
  • Practice relaxation techniques like progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing, or meditation to help avoid headaches and anxiety.
  • Be kind to your body and switch up your sleep routine and schedule if needed to make sure you're getting enough sleep!
  • Keep hydrated with plenty of water and avoid sugary or caffeinated beverages like soda, coffee, or alcohol to help with bloating and fluid retention.
  • Exercise! While regular exercise should be a priority all the time, it's especially important in the battle for PMS relief.

If basic lifestyle changes aren't really cutting it, there are still some natural options to try. Many herbs will provide you with the same relief as an over the counter medication without the potential side effects. For example:

  • If you take ibuprofen for headaches, try Magnesium.
  • If you take antidepressants to deal with mood issues, try 5-HTP, Vitamin B-6, Vitamin E, Iron, or Manganese.
  • If you up the caffeine during PMS to deal with fatigue, try Green Tea or Fenugreek.
  • The GirlU natural supplement always has your back!

ALWAYS check with your doctor before experimenting with any medications or herbal remedies! There may be interactions you need to be careful of.

Looking for more info about natural PMS relief? Check out the infographic below!

 

PMS symptoms and natural solutions

This handy infographic gives you all the info you need on PMS symptoms and natural solutions.

Your PMS Survival Kit

Tea, teapot, sweaters, cinnamon sticks, and a daffodil

Sometimes you just need a PMS survival kit for some extra TLC during that time of the month.
Image: Shutterstock

Let’s admit it: Sometimes the PMS symptoms are so bad, you just want to curl up and wait it out. That’s when you need a PMS survival kit--a collection of soft, cozy, comfortable things that will help you pamper yourself a bit until you’re ready to get back to the daily grind.

What goes into the perfect PMS survival kit? We took a stab at it with our GirlU Pampering Gift Basket Giveaway (enter now, and be sure to check out the rules and regs!), which includes things like gourmet chocolate, a Hot Cherry Therapeutic Pillow, Eos Lip Balm, and so much more! Here are some more ideas for the perfect self-pampering, PMS-symptom-fighting survival kit:

  • A journal. The size, color, pattern, and type of paper don’t matter—get whatever delights you…and USE IT! For the times when your emotions are going haywire, or you just need a bit of time to yourself, take a moment to write down what you’re thinking and feeling. Getting things down on paper that you know you don’t have to share with anyone can be a great way to let out the bad mojo and get back to feeling better.
  • A huge, plush uterus. Okay, maybe it’s not absolutely necessary, but come on, who doesn’t want a cute plush to cuddle the stuffing out of when you’re feeling down? And if it happens to be shaped like the organ that’s currently causing you woes…well, that’s just an added bonus.
  • A giant glass of water. Staying hydrated is particularly important during PMS, so you definitely want to keep the water handy. And why not use a colorful glass or tumbler to cheer you up?
  • A collection of favorite movies, music, and books. This will vary by person, of course, but what better way to treat yourself than to take some time with the stories you love? Watching a favorite movie, listening to soothing music, or reading a good book can go a long way toward making you feel better.
  • A compact with your supply of GirlUninterrupted! GirlU is the all-natural way to fight PMS symptoms and make sure they stay gone.

So those are our ideas—now what about yours? Do you have go-to snacks or yoga poses just for that time of the month? How about a craft or a particular pair of fuzzy socks that cheers you right up? Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or G+!

The GirlU Difference

GirlU compact

GirlU is the all-natural way to support your uninterrupted life!

When it’s that time of month, and you’re feeling down, you want fast relief guaranteed to get you back to your life ASAP.   GirlU goes above and beyond to give you that relief. If you’re wondering what makes us different from the rest, you’ll want to take a gander at these reasons we take pride in what we offer:

  • Simple, stylish, discrete packaging. GirlU comes in a cute, easy-to-open compact that you can carry with you wherever you go and access right away—not like those bulky bottles the other gals use.
  • Convenient quantities. A one-month supply means eight tablets—great for giving GirlU a try without having to commit to 30-180 pills all at once, like many other PMS medications.
  • Choose your dosage. You know your body better than anyone else, and GirlU lets you take only what you need to feel better fast. GirlU goes to work within 15 minutes and lasts up to 12 hours. You can take it when you need it, as long as you need it. Depending on your unique needs, that could mean just 4-8 tablets per full menstrual cycle. Our competitors often want you to take a pill every 4 hours, sometimes for an entire month. What a hassle!
  • All-natural ingredients. The proprietary blend of Griffonia Seed Extract, Green Tea Extract, Red Clover, Chaste Tree Berry, and Saw Palmetto go straight to work on your serotonin receptors, enhancing mood and promoting relaxation without drowsiness.
  • Made in the USA. GirlU is made in a lab with over 40 years of experience crafting the best nutritional supplements, with GMP certifications from both NSF International and NPA. Bonus: GirlU is organic, too!

Our goal is to make you feel better naturally and quickly, so you can get back to your amazing life. Try GirlU today and enjoy the natural difference!

What to Do About Sore Breasts During Your Period

Woman with sore breast

Sore breasts can be...well...a pain. Here are some tips for dealing with them!
Image: Shutterstock

Breast pain is one of the most common symptoms experienced during the menstrual cycle—in fact, reports of sore breasts in the medical literature go back all the way to 1829! More recently, a study found that 69% of women attending an ob-gyn clinic had regular premenstrual breast pain. For some, the pain is so severe and lasts so long (at least seven days) that it’s referred to as cyclical mastalgia, which can interfere with sleep, work, school, social functioning, and sexual activity.

If you’re dealing with sore breasts every month, no matter what the severity, don’t worry! Though science isn’t entirely sure what causes it (most believe it’s related to the fluctuations of hormones), there are lots of things you can do to feel better right now.

  • Make sure you’ve got a really supportive bra. It’s estimated that 80% of women wear bras that don’t fit right, so make sure you’ve got the right size and style for your body! You might also try wearing it at night for extra support.
  • Take some time out. Relaxation techniques can do wonders to calm the nutty hormones behind sore breasts. Try soothing music or progressive muscle relaxation.
  • Go herbal. You’ll want to talk to your doctor to be sure you cover all the angles, but herbs with anti-inflammatory elements--including the herbs in GirlUninterrupted!—have been shown to reduce breast soreness.
  • Diet.  Keep an eye on your salt and caffeine intake. If you can manage to completely avoid salt for 1-2 weeks before your period—or at least cut way down—you’re less likely to encounter the more annoying PMS and period symptoms. You’ll want to cut down on high-fat foods, too.
  • Exercise.  You’ve probably heard this before, but exercise really can help relieve PMS symptoms, especially sore breasts. And, of course, it’s good for you! Even if you’re not up for your usual routine, try to do a little something every day.

Of course there are medications you can take as well, both over the counter and prescription. But the first line of defense should be taking a stab at these natural (and mostly free!) options. Just a few small changes to your daily routine can make a world of difference in dealing with sore breasts, not to mention other PMS and period symptoms.

Girl Uninterrupted Launches New Look

Girl Uninterrupted's new look

Girl Uninterrupted is now available from Amazon.

On September 17, Girl Uninterrupted officially debuted its new look, along with its Amazon.com page, where it’s available for purchase.

Produced by Magpie, LLC, a wellness company founded by women for women, Girl Uninterrupted is an all-natural supplement designed to work quickly to relieve symptoms associated with menstruation, like cramps, bloating, and irritability. It contains five herbal ingredients:

  • Griffonia seed extract, a natural source of 5-HTP, an amino acid that affects serotonin receptors in the brain and allows for a sense of relaxation without fatigue;
  • Green tea extract, which contains antioxidants and relieves bloating by working as a light diuretic;
  • A blend of red clover, chaste tree berry, and saw palmetto, each of which support estrogen in the body and help balance female hormones.

A lifelong health enthusiast with a Plant-Based Nutrition Certification from Cornell, Magpie, LLC founder Mayling Kajiya wanted to create a supplement to deal with the symptoms of PMS without using acetaminophen and caffeine.

“For a syndrome that affects almost every woman at some point in her life, it’s about time for a product that doesn’t just numb the discomfort of PMS with the same medicine one would take to get rid of a headache or sore throat, but rather, one that provides relief in a safe, effective way by using all-natural ingredients,” said Kajiya.

Girl Uninterrupted is for women who can’t afford to have their lives interrupted by PMS symptoms every month.

Available on Amazon.com, Girl Uninterrupted is sold in a 1-month supply package of eight tablets for $14.99 and a 3-month supply of 24 tablets for $24.99.

What to Wear on Your Period

Clothing examples for what to wear on your period

Try these styles when you want to look office-ready but aren't feeling up to the usual wardrobe.
Image: Polyvore

When That Time of the Month hits, there are definitely mornings when you just want to stay in bed and not have to worry about what to wear. Unfortunately, you probably still have to go to work or school—even if you’re feeling bloated and cranky and nothing seems to fit right. Has all hope of decent office attire run screaming out the door?

No way! There are plenty of ways to be both comfortable and chic enough for the daily grind—even when you’re not feeling your best. Here are a few fashion ideas for days when you want to look good but also give yourself an extra bit of TLC:

  • Dressy shorts. If your workplace allows it, a nice pair of shorts made of comfortable material—and an elastic waistband!—can be just the ticket. Darker colors at about knee-length will make you feel both sleek and comfortable.
  • Cashmere sweaters. Any shirt made of soft, flowing material that’s still dressy enough for work or school will keep you soothed and also looking great. If you’re worried about bloating around your belly, try a top with drapes or ruffles.
  • Shift dress. The style is simple and clean, and the lack of waist means no definition, particularly where you least want it!
  • Maxi skirt. Flowy and loose, these skirts come in a variety of shapes and sizes, all conveniently covering your legs while still allowing a full range of movement.
  • Oversized cardigan. If you can’t stay in bed, at least take your blanket with you! Larger cardigans feel comfy and bathrobe-like while still looking professional.
  • Jeggings. If you’re going for the clean-cut jeans look but your usual denim just isn’t happening, try jeggings—the classic look of jeans, but with the feel of stretch pants. Just make sure you don’t get them too tight!
  • Tunic top. From a t-shirt style to more of a sweater, a tunic top generally has a round, flattering neckline and little to no collar, making it a stylish and comfortable option.
  • Comfortable shoes. Leave the six-inch heels for another time! When you’re suffering from cramps and other period-related effects, you definitely don’t want aching, too! Instead of making your feet suffer, too, pamper them with flats or dressy clogs.

Just because you’re dealing with your period doesn’t mean you can’t look and feel great, even when you’re out in public! Aim for looser fits in comfortable styles to ensure your office attire won’t suffer—and you won’t, either.

Does PMS Ruin Marriages? We Think Not.

PMS-MarriageA recent paper put out by Michael R. Gillings claims that PMS can ruin marriages. Problem #1?  The author can’t seem to properly distinguish between PMS (premenstrual syndrome) and PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder), which is like confusing a kitten for a lion.

Eighty percent of women just have PMS - which is a bunch of mild, annoying symptoms. Five to eight percent of women have PMDD, which is a serious and sometimes disabling disorder. He claims that PMS was made to drive off the infertile males and leave us to find fertile males - a typical male explanation. Not only does he assume that all couples are heterosexual, but he always assumes that they are all motivated by childbearing decisions as well.

PMS does not ruin marriages. This, again, reinforces the idea that we turn into crazy women every month. Women are taught to be hush-hush about their periods so they don’t make people uncomfortable. The reality is, we are trying to suffer silently and only have outbursts when it becomes too much. Women are very aware of the PMS stigma and do not want any man to attribute our reactions to this because it gives them a reason to dismiss our feelings.

Not to mention that every woman is affected very differently by PMS. I’m pretty sure if a man felt this way every month, he wouldn’t be too happy either!

While we don’t believe that PMS has any affect on your marriage or relationships, we do believe that it can inconveniently interrupt your life every month. Girl Uninterrupted is about PMS relief that is effective, natural, and discreet – and allows you to live your life without interruption. If you feel you’re your monthly flow is interrupting your life, check out how Girl Uninterrupted can help with your PMS relief.

What are your thoughts on Michael R. Gillings’ paper about PMS and marriage? Let us know in the comments below!

Genetics Vs. Lifestyle – What is the Real Cause of PMS?

Genetics-LifeStyle-PMSMore than half of all women who menstruate have some form of cramping, and 15 percent of women have severe cramps. Menstrual cramps usually (but not always) improve, as a woman gets older, especially after giving birth. Of course, this doesn’t mean cramps go away as you age—they just often become a little more manageable.

Like many other things in life, genetics affect everything – even PMS! Unfortunately, if your mom and grandma had bad cramps, chances are you probably will too. Regardless of what runs in your family, don’t let nature rule your life!

Many women overlook the influence that their lifestyle and health has on the symptoms of their period. Being overweight and inactive can actually exacerbate symptoms of PMS. This is because high amounts of body fat indicate higher levels of estrogen, which can worsen your PMS. Being inactive also means that you aren’t letting your body help you out. Working out causes your body to produce nature’s painkillers, endorphins. Even though we don’t usually feel like it, it’s always a good idea to stay active during your period – and all other times of the month.

What you eat also has an effect on how good or bad you feel. Too much sugar, caffeine, or alcohol can worsen PMS. Too much dairy consumption can also worsen symptoms, due to hormonal imbalances. High stress levels can also worsen the symptoms of PMS.

The moral of the story: there’s a lot to thank our moms for – just maybe not the cramps! Luckily for us ladies, we have the personal power to stay healthy and active before, during, and after our periods. Not only will this help with PMS symptoms, but it will also produce a healthier you. What’s not to love?

Why Does PMS Cause Water Weight?

Water Weight During Period

UGH. Do you ever get that balloon-like feeling? PMS and other hormonal changes can really affect how your belly feels. Many women get cramps, headaches, back pain, and more during their periods – but your body changes before your period as well. That uncomfortable bloating around the abdomen, hips, and thighs that we disdainfully refer to as “water weight” is a product of an imbalance of magnesium and potassium in the body. This is due to a change in hormones.

While it may seem like a lot, it is common to gain between 1 to 6 pounds before and during your period. This can happen regardless of how healthy you are. Some women will have a noticeable weight gain, while others don’t. Remember not to panic either way - this is totally normal!

Some girls try diuretics to reduce the bloat, but in the long run, diuretics rob you of important minerals that your body needs to function. Here are a few options to reduce this water weight gain:

  1. Avoiding salty foods will reduce the chances of water retention.
  2. Make sure you’re getting enough calcium.
  3. Keep yourself hydrated. Drinking more water doesn’t mean you are going to gain more water weight!
  4. Eat plenty of fruits and veggies.
  5. Cut back on refined sugars.

While these are great tips, we also just recommend a “roll with it” approach. Help your body out with these tips, but don’t feel bad if you occasionally give into that chocolate bar. Whether it’s yoga pants to the library or a flowy dress to the office, wear something loose and comfy so you don’t feel miserable all day. Plus, remember that the mind tends to blow the actual appearance of bloating waaaaaay out of proportion. You still look great, and the bloating will go away as soon as your period comes!