7 Common Signs That Your Period Is About to Start

Around 1-2 weeks before getting their periods, women will usually notice physical and emotional changes due to hormonal fluctuations in their bodies. Women with hormonal imbalances and other reproductive health issues are 90 percent more likely to suffer from premenstrual syndrome(PMS), this can vary in severity from woman to woman. Talk to your doctor if your PMS symptoms hinder you from going to work, school, or from enjoying your day. Within a few days after your period starts, PMS symptoms should subside.

Here are some of the signs that your period is soon approaching:


As your period approaches, your body switches from focusing on creating the optimum environment for pregnancy, the ovulatory phase, to preparing to shed your uterine lining, the luteal phase. As a result, your hormones levels will drop, and fatigue sets in. You may also feel exhausted from the emotional roller coaster that you are experiencing. On top of all that, some women find it difficult to sleep in the few days leading up to their period. This further exacerbates the feeling of exhaustion for some women.

Mood swings

For some women, PMS affects them emotionally more than physically. These symptoms include:

  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Fluctuating estrogen and progesterone levels are likely to blame if you experience emotional ups and downs. Falling levels of estrogen may drop your confidence and increase your irritability by affecting the production of serotonin and other feel-good endorphins in the brain. Progesterone is generally known as the calming hormone. As levels of progesterone reduce in your body, you might find yourself emotionally hypersensitive.

Bowel issues

During and before your period, your bowel movements may change due to hormonal fluctuations. In addition to uterine contractions, bowel contractions can also occur when prostaglandins are released. During menstruation, you may notice that your bowel movements are more frequent or infrequent than usual. Other symptoms you may experience are nausea, constipation, diarrhea


Several days before your period your jeans may feel tighter than usual or for some reason, you have an aching stomach. That’s probably PMS bloating. Your body retains more water and salt than usual due to changes in estrogen and progesterone levels.

Though PMS bloating may increase your weight, it is not weight gain. The symptoms of menstrual cramps are usually relieved within two to three days after your period starts.


Studies say that about 50% of women experience breakouts right before their periods, especially around the chin and jawline. Some women may even find that they tend to break out on their back before their periods. Don’t be worried, this is totally normal and probably due to your hormones! If you don’t become pregnant during ovulation, levels of estrogen and progesterone will decline and those of androgens, such as testosterone, will increase slightly. Androgens stimulate the production of sebum, excess sebum will lead to blockages in your skin’s follicles and cause pimples to pop up. Normally, shortly after menstruation, period-related acne will disappear as estrogen, the beauty hormone, and progesterone levels rise.

Abdominal cramps

Abdominal pain or cramps prior to your menstruation can begin 1-2 days before your period starts. The first 24 hours tend to be the most painful, but it should subside after two to three days. In most cases, menstrual cramps are felt in the lower abdomen. They range in severity from dull, minor aches to extreme pain that hinders daily activities. Your lower back and upper thighs may also be affected by achy, cramping pain.

Menstrual cramps are caused by your uterus contracting to shed its thickened lining over your follicular and ovulatory phases. Prostaglandins are produced in the uterus and trigger contractions that shed the uterine lining (endometrium) when a pregnancy does not happen. Although these lipids cause inflammation, they also regulate ovulation and menstruation.

Please check with your doctor if you experience intense cramps, because it may be caused by other underlying issues such as:

  • Endometriosis
  • Fibroids
  • Adenomyosis
  • Cervical stenosis
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease

Trouble sleeping

You might find it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep before your period. Sleep can be affected by other PMS symptoms like cramps, headaches, and mood swings. After ovulation, your body’s core temperature increases by about half a degree and remains high until your period starts. As your body temperature rises, it may be harder for you to sleep; a cooler body temperature is associated with better sleep.

It is common for you to experience these symptoms 1 to 2 weeks before the onset of your period. By using a Best Period Tracking App, you can easily log all your periods and menstrual cycle symptoms to identify the monthly patterns of your body. This way, you can better prepare yourself to ride through your PMS symptoms more gracefully and harmoniously. With the Nona Woman period cycle calculator, you can also get your menstrual cycle analytics and find lifestyle tips to adapt specifically to each phase of your cycle.

However, if your symptoms are severe and prevent you from carrying out your regular activities, you should seek medical attention and speak to your doctor.