From the U.S National Library of Medicine,
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) refers to a wide range of physical or emotional symptoms that typically occur about 5 to 11 days before a woman starts her monthly menstrual cycle.
The list of symptoms is about 20 point forms long and includes bloating, food cravings, headache, forgetfulness, mood swings, hostile or aggressive behaviour and even clumsiness. I am guilty as charged on all accounts and more. You might think it's unfair for a woman to use PMS as an excuse for every wrong that she makes during this time, but you know what PMS isn't exactly the excuse we want to use either.
So, the question is: How to deal with a woman during this tender time of the month?
Women at this point of time can be high-strung and worst of all, unreasonable. When she is in one of her moods, trying to reason with her is a bad idea - possibly one of the worst things you can think about doing. It might bruise your ego a bit (actually, it's best not to have such a big one anyway, for your own sake), but just admitting that she's right for awhile can make all the difference, especially towards how the rest of your day goes.
For me, I turn into quite a hungry cow and will have to be regularly fed, preferably at 1-hour intervals. This incessant hunger goes hand-in-hand with intense food cravings. My diet for the ten days leading up to my period consists of ridiculously high amounts of sugar and fat. When this happens, don't judge her as she reaches for her third chocolate bar. Instead, tell her she looks pretty even though she's put on period weight (YES there is such a thing! Or it could be water retention, either way who cares about technicalities! /fumes). In the past few days, I have craved for Skittles, carbonara, Nutella, orange juice, fried eggs, green tea, banana bread, vegetarian Peking duck etc., just to give you a vague idea of what to expect.
You will notice her getting bouts of self-doubt right around this time too. It's very unexplainable as to why this occurs, and most of the times this is uncalled for, but so is everything else about PMS. Medicine blames it on the level of hormones that changes as her body prepares to have a baby (basically) but this is yet to be proven as a fact. She will question the existence of her whole being but hopefully not to the morbid extent (If so, the Lifeline number to call is 13 11 14). She'll ask if you really love her or question why everyone else is happier than her etc. All you can do is to give her a big bear hug and let her know that she's the most important person in your life and that you'll do anything to make her happy. Also, she will constantly ask you if she looks fat in everything she wears. Correct answer: No.
Really, this is far from being an extensive list of PMS symptoms that a woman goes through each month. And even after this duration, the torture extends to when she's having her period. Cramps, backaches, lethargy... The best you can do is try to sympathise and be there for as much as she needs. The good news? After these two weeks, you get two weeks of chirpiness, do-anything-you-want-and-your-head-won't-get-bitten-off and you'll start to remember what she's like the first time you met her.
**Advice given is based on 10 years of experience in the PMS field, collected data and personal observations.
**Disclaimer: Not all of this will work on every woman. If you think your woman is the same, you better keep it to yourself because she'll ask you why you think she's not unique. If you find yourself in this sorry predicament, you're on your own, buddy.