As many as three in four women suffer from Pre-Menstrual Syndrome – PMS – with symptoms that can include mood swings, bloated tummy and irritability in the run up to a period. What’s more, it’s been found that these symptoms can worsen for women in their 30s and 40s.
Two women who have experienced just that are TV presenter Emma Willis and author Giovanna Fletcher. Appearing on White Wine Question Time, the friends of 15 years, were speaking openly about how their hormones seem to be getting worse.
“As you get older, I do I find I am much more hormonal,” admitted Willis. “I still feel like my hormones are getting more severe as I get older.
“Before my period, the moodiness... Maybe Matt [her Busted star husband] would say, I'm hinged! I'm much more emotional around that time, but that's a huge part of it.”
Listen: Emma Willis and Giovanna Fletcher talk big girl pants, getting stuck on a mountain together and their 15 years of friendship
Fletcher, who presents the Happy Baby podcast presenter, agrees that over the years her PMS has really altered.
“I found my mood completely changed,” admitted Fletcher. “When I was a teenager and I'd have a period, I'd just be angry, whereas now the hormones are completely different and it puts you in a really sad place.”
She advises fellow suffers to keep a note of when their period is due as it can help with fighting any down moments.
“It's really important that we recognise it, because now when I'm leading up to it and I find myself going, 'No-one loves me. No-one cares' you kind of go, 'Hold on, Aunt Flo's on the way!’
“You can just feel yourself going in a direction that you just don't want to go down, so it's important to note it.”
As well as paying havoc with her hormones, Willis said that age was an important aspect in her decision to have her third child, Trixie.
“I took the lead with our third child,” admitted Willis to host Thornton.
She continued: “I was almost 40 and I kind of thought it's now or never really. We hadn't planned the first two – they just arrived – but with the third one I was like, I don't want to regret not trying for a third.
“Work was going really well, and I could have kind of waited maybe, and tried into my forties, but you just don't know what's going to happen, do you? So, I was very proactive in saying ‘right, it's now or never!’”
As well as Trixie, now aged four, Willis and her husband have two other children, Ace and Isabelle. She said that lockdown made her realise that she’s often too busy to spend time with her three children – and she really loved the opportunity to enjoy some good quality family time.
“I kind of really realised how fast my life is all the time – I'm always just doing something else than being totally present with them,” she admitted.
“Being forced from a pandemic into being present with them, my kids, is something that that’s very much opened my eyes too - and I will absolutely address and keep going forward.”
Watch: Davina McCall discusses her menopause symptoms