I was talking to a friend recently about how none of the places that supposedly give you "straight talk on sex and female bodies" actually seem to have an accurate, comprehensive list of menstrual symptoms.
As a teenager I read a lot of that stuff, but I didn't have any female friends I was close enough to talk about it with - I was halfway going by Heinlein's "real women don't have PMS", because it was clear none of the "my body" books were describing my body in that respect - and as a result it wasn't until I joined a tmi-focused lj community that I started to realize that the things my body was doing were things other people's bodies do, too. Sadly, that community has died down a lot with the exodus from lj and I haven't found a good replacement yet.
But as a service to humanity, here is a list of things that I know for a fact are regular menstrual or pre-menstrual symptoms for more than one person who menstruates, not a symptom of any particular disorder or any problem beyond "having a healthy uterus". If you know of ones I've missed, feel free to suggest them in the comments and I'll add them to the end of the post! Anon is turned on.
( Cut for TMI )
Most people only have a small proportion of those at any one time - thank all the gods there are - but if you experience any of them, just know you're not alone. And that it's normal for which ones you experience to change over time.
Just for fun, I've made this a poll, so if you want to register which ones you've experienced at some point in your life, you can!
And then ask why evolution ever though it was a good idea do make us go through that every month, instead of once a year, like more sensible species. (On the plus side, at least we don't have deal with male hormones, which fluctuate unpredictably ALL THE TIME. Poor delicate males.)