A closer proximity to green space may be helpful in tackling PMS. Studies show that women who have more access to the park are less likely than others to suffer from anxiety, depression and trouble sleeping.

  • Researchers surveyed over 2,000 women between the ages of 18 and 49 in Norway, Sweden, and Norway.
  • Four PMS symptoms were more common in women who live near open spaces.
  • These were anxiety, depression, trouble sleeping and bloating
  • Although the reason behind this link is not clear, scientists have suggested that green spaces may reduce stress and, therefore, decrease PMS symptoms. 

Many women feel symptoms during the week leading to their period. These are collectively called premenstrual syndromes (PMS).

A study has shown that people who live near nature can reduce their symptoms.

The Barcelona Institute for Global Health discovered that PMS symptoms such as anxiety, depression and trouble sleeping were more common in women who live near greener areas.

Although the cause of the link is still unknown, the team believes the results will stimulate further research.

Co-ordinator for the study, Dr Payam Dadvand said, “More studies have proven that green space can be beneficial to our health.”

“Nevertheless, we do not have sufficient of it in most cities, and it may be far from where our population lives. Natural environments are essential to our health, so city officials must prioritize them.

A study claims that living near green space could help to tackle irritating PMS symptoms for women (stock image)

Study claims living in close to green spaces could reduce PMS symptoms (stock photo)

Here are some of the most prevalent PMS symptoms 

PMS is most commonly characterized by the following symptoms:

  • Mood swings
  • Feeling upset, anxious, or irritable
  • Trouble sleeping or tiredness
  • Bloating, stomach pains
  • Breast tenderness
  • Headaches
  • Skin that is patchy
  • Oily hair
  • Increased appetite and increased sex drive

 Source: NHS 

The researchers wanted to find out if living in close proximity to urban green spaces could help with PMS symptoms.

The researchers collected data on more than 1000 women between the ages of 18 and 49 in Norway and Sweden. They also included questionnaires about their health and lifestyle.

A questionnaire was also given to the women asking if any of the most frequent PMS symptoms were present. These included irritability and anxiety, tearsfulness or increased sensitivity, depression, trouble sleeping, bloating, breast tenderness or pain, headaches, as well as difficulty sleeping.

The team also collected data about the neighbourhoods of the women, such as their proximity to green spaces and their exposure to pollution (PM2.5, PM10).

Analysing the data showed that PMS symptoms were less common for women who lived in greener areas. These included anxiety, depression, trouble sleeping and breast tenderness.

Dr Nadvand explained that the analysis was not able to determine if there had been any exposure to green spaces at one point in time.

An analysis of the data revealed that women living in neighbourhoods with more green space were less likely to experience four of the PMS symptoms - anxiety, depression, difficulty sleeping, and breast tenderness or abdominal bloating (stock image)

Analysing the data showed that PMS symptoms like anxiety, depression, sleeping difficulties, breast tenderness, or abdominal bloating were less common for women who lived in greener areas.

“Our research shows that long-term green space exposure is important for PMS symptoms.

Although previous research suggests that green space may lead to increased exercise and less exposure to polluting air, this study does not support these claims.

Researchers suggest instead that green spaces may be beneficial for stress reduction, which may in turn reduce PMS symptoms.  

Kai Triebner (lead author) said that three of the four conditions improved by exposure to green spaces were psychological. This is consistent with our previous knowledge: nature can reduce stress levels and promote mental well-being.

Stress can increase PMS symptoms. It also increases levels of cortisol. This could lead to an increase in progesterone release, which is linked with the development of PMS symptoms. 

Is your period normal? 

Public Health England’s research has revealed nearly half of women – 48 per cent – say they struggle with menstrual issues such as heavy or irregular periods. What should you do if your periods are irregular? 

Period Pain is common and most women experience it at some time in their life. 

The pain is usually felt as cramps in the abdomen and is caused by the muscular wall of the womb tightening and temporarily cutting off oxygen.

If you feel pain that is extreme or unusual, consult your doctor. This could be an indication of pelvic inflammation disease or endometriosis.

Periods that are irregular These changes occur when your menstrual period length changes. 

These periods may not be unusual or easy to explain by hormones. However, you should consult a doctor immediately if your periods suddenly become irregular or are more frequent than usual (less than 21 or 35 days apart) or last for longer than one week. 

Heavy periodsThese are serious but common conditions that can cause a loss of blood and have serious consequences for a woman’s health. 

A heavy bleeding condition is when you lose 80ml (16 teaspoons), or more during each period. It can also refer to periods lasting longer than seven days or both.

While heavy periods do not always indicate an underlying condition, if your blood pressure is high or your life is being disrupted by it, you might want to see your GP.

Source: NHS Choices