'I now listen to my husband, rather than just snap at him'
Florina Phelan, from Cork, is 39 years old. She is married to Tom and has two sons Christopher (7) and Adam (5). She has endured the symptoms of PMS for many years, but feels she has become more in tune with her body since becoming a mother and has learned to deal with PMS when she recognises the onset.
"I have been suffering with PMS for probably all my adult life, but I've learned to listen to my body a bit more since having my boys and deal with the symptoms, thanks to the help of my good husband.
"First of all, I get bloated, retain water, my breasts are tender and at times my glands under my armpits are swollen.
"I feel tired and very irritable, get terrible mood swings and my face breaks out in spots which are worse than anything I had as a teen – mind you, this is probably due to the fact that I live in the chocolate cupboard for a few days before my period arrives. Sometimes I recognise the symptoms but other times my husband will point out to me that I am being very irritable and I have learned to listen to him rather than simply snap at him.
"I also keep my period dates written down in my diary, so I am more aware of when it is due.
"This helps me to keep control of things, because once I understand the reason why I am feeling so irritable and start feeling the need to go to sleep as early as my boys, I know that it is the start of PMS.
"I started taking a marine supplement over a year ago and it made wonders to my life. My skin cleared up, I'm not bloated and I'm way less irritable and tired. Even my weight has stopped spiralling out of control during my period as I probably don't retain so much water.
"After my period arrives, I pretty much go back to normal, although my belly can be a little tender.
"I would advise other women to recognise the symptoms, be patient with themselves, exercise and try to eat as healthily as possible."