In this post, we're going to look at different ways women talk about Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). Although this isn't a typical subject for an English teacher to prepare a lesson about, the truth is all of us women experience a monthly visit from our period and our symptoms begin before its arrival.
If you're not comfortable with this subject please look away because we're going to get real. We're going to look at all things period-related, including alternative names that native speakers use for these symptoms and occurrences. We're going to use a little humour as well, so hold on to your panties, ladies!
Period - a flow of blood and other material from the lining of the uterus occurring monthly in sexually mature women who are not pregnant, lasting for about a week. medical name: menstruation
PMS - premenstrual Syndrome: the physical and emotional symptoms that occur in the one to two weeks before a woman's period arrives
Cramps - a tightening of the muscles of the uterus. medical name: dysmenorrhea; a symptom of PMS
Bloated - to feel an uncomfortable 'heaviness' in your abdomen; water retention - a symptom of PMS
Sore/Tender breasts - when the glands in your breasts produce extra estrogen and it causes pain and tenderness; a symptom of PMS
Feminine Products - a variety of different products, used to absorb menstruation
(to be) PMS-ing - To feel the symptoms of PMS.
Bitchy (vulgar) - to feel aggravated, angry, frustrated, annoyed. To be in a negative mood; it can be a symptom of PMS - or it can be for other reasons ;)
Aunt Flow - A funny expression to refer to your period.
Monthly Visitor - An expression that refers to your period.
That time of the month - another way to say that you are on your period.
Riding the cotton pony (vulgar) - a more vulgar way to say that you are on your period.
Would you like to see more lessons like this one? If you have any vocabulary questions, be sure to comment below!
About Your English Coach
Alannah is a CELTA (University of Cambridge) qualified English language teacher from Canada who lives in Italy with her wonderful husband. She's been teaching English since 2006 and has taught many different nationalities in both Canada and Italy.