Symptoms on the Day Before a Period

Although there are several symptoms that can alert to women to the onset of menstruation, all symptoms are not always present. Some women may experience no symptoms at all, while others may experience several. However, most symptoms disappear as menstruation comes to an end. Bloating, mood swings, food cravings, headaches and skin problems are some of the more common signs on the day before menstruation begins.

Bloating and Cramping

Bloating, cramping and water retention are common before the start of a period. Slight weight gain is also possible, yet usually is only temporary. Bloating usually occurs in the abdomen while swelling occurs in the ankles, hands and feet. Cramping can range from a dull ache to a sharp pain in the lower abdomen.

Mood Swings

Mood swings are a fairly common symptom before menstruation. Anxiety, irritability and anger can be contributed to an impending period. Women may also experience bouts of sadness and crying.


Skin blemishes such as acne and oily skin may start to surface the day before menstruation, and possibly a week before. Some women may also find that their hair is more oily, or alternately some may have unusually dry hair.

Breast Swelling

Breast swelling and tenderness may also be present before menstruation. Women may also feel tingling sensations in their breasts, as well as itchiness and a general discomfort.

Food Cravings

Many women will notice a craving for certain foods before their period, and some may have the "munchies." The cravings can range from salty snacks such as chips and peanuts, to sweet snacks such as chocolate.


Fatigue can come from a multitude of different issues, including stress, weather and medical problems. However, fatigue is a common symptom before menstruation. Some women may experience an inability to sleep before menstruation as well.


Headaches can also be attributed to other factors, but many women experience headaches, from slight to major, before their periods begin. As with other symptoms, the severity of the headache normally lessens as menstruation begins.