My Story: Understanding How Hormones Affect My Mental and Physical Health

By Saniya Ghanoui —

XY discusses some of the health challenges she has faced concerning her menstrual health.


OBOS Today: Tell me about a health challenge that you face.  

XY: I think one of the health challenges I face is PMS and being affected by the hormonal cycle. I think not a lot of research is done on it and doctors don’t tend to really have a lot of knowledge on that as well. I only really come to know about how hormones affect our mental and physical well-being through my own reading and also sharing with other women. And so, that’s one of the really more prominent health challenges that I face.  

OBOS Today: Mmhmm. Can you tell me some of the symptoms that you might have experienced? 

XY: Yeah, so. One of the symptoms that is most obvious is that I have, well, rather I experience a lot of fluctuations in my energy throughout the month. I also tend to have more depressing thoughts and behaviors nearer to menstruation, typically a week or two before that. And there has been a lot of impact on my productivity, my work routine, my work schedule as well.  

OBOS Today: Mmhm, I can imagine that must be really difficult. How did you, did you know when you first started experiencing some of these symptoms that they were related to your menstrual cycle? 

XY: No, not actually. Um, when I was in Singapore, so I studied in Singapore for my, um, elementary and high school education. Basically, only came here for college. And when I suffer from extreme cramps, it actually leaves me bed ridden which is actually another kind of sign of the health challenge that I face. I went to the gyno and the doctors and, um, I didn’t really realize how much that’s linked to my cycle. I always thought that menstruating is just you know, you know scientifically, the ovary or the eggs falling apart because you are not pregnant and you bleed, that’s about it. But I didn’t know until a lot later that there was a lot of significant impacts, um, and correlation between menstruation and my health challenge.

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