November 18, 2003 9:35 AM   Subscribe

PMS Alert 1.0   A system-tray reminder of where things stand. Read a simple scale of five colors to get the likelihood of mood swings. Get a real-time estimation of fertility. Pick a date off the calendar to get a quick forecast of what's to come. Store custom notes to go along with each day in the cycle. Get reminders when conditions are changing. Even get reminders of her next birthday and anniversary.
posted by gottabefunky (46 comments total)
Another day, another post about bush.
posted by UncleFes at 9:44 AM on November 18, 2003

But It didn't remind you this isn't but advertising isn't it ? Plus it's not even freeware.
posted by elpapacito at 9:45 AM on November 18, 2003

just what i've always wanted!
posted by dogmatic at 9:51 AM on November 18, 2003

With the holidays approaching, whom do you buy this for: him, her or yourself? Honey bunch, like the gift I bought you;*slap*.
posted by thomcatspike at 9:54 AM on November 18, 2003

Another day, another post about bush.

smirk if you will, unca fez, but the fact remains that back when monica was humming slick willy's tune, the PMS were advocating Mydol{tm} cluster-bombing. Most of those PMS dudes now hold cabinet positions.
posted by quonsar at 9:55 AM on November 18, 2003

UncleFes: HA!

A few years ago, I worked for a boss who was not a nice lady most days but who experienced palpable, dangerous, and employee effecting mood swings, headaches, and legendary irritability in direct accord with her monthly cycle. Woe to he or she who delicately tip toed into her office during these times and made a request, reported bad news, or generally just did or said the wrong thing (which could be anything) during these frightful few days a month. (Interestingly, a female coworker and I conspired to bring up various mentsrual ailments in her presence, to see what she said, and she claimed to suffer no ill effects of her cycle whatsoever! Amazing.)

Anyway, I started tracking her cycle (she'd generally mention having her period at some point) and after about six months of solid data, and the realization that she was as regular as clockwork, I extrapolated her period start out for the next few years, and created and printed calendars which I then passed out to my four coworkers, who were extremely grateful.

I quit not too long after this (as I said, she wasn't exactly Mother Theresa when she was off the rag) but up until the point she closed the larger part of her business, the coworkers who remained still clung to the calendars like medieval astrologers plotting major events for their Kings.

This thing would have been handy for that, except that it isn't free, in which case I wouldn't have bothered.
posted by jennyb at 10:03 AM on November 18, 2003

[this is good will keep me from getting yelled at]
posted by antifreez_ at 10:04 AM on November 18, 2003

this would be good for those that don't follow their cycle. my hubby does it for me old-fashion style (calendar). when I start to feel down or cranky, he looks and we both feel better knowing it's only temporary (and he knows not to take it personally). if he didn't keep track, this would be $5 well spent (I'm not good at writing stuff like that down).
posted by evening at 10:36 AM on November 18, 2003

I also keep track for my wife. It started because she'd get a little touchy (surprise!) if I suggested that her current moodiness might be attributed to her monthly visitor. I started keeping track and I'd show it to her as "proof". She's used to it now, and we were both a little surprised to see that she has a very regular 25 day cycle. And knowing this *is* a very useful tool.

Personally I think I have a cycle too although god knows what it's based on or how commonly it occurrs.

(I just use my pda)
posted by RustyBrooks at 10:59 AM on November 18, 2003

FYI, there are currently 25ish menstrual and/or fertility and/or ovulation tracker apps on
posted by jengod at 11:16 AM on November 18, 2003

jengod, seen anything for Pocket PC...?
posted by Tubes at 11:30 AM on November 18, 2003

Goodness, they have it down to a science. All I use it for is to remember how vehemently to deny that my wife looks fat.

Interestingly enough, I've noticed another trend due to my notekeeping. A day or two before her period, and somewhere right in between, the probability rises dramatically that I'll be awoken in the middle of the night and have certain services demanded of me.
posted by RustyBrooks at 11:37 AM on November 18, 2003

gee, and they say Metafilter isn't a boyzone....

::ducks:: Hey! Quit throwing things! I was kidding!
posted by anastasiav at 11:46 AM on November 18, 2003

I can only imagine how much better my last relationship would have gone if I had one of these. Then again, I doubt PMS Alert would really stand a chance against the earth-moving power of lesbian love.
posted by VulcanMike at 12:29 PM on November 18, 2003

i cannot imagine not keeping track of my own cycle... especially to the point of my husband feeling like he needs to for me.
posted by rhapsodie at 12:33 PM on November 18, 2003

Is this lesbian love something you'd have to have a vagina to know about?
posted by RustyBrooks at 1:02 PM on November 18, 2003

No, just an internet connection.
posted by Cyrano at 2:00 PM on November 18, 2003

Um, its not so much about keeping one abreast of the medical realities of a body's cycle so much as knowing when best to keep low. I'm miffed that I didn't actually code this up years ago when I thought about it.

And my ankles are swelling.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 2:00 PM on November 18, 2003

I don't see anything ridiculous about marking such a thing on the calendar. It's marked on mine. And on those days, I don't take anything she says or does personally.
posted by scarabic at 2:00 PM on November 18, 2003

RustyBrooks, you are aptly named.

"I'm Dave Foley, and I have a good attitude toward menstruation."
posted by yerfatma at 2:17 PM on November 18, 2003

Of all the implications that have been larded onto my name, that's gotta be a first. I used to know a guy who called me Muddy Waters. He was not a good friend of mine.

My parents claim that I was named after a person on some show they saw regarding people with messed up names. In effect I'm named after Rusty Nails.

That's right. My parents deliberatlely named me after someone with an unusual name. My sister is Eva and my brother is Oliver.
posted by RustyBrooks at 2:26 PM on November 18, 2003

On a side barely related note (regarding the title on this post), I lost a spelling bee in 3rd grade because I spelled caution "cation". To this day I think of it every time I see the word written.
posted by RustyBrooks at 2:36 PM on November 18, 2003

man, i want a husband who will keep track of my cycle for me. (whine whine whine!) god knows i'm too lazy to.
posted by ifjuly at 3:25 PM on November 18, 2003

I don't keep track either. I just know I'm PMS'ing when commercials make me cry and I have temper tantrums for no good reason. My husband, god love him, can usually tell...and brings me chocolate. I love that man.
posted by dejah420 at 4:06 PM on November 18, 2003

Oh, hey...who knew...there's a whole slew of these programs.
posted by dejah420 at 4:31 PM on November 18, 2003

Oh, hey...who knew...

men knew. beleive me, men knew.
posted by quonsar at 4:59 PM on November 18, 2003

I've been using for a few years now, and it's done wonders for my relationship. I can warn him in advance to stay the hell out of my way on certain days. There's a paid service, which I have never bothered with. The free service works just fine.

dejah420: commercials make me cry

You too!? This is one of my early warning signs that hormone levels are getting insane. Kodak commercials seem to set me off the earliest. :D

And my hubby buys me chocolate too. In fact, right now ... I have TONS of chocolate cookies. Potato chips too, because you know after a few cookies, you want something salty (and then something sweet, and on and on until you have gained 10 pounds in an afternoon).
posted by Orb at 6:02 PM on November 18, 2003

I had an excellent one of these for a long time (green flag/yellow flag/red flag in the system tray), but the guy who wrote it and his pages disappeared, and after a system rebuild I lost the installer. Thanks. Most helpful.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:12 PM on November 18, 2003

Man, I wish we got a week to bitch and moan like a pussy.

Quick comeback: You get a whole month!
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:13 PM on November 18, 2003

I can warn him in advance to stay the hell out of my way on certain days.

Yeah, cuz that is SO much easier than controlling your behavior and not lashing out at those you love. sigh.
posted by rushmc at 6:50 PM on November 18, 2003

My girlfriend loves this.

("No I don't!")
posted by armoured-ant at 7:03 PM on November 18, 2003

Yeah, cuz that is SO much easier than controlling your behavior and not lashing out at those you love. sigh.

Hey, we're talking hormones here. If a guy's testosterone levels swung around as much as a woman's estrogen/progesterone levels, we'd be basket cases, starting fights and invading Iraq one week, playing with Barbie Dolls on the next.

Anybody with a calendar and a thermometer can predict menstrual periods. I could use a system of predicting menopausal hot flashes. Maybe hook it up to the thermostat for the air conditioner. A good night of sleep could be had by all.
posted by groundhog at 7:05 PM on November 18, 2003

we'd be basket cases, starting fights and invading Iraq one week, playing with Barbie Dolls on the next

so. we all know chix0rZ are fundamentally broken.
posted by quonsar at 7:28 PM on November 18, 2003

posted by dhartung at 10:48 PM on November 18, 2003

Yeah, cuz that is SO much easier than controlling your behavior and not lashing out at those you love. sigh.

Do you really think that all women want to be like this?? We don't. It's that either we don't notice that we're like this or we don't know why we are.

When I was younger about every three months or so I would question my entire life. I would often think that maybe I just need to quit my job, leave my husband, and cross America working odd jobs because I couldn't figure out what was wrong in my life. I just felt like crap. What was wrong was my hormones making my depression even worse. But I didn't know it was PMS -- it just felt real to me. Do you really think I wanted to be that way??

But once we saw the pattern, and I started having these feelings, I knew it was temporary and I learned not to listen to myself. My husband knew I would be down and quiet for a couple of days (quiet because I was trying not to give in to the emotions) and not to freak out. Yes, I could begin to control that behavior, but only after a lot of hard work to recognize it. And only to a certain extent. It would still come, but I had to deal with it, and I couldn't just push it away entirely.

Have you ever just "woken up on the wrong side of the bed"? Where you just feel cranky for no good reason and nothing is going to get you out of your bad mood? So if someone tries to cheer you up you'll invariably snip at them, because we all know when one is in a pissy mood no one likes a cheerful person. That's what it's like. You don't mean to say little things that might hurt someone else. It's just you don't feel yourself and you want to be left alone. [Not all women act the same on PMS, but you get the idea.] [Oh, and that's what depression is like, too. So don't ever tell someone with depression to just "snap out of it" because we can't (and it'll just piss us off!).]

But men (or women) who are sensitive to their partner's actions and emotions will notice something different and wonder if it's them. Why did she snip at me? What did I do wrong? So to save them the trouble of doubting themselves, or getting pissed off at their partner, they can realize that it's PMS and say "OK, she's just moody. I won't take what she does seriously. It'll be gone in a day or two."
posted by evening at 6:34 AM on November 19, 2003

...and say "OK, she's just moody. I won't take what she does seriously. It'll be gone in a day or two."

Please note, it is very important that you don't actually say this, or anything suggesting that her moodiness might have anything to do with PMS, lest your arms be ripped from their sockets and eyes gouged out with her thumbs. Inner voice, people. Keep it inside.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:23 AM on November 19, 2003

dejah420: In the link you provided, the first program to download is priced at *drumroll* $28.
posted by Feisty at 9:57 AM on November 19, 2003

dejah420: In the link you provided, the first program to download is priced at *drumroll* $28.

A dollar for every day of the cycle..."vat a buy two!"
posted by dejah420 at 2:35 PM on November 19, 2003

evening: You hit the nail on the head. I certainly don't want to be that way for a few days a month, but it's not just a matter of saying "oh, I need to chill out" and it goes away.

Add to the normal hormonal changes a woman goes through, other health problems that cause hormonal imbalances, hypoglycemia, migraines and severe depression, and you have someone who for a few days a month is best left to herself. I don't enjoy being a shrew-bitch from hell during those days. It's not any fun for me either, but once we knew what was causing it, we were able to recognize it and learned to deal with it ... mostly by me just spending time alone and taking it easy.

When I finally went to a doctor after one particularly bad month,I seriously thought I was losing my mind. I would scream at someone for something completely trivial, and two seconds later I would be crying and not know why I had reacted that way. The slightest comment might set me off on a fit of anger or depression, and sometimes I would feel so "fuzzy" that I couldn't even get out of bed (weak, disoriented, sick to my stomach). After a ton of medical tests, it was a relief to find out that I wasn't actually going crazy, and though it isn't something that can be totally gotten rid of, it can be controlled somewhat through diet and recognition of what it is.

These programs and web sites that help people keep track of a woman's cycle are great for my family and myself. They help us plan ahead so that we don't schedule events and activities when I will be at my worst, and we know when we need to be aware that I am liable to react to things in unexpected ways. I wish I could just "control my behavior", but it just doesn't work that way when your body is working against you.
posted by Orb at 3:06 PM on November 19, 2003

Er, my only question is why you'd continue to have a period. It is optional these days. (Has been for decades, actually.)

Go on The Pill. Don't eat the sugar pills/take a week off: just start back on the higher-dose pills immediately. No periods, period.

Or get Depo-Pravera (sp?). Time-release capsule injected under the skin, no periods for something like a half-year.

There's some amount of fear -- unfounded, as far as I've been able to research -- that not having a period/keeping hormone levels high is unhealthy. But, really, can a stable level of hormones be more unhealthy than wildly fluctuating levels? I'm doubtful.

Anyway, there is a choice.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:56 PM on November 19, 2003

Good point.

I went on Depo and it was so awesome not to have a period! It's a shot you get every three months (not a capsule -- I forget which one that is) and after a while most women stop menstruating (I think it tricks your body into thinking it's pregnant). Then when you go off it takes a month or so for your body to back at which time you start again.

The problem was it made my depression worse (another reason for me to not want to be pregnant!). Now that I'm on anti-depressants I'll want to try it again for sure!

And don't let any doctor fool you. The first one I had out of college was some old guy who said no way when I asked to go on it. He said the side effects were bad and I just needed to "remember to take the pill" (which is why I didn't want to be on the pill -- nice remark, eh?). But I did research on it and the effects, except for not getting your period, are pretty much the same as the pill.
posted by evening at 6:00 AM on November 20, 2003

fff: But, really, can a stable level of hormones be more unhealthy than wildly fluctuating levels? I'm doubtful.

I would imagine tampering with the complexities of hormonal levels would have more chance of producing health problems than simply letting things take their course.
posted by RGD at 6:57 AM on November 20, 2003

I've heard quite a bit of anecdotal claims that Dep causes serious weight gain.

Thankfully, I've never experienced the type of severe PMS symptoms the women above have. I get a little weepy and, as I like to put it, my tolerance for assholes goes way down. I also get achey and really sleepy. But I've kind of turned these tendencies to want to be alone and rest into a modern, virtual mentrual hut. It's the few days a month I feel like I can legtimately sit on the couch, eat pretzels, and watch TV or read something trashy while totally excusing myself from social, work, and household obligations. I'm sure it says something about my personality that I'm not comfortable excusing myself from these things just because I want to, but whatever works.

Anyway, I opted out of the Dep injections because of the potential weight gain and because I would really miss having my period.
posted by jennyb at 9:21 AM on November 20, 2003

RGD: imagination is all well and good.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:08 AM on November 20, 2003

RGD: imagination is all well and good.

Aye, true enough. Curious, do you have any facts offhand?
posted by RGD at 12:45 PM on November 20, 2003

While you're imagining things, imagine me a situation in which wild fluctuations of X in the human body are better than stability. I can't think of anything.

Binge eating? Bad. Blood sugar surge? Bad. Heartbeat irregularities? Bad. Sudden temperature changes? Bad. Etc.

Sudden hormonal changes? I tend to think it's likely to be worse than hormone levels being kept under control.

The Pill has been around for decades and regulates the natural hormone levels for three out of four weeks. It is among the, if not the, most-studied, most-prescribed drug on the planet.

But, no, I'm not going to whip out and do a bunch of research. It's simply not worth my time. Shouldn't be hard for you to look up info on Depo, though.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:52 PM on November 20, 2003

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