The menstrual cycle is the hormonal process a woman’s body goes through each month to prepare for a possible pregnancy. Regular menstrual periods in the years between puberty and menopause are usually a sign that your body is working normally. Irregular or heavy, painful periods are not normal. Many women also get premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms. You can take steps at home and talk to your doctor or nurse about ways to treat your period problems and PMS.