For one of the PP's who wants to get pregnant but is concerned regarding her PMS/PMDD: the longest period of feeling physically and mentally PMS-symptom free, and just great, happened during both of my pregnancies (not calcultaing the typically pregnant-related issues here).
That's my personal experience, of course.
And after the babies are born you may have other or same hormone-related challenges to deal with.
I also must say that for me personally the PMS I have post-children has worsened comparing to the PMS I had before getting pregnant (maybe because the home situation has more stress factors with little ones around?). But even this knowledge, or the one I describe below, wouldn't have been a burden for me to start a family. I solely see these conditions as undesired side-effects.
I found that the pill was the very thing that has kept my PMS somewhat under control (before children). (Note that I used 2-3 different ones that I did not tolerate well, two of which made me have PMS like symptoms and one making me depressed, but the 4th one was a great match: Dianne 35, unfortunately a very 'heavy' one, but it also cleared my skin totally!). When I left it out for ttc I felt the effect of not taking it, too, but it was bearable and only 'little' discomfort.
I reluctantly but desperately went back to it while extbf and after I had two children (and 'undiagnosed', 'moderate' PPD, twice), and after I kept suffering from symptoms, mainly around my period. I also kept a calendar of feelings and thoughts and physical symptoms for a couple of months (when I finally realised I might be suffering from PPD) and it developed from symptoms almost daily to symptoms in clusters and definitely related to my cycle.
My obgyn (a she) never wanted to recognise it as PPD since it started to occur many months after the birth and I'd had my periods starting close after the birth every time, but at least she acknowledged my state of being and adressed the severe PMS, and I believe I might call it PMDD (I think that's a fairly new term, no?, probably manymany people adress their issue as PMS while it is in fact PMDD when your really seriously mentally suffering/having temperament changes too?).
Unfortunately, after only 6 months use of the (for me magical) pill and feeling completely myself again, I had to stop its use because of venous problems in my leg(s). These may or may not be partially caused by this pill, but I had to stop taking it for allowing my body to heal and during medication use. I will need a bloodcloth evaluation just to be sure before being able to go on the pill once again, and probably a lighter one, if, and when I will. Reason for taking it would be a combination of PMS-treatment, skin, and birth control. It's something I don't really like to take (understatement), but it has helped me tremendously, and then, rather this than ad. I'm not sure about going on the pill yet again cfr venous problem. But I also feel PMS/PMDD got me back.
I have been taking iron supplementation and vit B6 (in amounts of 50-100mg) and multivitamins occasionally and/or in the past, the iron I take when 'unexplained' exhaustion is around again. I notice that consciuosly eating lots of greens, and overall healthily, drinking lots of teas/water and leaving the sugar and junk out as much as possible helps a lot to get me in a state of well-being, as well as fresh air/walks and/or exercise. Not that I always live according to these ideals, but I feel that when I do much of an effort, it sure has results.
Anyway, I will come and look here once in a while since I notice that now I'm off this pill again, there are days I am totaly unreasonable an emotional again and I feel awful afterwards. It's like I become super sensory overloaded, too, both mentally and physically speaking. Some months the PMS/PMDD gets to me physically too and I feel like staying in bed for one or two days because of exhaustion and/or cramping/backache.
I have been describing PPD as continuos PMDD and I have been describing PMS/PMDD as recurring bouts of PPD, when it's at its worst. The worst is that PPD may be present all day 24/7 for manymnany months or even years, but the bad thing about PMS/PMDD is that it's there for manymany days too, every-single-month, over-and-over-again, for x years of your life. The thought of it is already pretty depressing, isn't it?
It's a hormonal issue that has been affecting me both physically and mentally, and my environment through me. Which is probably the worst of it all.
I feel it is very hard for a person who does or has not experienced this to find it at all credible. I usually find myself alone in it and hate myself when I am PMS/PMDDing (even when I'm not in the realisation yet that am).
Btw, today I am great. Spring is around etc. So I don't even know why I'm writing here now on the top of my sunny hill
But last week, well, let's forget about all I've felt and said and let's hope others will be able to do the same.
And at least I can say I am myself now for major part of the month. I wish that could be whole months again, though.