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Premenstrual Syndrome

Premenstrual Syndrome: Putting It All Together

Monday, April 23, 2012 - 15:56

Contributing Author: Guy Slowik FRCS

Here is a summary of the important facts and information related to premenstrual syndrome.

  • Premenstrual syndrome is a term that refers to the physical and emotional symptoms that occur during the one or two weeks before the beginning of menstruation.
  • Most women who have menstrual periods experience some premenstrual symptoms. About 40 percent of menstruating women have premenstrual syndrome, and 10 percent have severe symptoms.
  • PMS is diagnosed when a woman has symptoms, the symptoms coincide with her menstrual cycle, and symptoms impair her functioning in life, and cannot be attributed to other conditions.
  • Charting a calendar of symptoms is one way for a woman to determine if her symptoms relate to her menstrual cycle.
  • The older a woman is, the more likely she is to experience PMS. Family histories of PMS, more children, being physically inactive and smoking are all associated with increased severity of symptoms.
  • The most likely explanation for PMS is that many women are sensitive to the hormonal shifts that occur in the second half of the menstrual cycle.
  • The more a woman understands PMS, the more can be done.
  • There are many treatments for PMS that work. A woman will most likely need to try several treatment options before she finds the combination that works for her.
  • Lifestyle changes alone, such as diet, physical activity and stress management may help many women with PMS. Other women may also need to take medicine.

Premenstrual Syndrome