Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

Also known as: PMS

What is premenstrual syndrome?

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) refers to a group of uncomfortable symptoms or painful cramps that girls commonly experience (~ 75%) just before or during their monthly period.

What causes premenstrual syndrome? 

While the cause is unknown, there are many suggestions regarding the possible cause/s. These include changes in hormones levels, psychogenic factors and others.

What are the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome? 

Symptoms may be mild to debilitatingly severe and can involve a broad range of systems - e.g. Gastrointestinal (abdominal cramps/ bloating/nausea/vomiting/backache) - Fluid retention (weight gain, swelling of ankles, hands and feet) - Respiratory-Psychological (irritability/ nervousness/ fatigue/anxiety/ depression and mental problems and many others ) - Neurological/Vascular/Eye (headaches/fainting/ palpitations/ conjunctivitis and others) - in addition some will complain of  acne, less sexual drive, trouble sleeping etc..

What are premenstrual syndrome care options? 

Over-the-counter pain relievers, lifestyle changes like regular exercise, a healthy diet with less salt/caffeine/sugar, adequate sleep, stress reduction and oral contraceptives may all be of value in managing symptoms.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 3/23/2018 2:16:31 PM

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