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Gynecol Endocrinol. 2004 Dec;19(6):320-34.

The diagnosis of premenstrual syndromes and premenstrual dysphoric disorder--clinical procedures and research perspectives.

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  • 1Biobehavioral Program, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York 14214-3016, USA.


Premenstrual syndromes (PMS) are quite prevalent among women of reproductive age. In up to 20% of women they are severe enough to warrant treatment, which is available and marketed as such. The impact of the cumulative burden of PMS is substantial and is in the same magnitude as affective disorders. Nevertheless, the definitions and diagnoses of PMS are still fragmented, not widely accepted and, if accepted, not always applied in day-to-day clinical practice. In the present paper, the current diagnostic entities are critically reviewed, problems with the current definitions are delineated and a unified definition is proposed. For clinical purposes, the recommended dinical practical diagnostic process and differential diagnosis are described. For clinical trials of medications for treatment of PMS/premenstrual dysphoric disorder, research diagnostic criteria, inclusion and exclusion criteria, as well as well-defined outcome measures, are of utmost importance; they are described here. The gaps of knowledge in the description and diagnosis of PMS are described, with suggestions for future directions for research.

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