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Premenstrual syndrome

Many women experience abdominal pain or a headache, are tense, sad and irritable or feel bloated and uncomfortable in the days leading up to their period. The medical term for this is “premenstrual syndrome” (PMS), also known as “premenstrual tension” (PMT).

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: July 31, 2013

Premenstrual syndrome: Can relaxation techniques or psychological treatments relieve the symptoms?

Premenstrual syndrome can be treated with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as well as with medications for depression (antidepressants). It has not been scientifically proven which method is better. But research suggests that CBT can relieve symptoms of depression and that, in women it has helped, its effects last longer than antidepressant medication.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: June 5, 2013

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) for premenstrual syndrome

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a common cause of physical, psychological and social problems in women of reproductive age. PMS is distinguished from 'normal' premenstrual symptoms by the degree of distress and disruption it causes. Symptoms occur during the period leading up to the menstrual period and are relieved by the onset of menstruation. Common symptoms include irritability, depression, anxiety and lethargy. A clinical diagnosis of PMS requires that the symptoms are confirmed by prospective recording (that is recorded as they occur) for at least two menstrual cycles and that they cause substantial distress or impairment to daily life. It is estimated that approximately one in five women of reproductive age are affected. PMS can severely disrupt a woman's daily life and some women seek medical treatment. Researchers in The Cochrane Collaboration reviewed the evidence about the effectiveness and safety of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) for treating PMS. They examined the research up to February 2013.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2013

Birth control pills with drospirenone for treating premenstrual syndrome

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a common problem. A severe form is called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). Birth control pills with the hormones progestin and estrogen have been studied for treating such symptoms. A birth control pill with the progestin drospirenone may work better than other such pills. A drospirenone pill with low estrogen was approved for treating PMDD, the severe form of PMS, in women who use birth control pills.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2012

Treating PMS symptoms

Some women who have premenstrual syndrome (PMS) have such bad symptoms in the days before their period that it keeps them from doing the things they usually do. But there are different ways of coping with and treating typical symptoms such as pain, breast tenderness and mood swings.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: July 31, 2013

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