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N Z Med J. 1989 Feb 22;102(862):72-4.

Treatment of premenstrual symptoms in Wellington women.

Author information

1
Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners, Wellington Faculty.

Abstract

A survey of 1826 women in the Wellington region was carried out. Participants were asked about their general and gynaecological health, as well as detailed questions about their last menstrual cycle. The majority (1456) had had a menstrual period within the last month or so. Eighty five percent of these women noted premenstrual symptoms of some kind, and were asked about a variety of self-help measures, and medical help, for these, and whether the advice and/or treatment was in fact helpful. Nine hundred and ninety women had tried self-help while four hundred and sixteen had sought medical help. The most commonly tried self-help measures were exercise, rest and vitamin B6. Half the women had tried each of these. Overall, there was a marked placebo response, but exercise, rest and keeping a written diary of symptoms were all helpful in over eighty percent of those who tried them. Doctors offered a wide range of treatments, including vitamin B6, diuretics, oral contraceptives and mefanamic acid, but the effect of these was difficult to evaluate further. When the sample was subdivided into clusters of women who shared similar symptoms, significant differences in the effectiveness of different self help measures emerged. Four different premenstrual syndromes are suggested: PMS-breast, PMS-bloat, PMS-irritable and intolerant, and PMS-various.

PMID:
2919018
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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