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Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS), also called premenstrual tension (PMT) is a collection of emotional symptoms, with or without physical symptoms, related to a woman's menstrual cycle.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: Wikipedia)

About PMS

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).

PMS symptoms are usually not very severe, and most women cope well with them. But some women have such severe PMS that they are unable to go about their everyday lives during that time. If that is the case, various treatment options are available.

Premenstrual syndrome is a set of physical and psychological symptoms that start about 7 to 10 days before a woman gets her monthly period (menstruation). Many women experience breast tenderness and abdominal pain. Other symptoms include headaches, back pain and joint or muscle ache. They may also have water retention (bloating) and sleeping problems or digestive problems... Read more about Premenstrual Syndrome

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Herbal treatment for premenstrual syndrome

Herbal medicines are sometimes used for treating premenstrual syndrome (PMS). However, the effectiveness of this type of therapy has not be rigorously evaluated in randomised controlled trials.

Progesterone for premenstrual syndrome

There is little good evidence for treating premenstrual syndrome with progesterone. Five per cent or more of women experience symptoms, severe enough to damage work and relationships, only in the days leading to their menstrual periods. Blood progesterone levels usually rise after ovulation and fall again before menstruation. It has been suggested that premenstrual syndrome (PMS) might have been caused by too little progesterone or falling levels.

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.

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Summaries for consumers

Diary: Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) can be associated with a wide range of symptoms. Most of them are non-specific. In other words, they can also be caused by many other medical conditions. Signs of PMS may include breast tenderness, abdominal pain, headaches and mood swings, as well as trouble sleeping or concentrating, irritability, anger, achy joints and water retention. To find out whether there is actually a link between these problems and your menstrual cycle, it can be helpful to keep a diary – ideally for at least two to three months. This can also be useful when preparing for a doctor’s appointment.PMS diary Image of diary Illustration: Image of diary – as described in the article The current month can be entered into the space at the top, and the date on which your period started can be noted in the box below.You can record how long your period lasted by drawing a line along the dates or adding further ticks.Any symptoms you observe throughout the month can be recorded in the table, indicating how severe they were using dots of different sizes:Things can be added to the list – either by typing them into the PDF file, or writing them on a printed version.You can use the last two rows of the table to make a note of whether the problems affected your relationships with your family, partner, friends or colleagues. Example of a filled-in table: Illustration: Example of diary with added notes Illustration: Example of diary with added notes

Herbal treatment for premenstrual syndrome

Herbal medicines are sometimes used for treating premenstrual syndrome (PMS). However, the effectiveness of this type of therapy has not be rigorously evaluated in randomised controlled trials.

Progesterone for premenstrual syndrome

There is little good evidence for treating premenstrual syndrome with progesterone. Five per cent or more of women experience symptoms, severe enough to damage work and relationships, only in the days leading to their menstrual periods. Blood progesterone levels usually rise after ovulation and fall again before menstruation. It has been suggested that premenstrual syndrome (PMS) might have been caused by too little progesterone or falling levels.

See all (9)

Terms to know

Follicular Phase
Follicular phase begins with the onset of menstruation and ends with ovulation.
Hormones
A messenger molecule that helps coordinate the actions of various tissues; made in one part of the body and transported, via the bloodstream, to tissues and organs elsewhere in the body.
Luteal Phase
The period in the menstrual cycle that follows ovulation. The luteal phase begins with ovulation and ends with the onset of menstruation.
Premenstrual
Occurring in the time period during the menstrual cycle leading up to the beginning of menstruation. Or relating to the time period in a girl's life prior to her first experience of menstruation.

More about Premenstrual Syndrome

Photo of a young adult woman

Also called: Premenstrual tension, PMT

See Also: Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

Other terms to know: See all 4
Follicular Phase, Hormones, Luteal Phase

Related articles:
How the Menstrual Cycle Works

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