“PMS symptoms may get worse as you reach your late 30s or 40s and approach menopause and are in the transition to menopause, called perimenopause”.1

Umbrella
What may the Premenstrual Syndrome Umbrella include?

Depending on the Source (DotS) this Umbrella may include:

  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
  • Premenstrual Mood Changes
  • Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
  • Premenstrual Tension (PMT)

Premenstrual Changes

What are premenstrual changes?

DotS the definition of premenstrual changes may vary. The (United States Massachusetts General Hospital) MGH Center for Women’s Mental Health explain:

“Many women in their reproductive years experience transient physical and emotional changes around the time of their period. In fact, at least 90% of women with regular menstrual cycles report unpleasant physical or psychological symptoms premenstrually. For the majority of women, these symptoms are mild and tolerable. However, for a certain group of women, these symptoms can be disabling and may cause significant disruption in their lives”.2

Premenstrual Syndrome

What is premenstrual syndrome (PMS)?

DotS the definition of PMS may vary. The MGH Center for Women’s Mental Health’s definition is:

“Premenstrual Syndrome, commonly referred to as PMS, is a broad term that typically refers to a general pattern of physical, emotional and behavioral symptoms occurring 1-2 weeks before and remitting with the onset of menses”.3

The (Australian) Jean Hailes for Women’s Health’s (JH) definition is:

“Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) refers to the range of physical and emotional symptoms many women experience in the lead-up to a period”.4

Medline Plus’s definition is:

“PMS refers to a wide range of physical or emotional symptoms that most often occur about 5 to 11 days before a woman starts her monthly menstrual cycle. In most cases, the symptoms stop when, or shortly after, her period begins”.5

PMS Symptoms

What are some PMS symptoms?

In Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS): Symptoms & Causes – Symptoms the (United States) Mayo Clinic reassure:

“The list of potential signs and symptoms for premenstrual syndrome is long, but most women only experience a few of these problems”.6

In Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS): What Are the Symptoms of PMS? the JH also note:

“Symptoms of PMS vary in intensity from woman to woman and can vary from one cycle to the next”.7

PMS Psychological Symptoms

What are PMS psychological/emotional symptoms?

In Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS): What Are the Symptoms of PMS? the JH elaborate on:

“Emotional Symptoms:

  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Nervous tension
  • Lower coping ability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Wanting to be alone
  • Lower libido
  • Reduced interest in work and social life
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Aggression
  • Sadness”.8

In PMDD/PMS: Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) the MGH Center for Women’s Mental Health elaborate on:

“Psychological Symptoms:

  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Sense of feeling overwhelmed
  • Sensitivity to rejection
  • Social withdrawal”.9

PMS Physical Symptoms

What are PMS physical symptoms?

In Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS): What Are the Symptoms of PMS? the JH elaborate on:

“Physical Symptoms:

  • Fluid retention (swollen fingers or ankles)
  • Bloating around the abdomen
  • Breast swelling and tenderness
  • Skin problems such as acne
  • Headaches and/or migraines
  • Poor coordination or clumsiness
  • Tiredness, lethargy, insomnia
  • Increase in weight
  • Constipation and/or diarrhea
  • Food cravings
  • Aches and pains”.10

In PMDD/PMS: Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) the MGH Center for Women’s Mental Health elaborate on:

“Physical Symptoms:

  • Abdominal bloating
  • Appetite disturbance (usually increased)
  • Breast tenderness
  • Headaches
  • Lethargy or fatigue
  • Muscle aches and/or joint pain
  • Sleep disturbance (usually hypersomnia)
  • Swelling of extremities”.11

PMS Behavioural Symptoms

What are PMS behavioural symptoms?

In PMDD/PMS: Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) the MGH Center for Women’s Mental Health elaborate on:

Behavioural Symptoms:

  • “Fatigue
  • Forgetfulness
  • Poor concentration”.12

PMS Common or Not

How common is PMS?

The MGH Center for Women’s Mental Health note:

“PMS is common, affecting from 30-80% of women of reproductive age, though clinically significant PMS symptoms have been reported in 3-8% of patients”.13

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

What is premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)?

DotS the definition of PMDD may vary. The MGH Center for Women’s Mental Health’s definition is:

“Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) is a more severe form of Premenstrual Syndrome characterized by significant premenstrual mood disturbance, often with prominent mood reactivity and irritability. Symptoms of PMDD can emerge 1-2 weeks preceding menses and typically resolve with the onset of menses. This mood disturbance results in marked social or occupational impairment, with its most prominent effects in interpersonal functioning”.14

Depression or Not

How is depression different to PMS and PMDD?

The JH explain:

“PMS and PMDD have similar symptoms to depression. However, with PMS and PMDD, the symptoms get better completely as soon as menstruation begins, while those of depression do not.

PMS and PMDD need to be distinguished from underlying depression because the treatments are different”.15

Premenstrual Exacerbation

What is premenstrual exacerbation (PME)?

DotS the definition of PME may vary. In PMDD/PMS: Ruling Out Other Psychiatric Illnesses the MGH Center for Women’s Mental Health explain:

“Mood disorders, such as major depression or bipolar disorder, can worsen during the premenstrual period and thus may mimic PMDD. When this occurs, the term premenstrual exacerbation or PME is used to refer to the mood worsening which occurs during the premenstrual phase. An estimated 40% of women who seek treatment for PMDD actually have a PME of an underlying mood disorder”.16

In What Is PME? the International Association for Premenstrual Disorders (IAPMD) elaborate on:

“PME, or premenstrual exacerbation of an underlying disorder, occurs when an woman/AFAB has a chronic diagnosis (e.g., depression, anxiety, arthritis) that is made worse prior to and potentially during their period. The symptoms follow a similar trajectory to PMDD, but they never resolve completely”.17

What is AFAB?

AFAB may be an abbreviation for Assigned Female At Birth.

Cause

What causes PMS?

The Womenshealth.gov note:

“Researchers do not know exactly what causes PMS. Changes in hormone levels during the menstrual cycle may play a role. These changing hormone levels may affect some women more than others”.18

Predictable PatternPremenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

Do PMS symptoms tend to recur in a predictable pattern?

Yes. The Mayo Clinic explain:

“Symptoms tend to recur in a predictable pattern. But the physical and emotional changes you experience with premenstrual syndrome may vary from just slightly noticeable all the way to intense”.19

Look for A PatternPremenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

How may I Look for A Pattern with PMS?

In Tracking Your Cycle & Symptoms the IAPMD explain:

PMDD cannot be diagnosed via blood, hormone, or saliva test. These tests can, however, rule out any underlying disorders including hormone imbalance or thyroid issues. The only way to currently test for PMDD is by tracking symptoms for a span of two more menstrual cycles”.20

In Menstrual Diary the (United Kingdom) National Association for Premenstrual Syndrome explain:

“A completed menstrual chart is the first step towards understanding your own menstrual health”.21

The JH note:

  • “It can be useful to keep a detailed daily diary of at least two menstrual cycles to see if there is a pattern with your symptoms to help you and your doctor discuss the best treatment options for you”.22

The MGH Center for Women’s Mental Health also note:

“The best way to confirm the diagnosis of PMDD is by prospective daily charting of symptoms. Women with PMDD will experience a symptom-free interval between menses and ovulation (the proliferative phase)”.23

DiaryPremenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

Where may I find a diary to keep a record of any symptoms I have?

Your Country may have Links similar to:

Menopause

Is there an association between menopause and PMS?

The JH note:

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
“Women can feel depressed and/or experience changes in their mood around perimenopause (the months/years before menopause) when their hormone levels fluctuate. Menopause does not cause depression, but women who have had depression before menopause, or who have a history of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), may be more sensitive to the hormonal changes that menopause brings”.24

In Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS): Does PMS Change With Age? the Office on Women’s Health, United States Department of Health and Human Services, Womenshealth.gov explain:

“Yes. PMS symptoms may get worse as you reach your late 30s or 40s and approach menopause and are in the transition to menopause, called perimenopause.

This is especially true for women whose moods are sensitive to changing hormone levels during the menstrual cycle. In the years leading up to menopause, your hormone levels also go up and down in an unpredictable way as your body slowly transitions to menopause. You may get the same mood changes, or they may get worse.

PMS stops after menopause when you no longer get a period”.25

Health Care Provider

What if I would like help with PMS, PMDD or PME?

If you would like help with PMS, PMDD or PME, it may be in your best interest to choose to talk to your health care provider about this. The Mayo Clinic explain:

“If you haven’t been able to manage your premenstrual syndrome with lifestyle changes and the symptoms of PMS are affecting your health and daily activities, see your doctor”.26

The JH note:

  • “If symptoms persist and interfere with daily activities, see your doctor or seek referral to a gynaecologist with expertise in PMS”.27

The NHS also note:

“As well as changes to your lifestyle, a GP can recommend treatments including:

  • Hormonal medicine – such as the combined contraceptive pill
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy – a talking therapy
  • Antidepressants
  • Dietary Supplements

If you still get symptoms after trying these treatments, you may be referred to a specialist.

This could be a gynaecologist, psychiatrist or counsellor”.28

Who is a GP?

DotS and DotC (Depending on the Country) a GP may be a qualified and registered general practitioner, a medical practitioner, a medical doctor or a doctor.

Health Topics A-Z

Where may I find Health Topics related to Premenstrual Syndrome?

In Health Topics A-Z you may find:

Links

Where may I find Premenstrual Syndrome Links?

Your Country may have Links similar to:

Sources

Where may I find the Sources quoted?

You may find the Sources quoted at:

Sources

  1. Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS): Does PMS Change With Age? Page Last Updated: 16 March 2018. Office on Women’s Health, United States Department of Health and Human Services, Womenshealth.gov https://www.womenshealth.gov/menstrual-cycle/premenstrual-syndrome Accessed: 07 September 2021
  2. PMDD/PMS: Premenstrual Mood Changes. MGH Center for Women’s Mental Health https://womensmentalhealth.org/specialty-clinics/pms-and-pmdd/?doing_wp_cron=1487262997.9087479114532470703125 Accessed: 07 September 2021
  3. PMDD/PMS: Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). MGH Center for Women’s Mental Health https://womensmentalhealth.org/specialty-clinics/pms-and-pmdd/?doing_wp_cron=1487262997.9087479114532470703125 Accessed: 07 September 2021
  4. Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). Last Updated: 18 November 2020 | Last Reviewed: 10 July 2018. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/periods/premenstrual-syndrome-pms/ Accessed: 07 September 2021
  5. Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. Review Date: 03 December 2020. Page Last Updated: 01 September 2021. Medline Plus https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007193.htm Accessed: 07 September 2021
  6. Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS): Symptoms & Causes – Symptoms. 07 February 2020. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/premenstrual-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20376780 Accessed: 07 September 2021
  7. Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS): What Are the Symptoms of PMS? Last Updated: 18 November 2020 | Last Reviewed: 10 July 2018. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/periods/premenstrual-syndrome-pms/ Accessed: 07 September 2021
  8. Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS): What Are the Symptoms of PMS? Last Updated: 18 November 2020 | Last Reviewed: 10 July 2018. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/periods/premenstrual-syndrome-pms/ Accessed: 07 September 2021
  9. PMDD/PMS: Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). MGH Center for Women’s Mental Health https://womensmentalhealth.org/specialty-clinics/pms-and-pmdd/?doing_wp_cron=1487262997.9087479114532470703125 Accessed: 07 September 2021
  10. Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS): What Are the Symptoms of PMS? Last Updated: 18 November 2020 | Last Reviewed: 10 July 2018. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/periods/premenstrual-syndrome-pms/ Accessed: 07 September 2021
  11. PMDD/PMS: Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). MGH Center for Women’s Mental Health https://womensmentalhealth.org/specialty-clinics/pms-and-pmdd/?doing_wp_cron=1487262997.9087479114532470703125 Accessed: 07 September 2021
  12. PMDD/PMS: Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). MGH Center for Women’s Mental Health https://womensmentalhealth.org/specialty-clinics/pms-and-pmdd/?doing_wp_cron=1487262997.9087479114532470703125 Accessed: 07 September 2021
  13. PMDD/PMS: Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). MGH Center for Women’s Mental Health https://womensmentalhealth.org/specialty-clinics/pms-and-pmdd/?doing_wp_cron=1487262997.9087479114532470703125 Accessed: 07 September 2021
  14. PMDD/PMS: Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD). MGH Center for Women’s Mental Health https://womensmentalhealth.org/specialty-clinics/pms-and-pmdd/?doing_wp_cron=1487262997.9087479114532470703125 Accessed: 07 September 2021
  15. Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS): How Are PMS & PMDD Different From Depression? Last Updated: 18 November 2020 | Last Reviewed: 10 July 2018. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/periods/premenstrual-syndrome-pms/ Accessed: 07 September 2021
  16. PMDD/PMS: Ruling Out Other Psychiatric Illnesses. MGH Center for Women’s Mental Health https://womensmentalhealth.org/specialty-clinics/pms-and-pmdd/?doing_wp_cron=1487262997.9087479114532470703125 Accessed: 07 September 2021
  17. What Is PME? Updated: 16 November 2019. International Association for Premenstrual Disorders http://faq.iapmd.org/en/articles/2608707-what-is-pme Accessed: 07 September 2021
  18. Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS): What Causes PMS? Page Last Updated: 16 March 2018. Office on Women’s Health, United States Department of Health and Human Services, Womenshealth.gov https://www.womenshealth.gov/menstrual-cycle/premenstrual-syndrome Accessed: 07 September 2021
  19. Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS): Symptoms & Causes – Overview. 07 February 2020. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/premenstrual-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20376780 Accessed: 07 September 2021
  20. Tracking Your Cycle & Symptom. International Association for Premenstrual Disorders https://iapmd.org/symptom-tracker Accessed: 07 September 2021
  21. Menstrual Diary. National Association for Premenstrual Syndromes https://www.pms.org.uk/support/menstrual-diary/ Accessed: 07 September 2021
  22. Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS): Management & Treatment of PMS Symptoms – Things To Keep In Mind. Last Updated: 18 November 2020 | Last Reviewed: 17 December 2017. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/periods/premenstrual-syndrome-pms/ Accessed: 07 September 2021
  23. PMDD/PMS: Non-Pharmacologic Treatment for PMS and PMDD – Monthly Mood Charting. MGH Center for Women’s Mental Health https://womensmentalhealth.org/specialty-clinics/pms-and-pmdd/?doing_wp_cron=1487262997.9087479114532470703125 Accessed: 07 September 2021
  24. Symptoms of Menopause: Menopause & Mood. Last Updated: 24 March 2021 | Last Reviewed: 17 December 2017. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/menopause-symptoms Accessed: 07 September 2021
  25. Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS): Does PMS Change With Age? Page Last Updated: 16 March 2018. Office on Women’s Health, United States Department of Health and Human Services, Womenshealth.gov https://www.womenshealth.gov/menstrual-cycle/premenstrual-syndrome Accessed: 07 September 2021
  26. Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS): Symptoms & Causes – Symptoms: When To See A Doctor. 07 February 2020. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/premenstrual-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20376780 Accessed: 07 September 2021
  27. Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS): Management & Treatment of PMS Symptoms – Things To Keep In Mind. Last Updated: 18 November 2020 | Last Reviewed: 10 July 2018. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/periods/premenstrual-syndrome-pms/ Accessed: 07 September 2021
  28. (PMS) Premenstrual Syndrome: Treating PMS. Page Last Reviewed: 09 June 2021. NHS https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pre-menstrual-syndrome/ Accessed: 07 September 2021

Topic Last Updated: 07 September 2021 – Topic Last Reviewed: 07 September 2021
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