During perimenopause apart from mood changes such as anxiety, the menopause blues and mood swings, we may also experience changes in our PMS.

Meno Martha, PMS and PerimenopausePerimenopause Hormones

During perimenopause do our hormones declined in a regular fashion?

In Sexual Health & Menopause Online: Changes At Midlife – Changes In Hormone Levels: Estrogen the North American Menopause Society elaborate on:

“Estrogen levels generally decline during perimenopause, but they do so in an irregular fashion. Sometimes there can be more estrogen present during perimenopause than in the past”.

Perimenopause PMS

During perimenopause may our PMS symptoms get worse?

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:

Meno Martha, PMS and Perimenopause“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”.

In Premenstrual Disorders & Menopause: Perimenopause & Natural Menopause – How May Being Perimenopausal Affect My PMDD/PME? the International Association for Premenstrual Disorder’s (IAPMD) elaborate on:

“PMDD cycling does go away after you are fully menopausal; however, during the years before and during the menopause transition (perimenopause), things can get rough for a while since those with PMDD are sensitive to hormone changes, and hormone flux increases EVEN MORE during perimenopause. Estrogen and progesterone production becomes very erratic and unstable before it declines at menopause”.

Meno Martha, PMS and Perimenopause

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

What is PMS?

Depending on the Source (DotS), the definition of PMS may vary. In PMDD/PMS: Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) the (United States) Massachusetts General Hospital) 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. 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”.

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

What is PMDD?

DotS, the definition of PMDD may vary. In PMDD/PMS: Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) 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. In fact, a recent study found that women with untreated PMDD were likely to experience a loss of three quality-adjusted life years during their lifetime as a result of their premenstrual symptoms. This did not include menstruation-free periods, such as pregnancy, breastfeeding and menopause”.

How may PMDD be diagnosed?

In Tracking Your Cycle & Symptoms the IAPMD note:

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”.

Monthly Diary

Meno Martha, PMS and PerimenopauseMay keeping a monthly diary help?

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. Download the menstrual diary.

Our chart helps you to record accurately your menstrual cycle, to note related symptoms as they occur, to define when you are symptom-free, to plot your days of menstruation and to note the duration of your cycle”.

In Premenstrual Syndrome – Self-Care: Keep A Diary of Symptoms the (United States) MedlinePlus explain:

“Keeping a calendar or diary of your symptoms can help you identify the symptoms that are causing you the most trouble. Writing down your symptoms on a calendar can help you understand possible triggers for your symptoms. It can also help your health care provider choose an approach that is most helpful for you. In your diary or calendar, be sure to record:

  • The type of symptoms you are having
  • How severe your symptoms are
  • How long your symptoms last
  • Whether your symptoms respond to a treatment you tried
  • At what point during your cycle your symptoms occur

You may need to try different things to treat PMS. Some things you try may work, and others may not. Keeping track of your symptoms may help you find the treatments that work best for you”.

Monthly Diary Format

Where may I find a monthly diary format so I can record any symptoms I have?

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Health Care Provider

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

If you would like help with PMS or PMDD or PME (Premenstrual Exacerbation), it may be in your best interest to choose to talk to your health care provider about this.

In Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS): Living With – When Should I See My Healthcare Provider? the (United States) Cleveland Clinic explain:

“See your provider if you’re unable to get relief from your PMS symptoms. To get the most out of your visit, come to your appointment prepared to discuss your symptoms and your period in detail. Track your period and symptom history on a calendar, planner or app. Be prepared to share information about your period start and stop dates and your symptoms (including how mild or severe) for at least two consecutive periods”.

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Last Updated: 15 May 2024 – Last Revised: 15 May 2024