During perimenopause, or before menopause, apart from mood changes such as anxiety, the menopause blues and mood swings, we may also experience changes in our PMS (premenstrual syndrome).

Meno Martha, PMS and PerimenopauseDuring perimenopause, I thought my hormones would decline in a nice neat regular fashion, getting less and less each month, until my periods stopped. I was wrong.

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”.

Just as estrogen may not decline in a regular fashion, neither may our PMS. 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”.

Depending on the Source, the definition of PMS may vary. In PMDD/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 broader term that typically refers to a general pattern of physical, emotional and behavioral symptoms occurring 1-2 weeks before menses and remitting with the onset of menses. PMS is common, affecting from 30-80% of women of reproductive age”.

In PMDD/PMS: Non-Pharmacologic Treatment for PMS and PMDD – Monthly Mood Chart the the MGH Center for Women’s Mental Health elaborate on:

“Keeping a monthly mood chart can be informative and even therapeutic for many women. In addition to helping with the diagnosis, many women feel better if they can identify the relationship between their cycles and mood changes, and also anticipate days that they may be at risk for mood worsening”.

Meno Martha, PMS and Perimenopause

In Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS): How Is PMS Diagnosed? the Womenshealth.gov elaborate on:

“Keep track of which PMS symptoms you have and how severe they are for a few months. Write down your symptoms each day on a calendar or with an app on your phone. Take this information with you when you see your doctor”.

In Menstrual Diary the National Association for Premenstrual Syndrome include a diary and in Periods the (Australasian) Jean Hailes for Women’s Health include a Pain & Symptom Diary.

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Meno Martha
Last Updated: 18 June 2018 – Last Revised: 18 June 2018