Facts About Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

Tanuja Bisht

, Health A2Z

What is Premenstrual Syndrome?


Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a group of symptoms associated with the menstrual cycle. It generally occurs 1 to 2 weeks before the onset of the menstrual or menstrual period. The symptoms usually disappear after they start bleeding.

Premenstrual syndrome can affect menstruating women of all ages and the effect varies for each woman. For some people, PMS is just a monthly nuisance. But for others, it can be so difficult to spend the day. Premenstrual syndrome goes away when your periods are stopped, for example, when you become pregnant or go to menopause.



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PMS is also defined as a combination of emotional and physical symptoms that several women get after ovulation and before the start of their menstrual period.


What are the Symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome?


PMS often includes both emotional and physical symptoms including;

  • Acne
  • Swollen or tender breasts
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Feeling tired
  • Upset stomach, constipation, bloating or diarrhea
  • A headache
  • Appetite changes or food cravings
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Low concentration or memory
  • Tension, irritability, crying spells or mood swings
  • Anxiety or depression


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What are the Causes of Premenstrual Syndrome?


The causes of PMS are unclear, but several factors may be involved. Hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle seem to be an important cause. These hormonal changes may affect some women more than others. Chemical changes in the brain may also be involved. Stress and emotional problems like depression do not seem to cause PMS, but they can exacerbate the situation.


Other factors may include;

  • Low levels of minerals and vitamins.
  • Eating a lot of salty foods.
  • Drinking caffeine and alcohol, which may alter your mood and energy level.


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How is Premenstrual Syndrome Diagnosed?


There is no single test for PMS. Your healthcare professional will talk with you about your symptoms, such as when they happen and how much they affect your life.

You probably have PMS if you have the following symptoms including;

  • Happen in the five days before your period for at least three menstrual cycles in a row.
  • End within four days after your period starts.
  • Keep you from enjoying or doing some of your normal activities.


What are the Treatments for Premenstrual Syndrome?


There are several things that have been tried to ease the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. Following are some treatment options for PMS including;

  • Lifestyle changes
  • Alternative therapies
  • Medications



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