Women may experience tender breasts, bloating and muscle aches a few days before the onset of their monthly bleeding (menstrual periods). These are part of a normal phase of a woman’s menstrual cycle and these symptoms are known as premenstrual symptoms. If the symptoms become bothersome and affect your daily life, they are called premenstrual syndrome (PMS). You may start having symptoms of PMS at any age after the start of menstruation i.e. in teens, 20s or 30s. In many women, the symptoms worsen in the late 30s and 40s, (the perimenopause phase). A woman may experience symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) either a few days before or during her menstrual periods. The severity of symptoms may vary from mild to severe.
Consult your doctor for symptoms of PMS if:
If your symptoms are mild and last for a few days you may try home treatment measures, such as eating healthy diet and doing exercises regularly. Many women experience significant improvement in PMS symptoms with healthy lifestyle changes. If self care and following healthy lifestyle measures do not improve the symptoms or your symptoms worsen, consult your doctor.
Who to consult
Some health care professionals, who can diagnose and treat PMS symptoms include:
Your primary care provider may diagnose and treat premenstrual syndrome (PMS), but if needed, you may be referred to a gynaecologist for treatment. Your gynaecologist will make a treatment plan. If you have bothersome emotional and cognitive symptoms, you will be referred to a psychiatrist or psychologist to manage your symptoms.