Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is the name given to a wide range of physical or emotional symptoms that a woman may experience during menstrual cycle. These symptoms may start one or two weeks before the monthly menstrual cycle and usually stop when the menstruation begins or shortly thereafter.
Prognosis of premenstrual syndrome
Severity of symptoms: The severity of symptoms may vary from mild to severe. Most women have mild to moderate PMS, which responds well to treatment. In mild PMS, you may have symptoms such as swelling of the breast and tenderness, bloating sensation and weight gain (because of water retention), changes in bowel habits (may be diarrhoea or constipation) and acne. These symptoms cause discomfort, but do not disrupt your daily life and prevent you from doing your regular activities. Moderately severe PMS symptoms may affect your daily life and prevent you from doing your regular activities.
Women with severe symptoms may have emotional and cognitive symptoms, such as feeling depressed, sad, hopeless; changes in mood, such as anger, irritability, anxiety; they may not be able to concentrate or focus on any work (causing poor job performance or missed workdays); have negative feelings, such as them having lost control over their life; have unfounded guilt and shame. All these symptoms affect them and their family negatively and can prevent them from doing regular activities. If you experience severe emotional and cognitive symptoms, what you are suffering from is called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). PMDD is not a common problem and affects about 5 out of 100 women with PMS.
PMS and age: Many women may have symptoms of premenstrual syndrome at any age after the start of menstruation i.e. in teens or 20s or 30s. The symptoms of PMS may begin to subside after the age of 35 or worsen in the late 30s and 40s, (the perimenopause phase). There is no cure for PMS and the symptoms stop with menopause (when the menstrual cycle stops), however, with treatment (healthy diet, regular exercise and medications), most women get significant relief.
PMS and depression: Women, who have severe PMS or PMDD are at a greater risk of developing depression. According to experts, in some women with depression, the symptoms may become more severe during the second half of their cycle. This may necessitate increase in the dose of their medication. According to research, about 50% - 60% of women with severe PMS have a psychiatric disorder (premenstrual dysphoric disorder).