Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is the term given to symptoms (physical, psychological and behavioural) experienced by a woman during her menstrual cycle. The symptoms may start a few day or even two weeks before the monthly menstrual cycle and usually stop when menstruation begins. In some women, the symptoms may last for a few days after the start of menstruation.
Cause of PMS
The exact cause of PMS is not known, but changes in hormonal levels are believed to cause PMS. There is no conclusive evidence to prove that changes in hormone levels play a role in PMS. There is also no explanation for the fact that different women respond differently to changes in their hormonal levels. Besides hormones other factors that are believed to influence PMS include social, cultural, biological and psychological factors.
According to research, about 75% of women experience some symptoms of PMS (that may be mild to moderate in severity), about 20% to 50% find that symptoms disrupt their daily life and prevent them from doing their regular activities and about 3% to 5% have severe symptoms that can incapacitate them.
PMS is more likely in women:
Symptom of PMS
Symptoms of PMS may vary from mild to severe. PMS can cause physical, behavioural and emotional and cognitive symptoms.
Common physical symptoms of PMS include:
Common cognitive and emotional symptoms of PMS include:
In occasional cases, emotional and cognitive symptoms can be severe and incapacitating. If you experience severe emotional and cognitive symptoms, it is known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). Some women may experience worsening of PMS symptoms in their late 30s and 40s (in the perimenopausal period before the onset of menopause).
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) cannot be cured, but with treatment the symptoms can be controlled in most women so that they do not interfere with daily life. Treatment options of PMS include:
No one type of treatment has been shown to be helpful in all women with PMS. The success of each type of treatment in providing relief from PMS symptoms is variable from woman to woman.