Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is term used to denote symptoms that a woman may experience during menstrual cycle. These symptoms may start a few days before the monthly menstrual cycle (luteal phase) and usually stop when the menstruation begins (follicular phase) or shortly thereafter. Symptoms of PMS can be physical, emotional and cognitive or behavioural. Severity of PMS symptoms may vary from mild to severe. PMS does not occur in prepubertal period, postmenopausal women, anovulatory (e.g., pregnant) women or in women, who have undergone oophorectomy.
How long does PMS last?
Symptoms of premenstrual syndrome may start at any age after the start of menstruation i.e. in teens or during the 20s or 30s. The symptoms of PMS may begin to subside after age 35, but they usually stop after menopause. In some women, PMS symptoms may worsen in the late 30s and 40s (the perimenopause phase). According to research, about 75% of women experience some symptoms of PMS (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 does not remit spontaneously before the menopause in most women. Women with PMS usually have symptoms throughout their reproductive life after it starts, however, with treatment (healthy diet, regular exercise and medications) most women get significant relief. Definitive or permanent cure for PMS is surgery to remove the uterus and ovaries, however, this is a major surgery with many complications and consequences. Therefore, doctors prefer to treat with medications and usually do not recommend surgery.
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