Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

Facts About Premenstrual Syndrome

  • PMS is the mental and / or physical problems that arise in the period up to menstrual bleeding and disappear during the first day of menstruation.
    • Approximately 5% of all women are so bothered that it leads to absenteeism
  • Typical psychological symptoms are depressed mood, irritability, crying trend, restlessness, concentration and sleep problems
  • Typical physical symptoms are:
    • sore breasts
    • bloating
    • edema
    • weight gain, and headache
  • As treatment is recommended exercise and stress reduction.
  • In severe psychological symptoms antidepressants may be used, and there are also effective composition to severe physical symptoms – including oral contraceptives

What is premenstrual syndrome (PMS)?

PMS is the mental and / or physical recurring symptoms that occur in the period before menstrual bleeding, which disappears during the first days of menstruation. Typical symptoms are depressed mood, irritability, crying trend, restlessness, concentration and sleep problems. It is also common with physical symptoms such as breast tenderness, bloating, fluid retention, for example in the ankles, weight gain, headaches, increased belly size and skin changes.

How common is PMS?

 75% of all women have one or more symptoms of PMS.

5% are genes that lead to sick leave. At a few percent of all women are the psychological symptoms prominent. Symptoms usually start in 20-35 years of age, and is most pronounced in women between 30 and 40 years.

What causes PMS?

We do not know the cause of PMS. Several factors come into play, and PMS does not occur anywhere in the world.

Symptoms depend on the hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle. Hormone progesterone, which is formed only after ovulation during the second half of the menstrual cycle, is believed to be important for PMS symptoms.

Women with PMS have normal hormones, but the sensitivity to hormones seem to have changed. Recent research suggests that progesterone can affect brain function and cause some of the same psychological symptoms that can be seen by depression. There will only PMS symptoms if there is ovulation. The symptoms will decrease if ovulation is inhibited.

What are the symptoms of PMS?

Physical symptoms are:

  • sore breasts
  • bloating
  • fluid collections, for example, in the ankles
  • weight gain
  • headache
  • increased abdominal girth
  • skin changes
Psychiatric symptoms are: 
  • depressed mood
  • irritability
  • crying trend
  • restlessness
  • concentration and sleep problems
  • in extreme rare cases there may be suicidal

What symptoms should you pay particular attention to?

If psychiatric symptoms become severe example, by thoughts of suicide, seek medical attention.

How is it diagnosed?

The characteristic genes with mental and / or physical symptoms that come in the latter part of the menstrual cycle and ends when menstruation comes, makes the diagnosis can be made based on medical history alone. There is no need to measure the sex hormones. High metabolismcan provide similar genes. Are there other signs of hyperthyroidism, this can be investigated by a blood test.

What treatment is there?

There are both medical and non-medical treatment options.

What can you do yourself?

It’s no reason to medicalize women’s natural cyclical fluctuations. For the majority of such fluctuations to live with. Exercise and stress reduction interventions have proven beneficial. Possibly there is the effect of acupuncture.

If treatment is required anyway, it is natural to start with drugs with few side effects.

If the medical treatment is required

In severe psychological symptoms where there is depressed mood, there is good effect of antidpressive means of SSRI type. Short term treatment for periods in the latter part of the cycle seems as effective as long-term therapy.

Physical symptoms may be reduced by the pill and in order to avoid cyclic fluctuations can the pill with extended cycle is increased.

The diuretic spironolactone have a possible effect on breast tenderness and bloating, but treatment can also reduce irritability.

In severe physical symptoms is the influence of the pituitary hormones effective as it inhibits ovulation. This is a temporary menopause.

How is long-term prospects?

There are large variations in the duration, severity and intensity of the symptoms.

The condition is usually not associated with complications, but changed relationships with family can occur if the condition involves severe irritability and behavior change. In medical treatment, the symptoms often return when treatment stops.

In menopause disappear premenstrual genes.

How do I avoid or worsen PMS?

It is possible to reduce the symptoms of exercise and stress reduction measures.

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