Published on Jan 06, 2018 and last reviewed on Oct 10, 2019 - 3 min read
Although the severity of PMS varies widely among women, it is believed to affect 75 % of the menstruating women in some way or other. Hence, it is essential to be aware of its timing, symptoms, and management.
What Is PMS
PMS is a term used to collectively describe a group of physical and emotional symptoms seen in women in the days leading up to the periods. These symptoms occur after ovulation and subside with the arrival of periods. During this phase, the hormonal fluctuations are at their peak, thus causing bodily changes as well as mood instabilities.
The combination of PMS symptoms vary among different women and also between cycles in the same woman. They can be categorized as follows:
1. Physical symptoms:
2. Emotional symptoms:
The exact cause is yet to be established, but it is known to be brought about by cyclic hormonal changes in the woman's body. The levels of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone fall rapidly if you do not get pregnant after the ovulation has occurred.
PMS affects some women more than others. A very severe form of PMS known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is also experienced by some, but it is not as prevalent as PMS.
There are no specific tests available to diagnose PMS. Tests are often performed to rule out other conditions that can cause similar symptoms such as depression, edema, chronic fatigue syndrome, hypothyroidism, and irritable bowel syndrome. The disappearance of symptoms after the arrival of a period is considered as the telltale sign.
PMS Vs. Early Pregnancy: Unfortunately, both PMS and early pregnancy can have very similar symptoms, and if a period is missing, it is not possible to say for sure which one it is, without taking a pregnancy test.
What would help is maintaining a menstrual diary to make a note of your symptoms or keeping track of their recurrence through a phone app. This habit would not only help your doctor make a diagnosis but also help you know your body better. The presence of these symptoms during the premenstrual phase for three continuous cycles conclusively points to a diagnosis of PMS.
How to Manage PMS at Home
Treatment for PMS
There is no specific cure for PMS. Taking Calcium and Magnesium supplements have helped a lot of women.
Many others benefit from symptomatic treatment that provides relief from the specific symptom encountered. Few of the drugs that are prescribed are:
Effect of PMS on General Health
Although PMS does not cause these issues, they are observed to aggravate existing health conditions such as the following.
Call the Doctor If
Query: Hello doctor, I have been on Paxil CR 37.5 mg for 16 years. After a recent depression or OCD episode that occurred around my period, I saw a psychiatrist to see if I needed to bump up my dosage or change medicines. She prescribed me 7.5 mg of regular Paxil, not CR, to take with my 37.5 mg CR a few... Read Full »
Query: Hi doctor, I had unprotected sex 19 days back. My period is always regular and my expected date was in the first week the following month. I had uneasiness and fatigue by the end of last month. Left side upper abdominal pain started a week back. It comes occasionally and goes on its own. Occasionall... Read Full »
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