Many women experience symptoms around the time of their menstrual period, however, women who suffer from pre-menstrual syndrome experience these symptoms much more severely and for longer periods of time.
What is pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS)?
Pre-menstrual syndrome is the name given to a large group of symptoms (over 150 known symptoms) related to a woman’s menstrual cycle. These symptoms are usually disrupting to the woman’s life and occur over an extended period of time; up to two weeks prior to the woman’s menstrual period.
What are the symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome?
The symptoms associated with pre-menstrual syndrome are often experienced by women without pre-menstrual syndrome; the distinguishing factor between “normal” symptoms and pre-menstrual syndrome is the degree of severity and length of the symptoms. Some of these symptoms include acne, back pain, bloating, breast pain, constipation, crying spells, cravings, depression, decreased libido, distractibility, headache, heart palpitations, hot flashes, insomnia, irritability, isolative behavior, joint pain, moodiness, rapid heart rate, tiredness, swelling of the extremities and weight gain.
What causes pre-menstrual syndrome?
There is no known cause for pre-menstrual syndrome and researchers are unsure whether pre-menstrual syndrome is related to genetics or not. It is believed that pre-menstrual syndrome is related to the fluctuating hormones (especially estrogen) in a woman’s body at various times of the month. Pre-menstrual symptom is not believed to be related to psychological problems or disorders, however the presence of one may worsen the symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome.
Can pre-menstrual syndrome affect fertility?
Pre-menstrual syndrome has not been shown to cause infertility.
What treatments are available for pre-menstrual syndrome?
There is no known cure for pre-menstrual syndrome. Women experiencing milder symptoms may benefit from over-the-counter medications such as midol, pamprin, ibuprofen, and naproxen. A physician may prescribe other medications to help control symptoms, such as birth control to help regulate hormones, diuretics to prevent swelling and bloating, and anti-depressants to address psychological symptoms, such as depression and anxiety.
PMS — familydoctor.org