Objective: The purpose of this paper is to examine the prevalence, clinical significance and comorbidity of perimenstrual symptoms/syndrome (PERI-MS) in a community sample of women.
Method: Premenstrual and menstrual physical and psychological symptoms were assessed in a prospective longitudinal study of a representative community cohort of women (N=299) who were interviewed five times between the ages of 21 and 35 years.
Results: When classified according to the severity of distress, the prevalence rates were 8.1% for severe and 13.6% for moderate PERI-MS, respectively. Clinical indicators of severity were all greater among PERI-MS women with than without depressed mood.
Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that irritability, nervousness and tension irrespective of the presence of concomitant depressed mood are core elements of the perimenstrual syndrome.