Premenstrual disorders: prevalence, etiology and impact

J Reprod Med. 2006 Apr;51(4 Suppl):339-47.


Millions of reproductive-age U.S. women experience premenstrual symptoms with varying degrees of severity. The large number and variety of premenstrual symptoms reported have made premenstrual disorders difficult to characterize. A number of mechanisms have been proposed to explain the etiology of premenstrual symptoms. Some women appear to have a genetic predisposition toward severe premenstrual symptoms or to have vulnerability traits that increase their risk. It has been suggested that 1 or more neurotransmitters and/or neurohormonal systems in certain women may have an abnormal response to normal fluctuations in gonadal hormones across the menstrual cycle. Premenstrual disorders can have a significant negative impact on a woman's quality of life and work productivity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Gonadal Hormones / blood
  • Gonadal Hormones / physiology
  • Humans
  • Luteal Phase / physiology
  • Menstrual Cycle / physiology*
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / physiology
  • Premenstrual Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Premenstrual Syndrome / etiology*
  • Premenstrual Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Quality of Life


  • Gonadal Hormones
  • Neurotransmitter Agents