Premenstrual syndrome and premenstrual dysphoric disorder: quality of life and burden of illness

Expert Rev Pharmacoecon Outcomes Res. 2009 Apr;9(2):157-70. doi: 10.1586/erp.09.14.


Premenstrual symptoms are distressing for up to 20% of reproductive-aged women and are associated with impairment in interpersonal or workplace functioning for at least 3-8%. Typical symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and the severe form, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, include irritability, anger, mood swings, depression, tension/anxiety, abdominal bloating, breast pain and fatigue. The symptoms recur monthly and last for an average of 6 days per month for the majority of the reproductive years. For women with premenstrual dysphoric disorder, the symptoms can be as disabling as major depressive disorder. It has been estimated that affected women experience almost 3000 days of severe symptoms during the reproductive years. Until two decades ago, there were no effective treatments for severe premenstrual syndrome. Even in 2000, almost three-quarters of women in the USA with premenstrual disorders either did not seek help or sought treatment unsuccessfully from at least three clinicians for over 5 years. This review will focus on the epidemiology, diagnosis, treatment outcomes, quality of life and burden of illness for premenstrual disorders.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Premenstrual Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Premenstrual Syndrome / economics
  • Premenstrual Syndrome / psychology*
  • Premenstrual Syndrome / therapy
  • Public Health
  • Quality of Life*
  • Young Adult