Premenstrual syndrome: management and pathophysiology

Clin Exp Obstet Gynecol. 2015;42(2):123-8.


Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is triggered by hormonal events ensuing after ovulation. The symptoms can begin in the early, mid, or late luteal phase and are not associated with defined concentrations of any specific gonadal or non-gonadal hormone. Women with PMS experience affective or somatic symptoms that cause severe dysfunction in social or occupational realms. Although evidence for a hormonal abnormality has not been established, the symptoms of the premenopausal disorders are related to the production of progesterone by the ovary. The progesterone metabolites may bind to a neurosteroid-binding site on the membrane of the neurotransmitters. Thus, ovulation suppression is an area of focus for diagnostic and treatment options. Many treatment studies have focused on suppression of ovulation with gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogs (GnRHa), high doses of transdermal estrogen, and bilateral oophorectomy all have positive evidence as treatment options for prevention of PMS. However, because of these limitations and their substantial intensive care, these do not appear to be appropriate methods for conventional treatment of PMS. Serotonergic antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, are well-established, highly effective, and first-line pharmacologic therapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Estradiol / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone / analogs & derivatives
  • Humans
  • Luteal Phase
  • Ovariectomy
  • Premenstrual Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Premenstrual Syndrome / etiology*
  • Premenstrual Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use*


  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone
  • Estradiol