Premenstrual syndrome: A mini review

Maturitas. 2015 Dec;82(4):436-40. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2015.08.010. Epub 2015 Aug 28.


Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is characterized by recurrent, moderate-to-severe affective, physical, and behavioral symptoms that develop during the luteal menstrual cycle and disappear within a few days of menstruation. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a severe and disabling condition that can affect personal relationships and occupational activities. PMS occurs in 30-40% of reproductive-age females; PMDD affects 3-8% of this population. Although the etiology of PMS is unclear, several theories suggest increased sensitivity to normal hormonal changes and neurotransmitter abnormalities. The diagnostic method of PMS is the Daily Record of Severity of Problems, which women with PMS can use to self-report several symptoms and their severity. Although combined oral contraceptives and serotonergic antidepressants are effective drugs, each is a different option for treating PMS/PMDD. Serotonergic antidepressants are the drugs of choice for improving both physical and mood symptoms. Combined oral contraceptives appear to primarily improve physical symptoms. Clinicians should consider each patient's situation individually. Other treatment options include lifestyle modification, cognitive behavioral therapy, and herbal medicine (e.g., chasteberry).

Keywords: Contraceptives; Oral; Premenstrual dysphoric disorder; Premenstrual syndrome; combined.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Contraceptives, Oral, Combined / therapeutic use*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Female
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone / analogs & derivatives
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Luteal Phase
  • Plant Preparations / therapeutic use
  • Premenstrual Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Premenstrual Syndrome / etiology
  • Premenstrual Syndrome / therapy*
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Vitex


  • Contraceptives, Oral, Combined
  • Plant Preparations
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone