Premenstrual Syndrome

In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2024 Jan.


Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) encompasses clinically significant somatic and psychological manifestations during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, leading to substantial distress and impairment in functional capacity. These symptoms disappear within a few days of the onset of menstruation. The pooled prevalence of reproductive age women affected with PMS worldwide amounts to 47.8%. Among these, about 20% of women experience symptoms severe enough to disrupt their daily activities, and the remaining have mild to moderate symptoms. Symptoms of PMS include changes in appetite, weight gain, abdominal pain, back pain, low back pain, headache, swelling and tenderness of the breasts, nausea, constipation, anxiety, irritability, anger, fatigue, restlessness, mood swings and crying.

The premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a more severe form of the same, which has been included as a psychiatric disorder in the fifth edition of the diagnostic and statistical manual for mental disorders (DSM-5). Many nonpharmacological and pharmacological treatment methods are used to alleviate these symptoms. Nonpharmacological therapies are the first line of management for mild symptoms, and those with severe symptoms are treated with pharmacological therapy, mainly the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). The various nonpharmacological therapies used to treat mild symptoms include physical activity and exercise, nutrition, herbal preparations, cognitive behavioral therapy and social support, adequate rest, regular hot baths, and vitamin supplements.

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