This study was designed to identify significant factors in the medical history of women with premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Medical history variables of 190 women with PMS were compared with those of a group of 182 women without premenstrual symptoms who sought gynecological care (control group). All the participants were carefully selected by interview and designated questionnaires. Women with a past or present psychiatric history were excluded. The results showed that age, number of children, age of menarche, smoking history and family history of psychiatric disorders of the women with PMS and the controls were similar. Women with PMS exhibited a significantly greater frequency of postpartum depression (43% versus 12%), past birth control pill use (91.6% versus 45.9%), alcohol use (39.5% versus 14.8%) and drug use (48.4% versus 14.1%) than did the controls respectively; all p values were < 0.05). Our data suggest an association between these factors and PMS. They should be identified in women with premenstrual complaints during the initial visit, and the roles of these factors in the pathophysiology of PMS need to be further investigated.