(PMS) is a disorder marked by physical and behavioral symptoms that occur in a cyclical pattern. They appear 1-2 weeks before an expected menstrual period and improve with the onset of menses. The nature and severity of symptoms vary. If your symptoms are so severe that they interfere with daily activities, talk to your doctor about treatment options.
The Menstrual Flow
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Many women of reproductive age have discomfort prior to menses, but a small number cases are thought to be categorized as PMS. This problem is most commonly seen between the ages of 25-34. An even smaller percentage of women with PMS have a very severe form called
premenstrual dysphoric disorder
Although the cause of PMS is not known, the cyclical pattern that parallels the menstrual cycle has directed the focus of study to hormonal changes. These changes are thought to act with other factors in the nervous system, as well as the environment, to trigger the symptoms of PMS.
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at:
http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/premenstrual-syndrome-pms.html. Updated April 2014. Accessed August 18, 2016.
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) fact sheet. Office on Women's Health website. Available at:
http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/premenstrual-syndrome.html. Updated December 23, 2014. Accessed August 18, 2016.
Last reviewed August 2016 by James Cornell, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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