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Premenstrual Syndrome

Premenstrual Syndrome

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) refers to a range of physical, emotional, and behavioral symptoms that typically occur in women during the luteal phase of their menstrual cycle, which is the time between ovulation and the start of their period. PMS affects up to 75% of menstruating women and can significantly impact their daily life.

The symptoms of PMS can vary from woman to woman, and even from cycle to cycle in the same woman. Emotional and behavioral symptoms are common and may include tension or anxiety, depressed mood, crying spells, mood swings, irritability or anger, appetite changes and food cravings, trouble falling asleep (insomnia), social withdrawal, poor concentration, and changes in libido.

Physical symptoms may also occur, including breast tenderness, bloating, headaches, acne, joint or muscle pain, fatigue, and digestive issues such as constipation or diarrhea. These symptoms typically start 1-2 weeks before the period and may subside once the period starts.

The exact cause of PMS is not fully understood, but it is believed to be related to the hormonal changes that occur during the menstrual cycle. Fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone levels may affect the neurotransmitters in the brain, leading to changes in mood and behavior. Other factors, such as stress, diet, and lifestyle habits, may also contribute to the development and severity of PMS symptoms.

Fortunately, there are several treatment options and lifestyle adjustments that can help manage the signs and symptoms of PMS. These include regular exercise, a healthy diet, stress reduction techniques such as meditation or yoga, and over-the-counter pain relievers for physical symptoms. Hormonal birth control may also be an option for some women. In severe cases, prescription medications such as antidepressants may be recommended.

Overall, it's important for women to be aware of the symptoms of PMS and to seek medical advice if they are experiencing significant discomfort or disruption in their daily life. With proper management, PMS can be effectively controlled, allowing women to lead a healthy and fulfilling life.