Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is characterized by physical and emotional symptoms that occur in a regular cycle beginning 1-2 weeks before the onset of menstrual flow and improve when menstrual bleeding starts. These symptoms can be extremely distressing and may include:
Although the symptoms of PMS may vary, the most common complaints are:
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a severe form of PMS. According to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), 5 or more of the following symptoms must be present for a diagnosis of PMDD:
Premenstrual syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated June 14, 2012. Accessed August 24, 2012.
Premenstrual syndrome. American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: http://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Premenstrual-Syndrome-PMS. Accessed August 24, 2012.
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. Accessed August 24, 2012.
Saedi GA. The inclusion of PMDD in DSM-5. Psychology Today website. Available at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/millennial-media/201202/the-inclusion-pmdd-in-dsm-5. Updated February 13, 2012. Accessed August 24. 2012.
Last reviewed September 2015 by Andrea Chisholm, 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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