Premenstrual syndrome

Alternative Names

PMS

Definition of Premenstrual syndrome

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) refers to a wide range of physical or emotional symptoms that typically occur about 5 to 11 days before a woman starts her monthly menstrual cycle. The symptoms usually stop when menstruation begins, or shortly thereafter.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

The exact cause of PMS has not been identified. Changes in brain hormone levels may play a role, but this has not been proven. Women with premenstrual syndrome may also respond differently to these hormones.

Symptoms

PMS refers to a set of physical, behavioral, or emotional symptoms that tend to:

Signs and tests

There are no physical examination findings or lab tests specific to the diagnosis of PMS. To rule out other potential causes of symptoms, it is important to have a:

Treatment

A healthy lifestyle is the first step to managing PMS. For many women with mild symptoms, lifestyle approaches are enough to control symptoms.

Expectations (prognosis)

Most women who are treated for PMS symptoms get significant relief.

Review

Susan Storck, MD, FACOG, Chief, Eastside Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Redmond, Washington; Clinical Teaching Faculty, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 6/16/2010

Premenstrual bloating
Relieving PMS

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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