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Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)

PMS is an array of physical and emotional symptoms occurring one to two weeks before a woman’s menstrual period. these symptoms usually stop when the period starts .

Common emotional symptoms include

  • low libido,
  • depression
  • fatigue,
  • bloating,
  • irritability
  • aggressive behaviour
  • anxiety

Common physical symptoms include

  • weight gain
  • food cravings
  • headaches /migraines
  • bloating
  • breast tenderness
  • worsening of acne

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a more severe form of PMS and can be debilitating and occurs in 3-5% OF women

Diagnosis depends on detailed history and no tests are needed .it is important to maintain a symptom diary for 2 menstrual cycles at least to see if the symptoms are cyclical.

PMS and PMDD Treatment:

Exercise regularly at least 3 times a week

Avoid alcohol and smoking ( at least 2 weeks prior to period)

Alternative therapy-Relaxation therapy, meditation, cognitive behavioural therapy.

Supplements -calcium, vitamin D ,Gingko biloba, evening primrose oil, curcumin, vitamin B6, isoflavones, have been shown to provide some benefit.

Medications and hormonal therapy-SSRI s (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) fluoxetine, sertraline, paroxetine and escitalopram) -either taken only in premenstrual phase or continuously.

Ocpills – especially YAZ has found to be beneficial in PMS

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