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Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) refers to a wide range of symptoms. The symptoms start during the second half of the menstrual cycle (14 or more days after the first day of your last menstrual period). These usually go away 1 to 2 days after the menstrual period starts.

The cause of premenstrual syndrome is not known.


PMS may be related to social, cultural, biological, and psychological factors.

Most women experience PMS symptoms during their childbearing years. PMS occurs more often in women:

  • Between their late 20s and 40s

  • Who have had at least one child

  • With a personal or family history of major depression

  • With a history of postpartum depression or an affective mood disorder



The most common symptoms of PMS include:

Other symptoms include:

  • Confusion, trouble concentrating, or forgetfulness

  • Fatigue and feeling slow or sluggish

  • Feelings of sadness or hopelessness

  • Feelings of tension, anxiety, or edginess

  • Irritable, hostile, or aggressive behavior, with outbursts of anger toward self or others

  • Loss of sex drive (may increase in some women)

  • Mood swings

  • Poor judgment

  • Poor self-image, feelings of guilt, or increased fears

  • Sleep problems (sleeping too much or too little)

The Period Flu

  • Period Flu is poorly understood, but the symptoms are very real for many women


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Exams and Tests


There are no specific signs or lab tests that can detect PMS. To rule out other possible causes of symptoms, it is important to have a:

  • Complete medical history

  • Physical exam (including a pelvic exam)

To manage PMS

  • Keep a daily diary or log for at least 3 months. Record the:

    • Type of symptoms you have

    • How severe they are

    • How long they last

  • Drink plenty of fluids like water or juice. Do not drink soft drinks, alcohol, or other beverages with caffeine. This will help reduce bloating, fluid retention, and other symptoms.

  • Eat frequent, small meals. Do not go more than 3 hours between snacks.

  • Avoid inflammatory foods. Sugar or other processed ingredients create an inflammatory burden (and can make you feel worse). 

  • Eat a balanced diet. Include extra whole grains, vegetables, and fruit in your diet. Limit your intake of salt and sugar.

  • Vitamin B6, calcium, and magnesium.  

  • Get regular aerobic exercise throughout the month. 

  • Headache, backache, cramping, and breast tenderness may be treated with Ibuprofen. 

  • Birth control pills.

  • In severe cases, medicines to treat depression may be helpful. Antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are often tried first.  


Seed cycling may relieve some of your symptoms if a hormonal imbalance is present. Seed cycling is not really new but it is a newly trendy treatment for PMS.

Other medicines that you may use include:

  • Anti-anxiety drugs for severe anxiety.

  • Diuretics may help with severe fluid retention, which causes bloating, breast tenderness, and weight gain.

  • For nausea and vomiting: Zofran can be effective. 


 Dakota Johnson: "Every month. It's unbelievable. It's really f**king amazing. I can't get a grip on it. I'm like, what? Every time, I'm totally scandalised about what happens to my body and my brain. My boobs are like eight times the size they normally are. It's really a traumatic thing."

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