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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is PMS (premenstrual syndrome)?
PMS (premenstrual syndrome) describes a range of physical and psychological symptoms that can occur in the two weeks before a woman menstruates (has her period).
What causes PMS?
The cause of PMS is unclear; however, it is linked to increased levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone in the two weeks before a woman's period.
Who gets PMS?
Most women of child-bearing age experience some symptoms of PMS; however, they are usually relatively mild and manageable. Around 8% of women experience a more severe form of PMS known as premenstrual dysmorphic disorder (PMDD).
How is PMS diagnosed?
There is no single test for PMS. Your doctor will take into account your symptoms and your medical and mental health history. A physical examination including a pelvic exam may be recommended, as well as other tests (such as blood tests) to help rule out other causes …
How is PMS treated?
PMS symptoms may be treated with lifestyle measures such as diet and regular physical activity, psychological therapy and medication such as antidepressants and hormonal medications (such as the contraceptive pill).
Can PMS be prevented?
For some women, some symptoms of PMS can be reduced by lifestyle measures such as a healthy diet, regular exercise and managing stress.
Will PMS keep returning?
Symptoms of PMS tend to occur in the two weeks before your period and then improve within a couple of days of the period starting. PMS symptoms tend to get better after menopause, although they can get worse in the last few years before menopause.
Are there different types of PMS?
While most women experience some symptoms of PMS, around 8% of women are affected by a more severe form of the condition called premenstrual dysmorphic disorder (PMDD). In PMDD the symptoms are much more disruptive and distressing and can include …
About this article
Author: Kellie Heywood
First answered: 23 Nov 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 5.0 out of 5
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Category: Premenstual syndrome (PMS)