Exams and Tests
No single test can diagnose
premenstrual syndrome (PMS). A diagnosis of PMS or the
more severe form,
premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), is usually
based on a
medical history and a two- or three-cycle menstrual
diary that records daily symptoms, menstruation days, and ovulation days, if
possible. Because it's important for your health professional to rule out other
conditions that cause PMS-like symptoms, it may take more than one visit to
diagnose your symptoms. See examples of symptom diaries or use this menstrual diary(What is a PDF document?).
thyroid problems sometimes cause PMS-like symptoms,
you may have a
thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) blood test to make
sure that your
thyroid gland is working properly.
Diagnosing PMS may be difficult when a woman has another condition that
is made worse during the last 2 weeks of her
menstrual cycle .
- Although there are clear-cut criteria for
diagnosing premenstrual syndrome, PMS symptoms often blend in with those
of other conditions.
- All symptoms need to be evaluated and
Knowing whether your symptoms are premenstrual helps you
and your health professional decide on the best treatment for you. By
definition, PMS and PMDD occur only during the phase between
ovulation and the start of menstrual bleeding.
Traditionally, ovulation was thought to happen 14 days before the next
menstrual period, or on day 15 of a 28-day cycle. But
ovulation dates often vary from woman to woman and from month to month. Women
with irregular cycles have a wide range of possible ovulation days.
You can most
accurately pinpoint your ovulation day by monitoring
your cervical mucus, your
basal body temperature, and your
luteinizing hormone (LH) changes.