Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) - Symptoms
Premenstrual symptoms occur between
ovulation and the start of menstrual bleeding. More than 150 symptoms have been linked to PMS. They may vary greatly from cycle to cycle and be worse during times
of increased stress.
Common physical symptoms
- Fatigue, lack of
Cramps, aching muscles and joints,
low back pain
- Breast swelling and
- Food cravings, especially for sweet or salty
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Low sex drive
- Constipation or diarrhea
Mood and behavior symptoms
- Sad or depressed mood
- Mood swings
- Decreased alertness, trouble concentrating
- Withdrawal from family
Women who have severe premenstrual
mood swings, depression, irritability, or anxiety (with or without physical
symptoms) are said to have
premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). Symptoms
generally go away within the first 3 days of menstrual bleeding. This severe
type of PMS isn't common.
Premenstrual worsening of other conditions
Some medical conditions may get worse between ovulation
and the first day of menstrual bleeding.
The conditions most affected include:
Are your symptoms really PMS?
What seems like PMS can sometimes be caused by another
condition. It's important to know what is causing your symptoms so you can get the right treatment. The best way to learn if your symptoms are PMS is to keep a
menstrual diary(What is a PDF document?) for 2 or 3 months and then show it to your health professional.