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All about premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) dysmenorrhea (menstrual cramps) causes of premenstrual syndrome diagnosis of PMS treatments of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) premenstrual syndrome medications herbal therapy to cure premenstrual syndrome premenstrual syndrome (PMS) diet premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)

What is premenstrual syndrome (PMS)?

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is the name given to a group of physical and emotional symptoms that some women experience on a regular basis in relation to menstruation. Premenstrual syndrome involves a variety of physical, mental, and behavioral symptoms tied to a woman's menstrual cycle. By definition, symptoms occur during the days before a woman's period starts. They usually go away after the first day or two of flow.

During each menstrual cycle, a woman's body is subjected to cyclical changes in sex hormone levels. All women are aware of these prementstrual changes to some degree and, for the majority, these cyclical changes are a normal feature of life. If these physical or psychological changes become excessive and disrupt a woman’s life she has “premenstrual syndrome” or “PMS”.

Premenstrual syndrome is defined as distressing physical and psychological symptoms, not caused by organic disease, which regularly recur during the same phase of each menstrual cycle, and which significantly regress or disappear during the remainder of the cycle. The symptoms occur in the two weeks leading up to the next period known as the luteal phase of the cycle. The severity may range from that indefinable point that is acceptable to the majority of women to such a degree of debility that for some time each month a woman may fail to function at home, at work or both. There is evidence that suicide and criminal offences occur more frequently premenstrually.

PMS is a complex health concern. Up to 80% of women experience some symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. Scientists cannot agree on its cause or the best way to treat premenstrual syndrome. PMS usually occurs in women in their fourth and fifth decades of life (aged 30-49 years). For a small number of women, it can be severely incapacitating. A woman who has had a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) may still experience premenstrual syndrome if at least one ovary remains. Because many different processes may contribute to premenstrual syndrome, methods of treatment vary widely and can include medical and alternative approaches. Surgery is a last resort. As many as 3-8% of women may have a more severe condition called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). PMS and PMDD are not the same. Women with PMDD become seriously depressed for a week or more before their periods. PMS is shorter, usually milder, and involves more physical symptoms. The two may occur together or a woman may have one and not the other.

For most women premenstrual syndrome symptoms are mild. In others, the symptoms may be severe and even incapacitating. The severity of a woman's symptoms has much more to do with her body chemistry than her personality. PMS can occur at any time after puberty, but more women experience symptoms in their 30s and 40s than in their teenage years. Women who have had more children tend to have more severe symptoms, and women whose mother had premenstrual syndrome are at increased risk. PMS tends to get worse as women age and experience hormonal changes. Women with a history of depression have a greater risk of premenstrual syndrome.

Dysmenorrhea (menstrual cramps) is not considered a symptom of premenstrual syndrome. However, a woman can experience both premenstrual syndrome and dysmenorrhea and may decide to seek treatment for both difficuities.

More information on premenstrual syndrome (PMS)

What is premenstrual syndrome (PMS)? - Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is the name given to a group of physical and emotional symptoms that some women experience on a regular basis in relation to menstruation.
What are the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome? - Symptoms can be mild, moderate, or severe. Women can have premenstrual syndrome of varying duration and severity from cycle to cycle.
What is dysmenorrhea (menstrual cramps)? - Dysmenorrhea (menstrual cramps) is not considered a symptom of premenstrual syndrome. A woman can experience both premenstrual syndrome and dysmenorrhea.
What causes premenstrual syndrome (PMS)? - Lifestyle may play a significant role in premenstrual syndrome. Premenstrual syndrome involves inflammatory substances called prostaglandins.
How is the diagnosis of PMS made? - The diagnosis of premenstrual syndrome can only be made from the history. The most helpful diagnostic tool is the menstrual diary, which documents physical and emotional symptoms over months.
What treatments are for premenstrual syndrome (PMS)? - Different treatments are aimed at different causes of premenstrual syndrome, and different approaches may relieve some symptoms but not others.
What medicines can help for premenstrual syndrome treatment? - Anti-inflammatories prevent the body from producing prostaglandins. Hormones such as nafarelin (Synarel) and leuprolide (Lupron) prevent your body from releasing eggs and undergoing a menstrual cycle.
What herbal therapy is available for premenstrual syndrome? - Certain herbs have been evaluated for use in premenstrual syndrome. Many over-the-counter herbal preparations combine various herbs with certain vitamins to create a premenstrual syndrome formula.
What's the premenstrual syndrome (PMS) diet? - A daily diet based on general nutrition guidelines can help in overall well-being as well as premenstrual syndrome control. An adequate vitamin and mineral intake may help with premenstrual syndrome symptoms.
What is premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)? - Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a severe, disabling form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Women who experience PMDD may have abnormal reactions to normal hormone changes that occur with each menstrual cycle.
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Natural Formula for PMS Relief
Herbal remedies are safe, effective and non-addictive, and have been used by herbalists for centuries to promote female reproductive health throughout the menstrual cycle. Formulated in convenient drop form, Femalite may be taken when needed for support during the premenstrual and menstrual period.

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All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005,, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005