Medical Definition of Premenstrual syndrome

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Premenstrual syndrome: A combination of physical and mood disturbances that occur in the last half of a woman's menstrual cycle after ovulation which normally end with the onset of the menstrual flow. Physical features of the premenstrual syndrome (PMS) include breast tenderness and bloating. Psychological changes include anger and depression.

Monthly chemical changes may be responsible for PMS. The chemical changes may involve sex hormones, neurotransmitters, and opioid peptides.

PMS can be mimicked and must be distinguished from other disorders. The most helpful diagnostic tool for PMS is a menstrual diary. Treatment of PMS includes exercise, dietary changes, emotional support from family and friends, and medications. The medications for PMS include diuretics, pain killers, oral contraceptives, drugs that suppress ovarian function and antidepressants. Abbreviated PMS.

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Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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