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Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) definition and facts

  • PMS stands for premenstrual syndrome.
  • Premenstrual syndrome is a set of specific physical and psychological features.
  • Physical symptoms of PMS include breast tenderness and bloating.
  • Psychological symptoms and mood swings are common in PMS and may include anger and depression.
  • PMS occurs in the last half of a woman's menstrual cycle.
  • The exact cause of PMS is unknown but is believed to be related to interactions between sex hormones and brain chemicals (neurotransmitters).
  • PMS must be distinguished from other disorders that produce similar symptoms. PMS symptoms also must, in some cases, be distinguished from early pregnancy symptoms.
  • The only way to distinguish PMS symptoms from those of early pregnancy in the absence of a menstrual period is a pregnancy test.
  • A helpful diagnostic tool for PMS is a menstrual diary.
  • Natural treatment options and home remedies for PMS include exercise, a healthy lifestyle, and emotional support from family and friends.
  • Possible medical treatments to treat cramping and other symptoms of PMS include medications such as diuretics, pain killers, oral contraceptives, drugs that suppress ovarian function, and antidepressants.
  • The mood changes surrounding this condition have been described as early as the time of the ancient Greeks. However, it was not until 1931 that this disorder was officially recognized by the medical community. The term "premenstrual syndrome" was coined in 1953.
Return to Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

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