Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

premenstrual syndrome

premenstrual syndrome (PMS), any of various symptoms experienced by women of childbearing age in the days immediately preceding menstruation. It is most common in women in their twenties and thirties. Some 70%–90% of menstruating women are said to have PMS on a cyclical basis. There are over 150 symptoms associated with the syndrome, including behavioral changes, eating binges, moodiness, irritability, fatigue, fluid retention, breast tenderness, and headaches. Some women have mild symptoms; others have symptoms that interfere with work or home life. A few are completely incapacitated, a condition called premenstrual dysphoric disorder. The symptoms vary from woman to woman, and each woman's symptoms may vary from month to month, making diagnosis difficult.

The exact cause is unknown. Hormonal imbalances, nutritional deficiencies, and neurotransmitter (serotonin and norepinephrine) fluctuations are being studied. PMS patients who have had hysterectomies may continue to have symptoms, but the symptoms in all patients disappear with menopause. There is no cure for PMS. In some women, dietary changes and exercise provide some relief through the loss of water weight, the alleviation of stress, and an increase in the production of endorphins. Antidepressants or antianxiety drugs are sometimes prescribed. In severe cases hormones that induce a premature menopause may be administered.

See publications of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; S. D. Bender, PMS: A Positive Program to Gain Control (1986) and PMS: Questions & Answers (1989); Boston Women's Health Book Collective, Our Bodies, Ourselves for the New Century (1998).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS): Selected full-text books and articles

Premenstrual Syndrome Manila Bulletin, September 29, 2004
Reproductive Health Psychology By Olga B. A. van den Akker Wiley-Blackwell, 2012
On the Medico-Legal Appropriation of Menstrual Discourse: The Syndromization of Women's Experiences By Johnson, Kirsten K.; Kandrack, Mary A Resources for Feminist Research, Vol. 24, No. 1/2, Spring/Summer 1995
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
3 Approaches to PMS By Granoff, Abbot Lee Current Psychiatry, Vol. 16, No. 11, November 2017
Effect of Severity of Premenstrual Symptoms on Quality of Life among University Students By Sharma, Supriya; Gupta, Sunita Journal of Psychosocial Research, Vol. 11, No. 1, January-June 2016
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
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