(PMS; Premenstrual Tension Syndrome)
DefinitionPremenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a disorder marked by physical and emotional symptoms. It affects women 1-2 weeks before the beginning of their menstrual period.
|The Menstrual Flow|
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CausesWhile the exact cause is not known, PMS may be related to certain factors (environmental, metabolic, or behavioral) that may make a woman more vulnerable to the hormonal changes that occur during menstruation.
Risk FactorsPMS most often occurs in women aged 25-40 years. Other factors that may increase your chance of PMS include:
- Going off birth control pills
- Major life stress
SymptomsPMS may cause:
- Mood swings
- Diminished self-esteem
- Difficulty concentrating
- Sleep problems
- Appetite changes, such as sugar and/or salt cravings, or overeating
- Weight gain
- Breast swelling and tenderness
- Gastrointestinal upset
- Muscle pain
DiagnosisYour doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will also be done.You will be asked to keep a detailed record of your monthly physical and emotional symptoms. If caused by PMS, these symptoms will likely occur 1-2 weeks before your menstrual period. You may have PMS if symptoms occur at the same phase of the menstrual cycle each month.
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