Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) describes a range of physical and psychological symptoms that can occur in the two weeks before a woman has her period (also known as menstruation).While PMS symptoms are generally relatively mild and manageable, for some women they can be severe, to the point where they cause distress and disrupt normal activities.…
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is when a woman experiences severe symptoms before her monthly period.
- Symptoms can include physical pains and aches, changes in mood, and problems sleeping and concentrating.
- The best treatment for PMDD is maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Medications and therapy can also help ease PMDD symptoms.
What is premenstrual dysphoric disorder?
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) occurs when a woman experiences severe psychological and physical symptoms before her monthly period (menstruation). The symptoms of PMDD are more severe than those of premenstrual syndrome.
Causes and risk factors
The exact causes of PMDD are not known. Changes in hormones during the menstrual cycle might have an influence.
Factors associated with the condition include:
Signs and symptoms
The symptoms of PMDD are more severe than those of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and include:
- Anxiety and panic attacks;
- Headaches, bloating and breast tenderness;
- Joint or muscle pain;
- Trouble sleeping;
- Difficulty concentrating;
- Irritability, and;
- Feeling sad, hopeless, lonely, or sometimes suicidal.
Five or more of the above symptoms, of which at least one is a symptom related to mood, have to be present for a diagnosis of PMDD to be made.
Methods for diagnosis
Your doctor will likely perform a physical examination to rule out other conditions. Evaluation may also help rule out mental health conditions such as depression. Often, keeping a diary of when you experience symptoms could help your doctor make a diagnosis.
Types of treatment
The main line of treatment for PMDD is maintaining a healthy lifestyle by eating a healthy diet and getting enough sleep and exercise.
Additional treatments that may be used include:
- Diuretics, for women who retain a lot of water;
- Medications that suppress ovulation, such as the oral contraceptive pill ('The Pill');
- Nutritional supplements;
- Pain-relief medications for headache, menstrual cramping and breast tenderness, and;
- Cognitive behavior therapy alongside or instead of antidepressant medication for depression, if you have it.
Symptoms of PMDD can have an impact on daily life. If you have depression, then your symptoms may be worse in the second half of your cycle and your medication may need to be changed.
With treatment, symptoms usually resolve for most women.
You can reduce your risk of PMDD by getting enough rest and exercise, maintaining a healthy diet and managing your stress levels.
FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is premenstrual dystrophic disorder?
Premenstrual dystrophic disorder is when a woman has symptoms of severe depression, tension and irritability before menstruation, that are more severe than symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
What are the symptoms of premenstrual dystrophic disorder?
Symptoms of premenstrual dystrophic disorder are more severe than premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and include anxiety, depression, headache and fatigue, difficulty sleeping and concentrating, and feeling hopeless, lonely or even …
What causes premenstrual dystrophic disorder?
The exact causes of premenstrual dystrophic disorder are not known, although several factors have been associated with the disorder, such as consuming too much alcohol or caffeine, anxiety, depression, being overweight and not getting enough …
Who gets premenstrual dystrophic disorder?
Some women can get premenstrual dystrophic disorder before menstruation. The exact causes are not known.
How is premenstrual dystrophic disorder diagnosed?
Diagnosis of premenstrual dystrophic disorder is based on a family history and on symptoms, of which several are required to occur at the same time. Keeping a symptom diary can help your doctor with their diagnosis. An examination may be …
How is premenstrual dystrophic disorder treated?
Lifestyle changes are an important part of treatment for premenstrual dystrophic disorder. Getting enough sleep and exercise, reducing stress levels and eating a healthy diet are all good steps to take. You may also be prescribed some …
Can premenstrual dystrophic disorder be prevented?
Maintaining a healthy diet and weight, getting plenty of sleep and limiting your stress levels can help reduce your risk of premenstrual dystrophic disorder.