What is PMS?

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) can affect as many as 3 out of 4 women with symptoms such as bloating, fatigue, and breast tenderness in a predictable pattern around their period.

Most women experience some of the symptoms associated with PMS at some point in their lives, but not all women have the syndrome. While the exact number of women who have the condition is debatable, the National Institutes of Health estimates that 75 percent of menstruating women experience some form of PMS.

There are many treatments for PMS including antidepressants, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), diuretics, and hormonal contraceptives. Your provider may want to try different treatments to see what your symptoms respond best to, and what fits best with your lifestyle.

A smaller percentage (less than 10 percent) of women experience symptoms so severe it disrupts their daily lives. This more severe condition is called Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD). Patients with PMDD are diagnosed under strict guidelines issued by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). While the symptoms are similar, PMDD is considered a separate disorder from PMS.