Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)


Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a common condition that affects many menstruating women, with estimates suggesting that as many as three out of every four women experience some form of PMS. The syndrome encompasses a wide range of symptoms that can impact both emotional and physical health.

The symptoms of PMS are varied and can include mood swings, tender breasts, food cravings, fatigue, irritability, and depression. These can be broadly categorized into emotional symptoms, such as irritability and depression, and physical symptoms, like breast tenderness and bloating. Generally, these symptoms begin one to two weeks before the onset of menstruation and recur consistently each month.

Despite the challenges PMS can present, it is manageable through a variety of treatments and lifestyle adjustments. Effective management can involve medication, dietary changes, exercise, and stress reduction techniques. These approaches help many women reduce or control the often disruptive symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.


A variety of symptoms that adversely affect both your physical and mental health are common of PMS. The signs and symptoms of PMS are not always consistent. The symptoms you experience in your 30s and 40s might not be the same as the ones you notice in your 20s.

The following signs and symptoms of PMS includes:

  • Emotional and behavioral:
    • Anxiety or tension.
    • Change in appetite or food cravings.
    • Change in sex drive.
    • Mood swings (irritable, anger, depression)
    • Having trouble in concentration.
    • Social withdrawal.
    • Sudden cry.
    • Trouble falling asleep or insomnia.
  • Physical:
    • Abdominal bloating
    • Acne flare-ups
    • Alcohol intolerance
    • Breast tenderness
    • Constipation or diarrhea
    • Fatigue
    • Headache
    • Joint or muscle cramps.
    • Weight gain related to fluid retention

For some individuals, the physical pain and emotional stress caused by premenstrual syndrome (PMS) are severe enough to impact their daily activities. Typically, these symptoms subside within four days of the start of menstruation for most women. However, a small percentage of women experience disabling symptoms each month, a more severe form of PMS known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). PMDD is characterized by severe depression, mood swings, anger, anxiety, feelings of being overwhelmed, difficulty concentrating, irritability, and tension.

If lifestyle adjustments have not successfully managed your PMS symptoms and they continue to affect your health and daily life, it is advisable to consult a doctor. Medical intervention can be crucial in managing the more intense symptoms of PMS and PMDD, helping to improve your quality of life.


Premenstrual syndrome may be caused by a number of conditions, while its exact cause is unknown. Premenstrual syndrome affects up to three out of every four women who are expected to have their periods.

  • Cycles in hormone levels: Premenstrual syndrome signs and symptoms vary with hormonal changes and go away throughout pregnancy and menopause.
  • Modifications in brain chemistry: PMS symptoms may be brought on by variations in serotonin levels, a neurotransmitter that is believed to be essential for mood states. Premenstrual depression, exhaustion, food cravings, and sleep issues can all be caused by low serotonin levels.
  • Depression: While not all of the indications of severe premenstrual syndrome are caused by depression, some women with the condition have untreated depression.