Gynecology - PMS/PMDD
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) and
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
Premenstrual syndrome and premenstrual dysphoric disorder are the medical terms used for the physical and emotional symptoms that some women have before their menstrual period begins. These symptoms vary from woman to woman. They can be mild to severe. The milder form of these symptoms is called premenstrual syndrome, or PMS. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a severe, disabling form of PMS.
Many menstruating women, up to 40%, have some symptoms of PMS. About 5% to 10% of these women have PMDD.
The causes of PMS or PMDD are not yet clear. Some women may be more sensitive than others to changing hormone levels during the menstrual cycle. Stress does not seem to cause PMS, but it may make it worse.
Many women have more troubles in their personal relationships when they are having PMS symptoms. With PMDD, these difficulties are severe. In addition to physical symptoms, the main symptoms of PMDD are mood disorders such as depression, anxiety, tension, and persistent anger or irritability. These symptoms can seriously disrupt daily life.
The symptoms of PMS change as you mature, go through childbearing age, and enter menopause. During menopause PMS symptoms may go away, but you may have other symptoms caused by menopause.
There is no reliable way to prevent PMS and PMDD because the cause is uncertain.
ACOG.org for more information.