The Truth Behind Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

Woman feeling pain to the stomach lying on sofa, highlight the truth behind premenstrual syndrome, PMS.

Whether you deal with this condition or not, chances are you’ve heard of PMS. While popular media may poke fun or make jokes about a woman’s mood swings caused by PMS, it’s a natural part of a woman’s life and crucial to understand. 

Rumors and misinformation run rampant on this topic, which is why our expert medical team is breaking down this topic below!

What is Premenstrual Syndrome?

PMS begins when a woman starts her cycle, but it may intensify in the years leading up to menopause. It’s a set of symptoms women experience about a week or two prior to their period. This means it’s just after ovulation but before the menstrual period. 

It’s more likely to impact women with depression, high levels of stress, or a family history of mental health issues. 

What Are the Symptoms?

As many as three in four women will experience PMS symptoms during their lifetime. Each woman experiences it differently, and it usually impacts both physical and mental health. With that in mind, here are the most common symptoms:

  • Anxiety
  • Appetite changes
  • Backache
  • Bloating
  • Clumsiness
  • Constipation
  • Cramping
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Exhaustion
  • Gas
  • Headache
  • Irritability
  • Issues with concentration
  • Loss of interest in sex
  • Mood swings
  • Sleeping issues
  • Swollen or tender breasts

Is There Treatment for PMS?

For several women, these symptoms can be extremely debilitating and cause interruptions to everyday life. In those cases, treatment is necessary. While PMS cannot be “treated,” there are ways to help alleviate symptoms. The most common options are:

  • Lifestyle changes: Practicing healthy habits can help with PMS symptoms. For example, regularly exercising, eating a well-balanced diet, sleeping eight hours a night, coping with stress, and not smoking. 
  • Medications: Over-the-counter options, such as ibuprofen or aspirin, work well with painful symptoms. Some prescription medicines, such as hormonal birth control and antidepressants, also help those who regularly experience severe PMS symptoms. 
  • Vitamins: In addition to eating a well-balanced diet, certain vitamins and minerals can improve PMS symptoms. These include calcium, vitamin B6, magnesium, omega-3, and omega-6.

If you have further questions about premenstrual syndrome, reach out to the experts at Avant Gynecology by clicking here or by giving us a call at 404-352-2850.