PMS News

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) refers to symptoms that some women experience before menstruation. Typically, the symptoms begin in the one to two weeks leading up to the monthly period, and subside when the bleeding begins. The symptoms can range from mild to severe, and they are medically considered PMS if they interfere with any part of daily life and activities.

Symptoms of PMS

PMS has a range of many different symptoms, and they vary greatly from person to person. But it may include some combination of fatigue, digestive problems, headache, backache, muscle aches, memory problems, irritability, anxiety, depression, sleep problems, changes in appetite, tender breasts and acne.

For some women, the problems are minor and can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers and other simple steps. If the issues are severe and include problems like anxiety and depression, however, it's worth a visit to a health care provider for help.


Some simple at-home steps and lifestyle changes may play a role in controlling PMS symptoms. For example, it seems that low levels of certain vitamins and minerals and high amounts of salt and alcohol can exacerbate PMS symptoms in some women. Tobacco use can also worsen the symptoms. Making good dietary and lifestyle choices in these areas may help, including getting enough folic acid, magnesium, vitamin B6 and vitamin E. Many women have experienced improvements by exercising regularly, getting a good night's sleep and utilizing natural stress-relieving methods like yoga or massage. Over-the-counter pain medications are also helpful for many women during this part of the menstrual cycle.

When PMS is severe, women should consider speaking with a health care provider. There are prescription medications that can be helpful. In addition, many women find that taking birth control pills can regulate hormone levels and sometimes ease the symptoms that accompany menstruation each month.

SOURCE: U.S. Office on Women's Health

Date Posted
Article Title
Genes May Play Role in More Severe Form of PMS

Study adds to evidence of a biological cause of condition, researchers say

Could PMS Raise Women's Risk for High Blood Pressure?

Study found rise in odds for hypertension in those with moderate-to-severe premenstrual syndrome

Antidepressants Top Treatment Choice for Severe PMS: Researchers

Other options include birth control pills, calcium, study says

Iron-Rich Diet Might Ease PMS Misery

Plant-based foods with iron, zinc may help stave off monthly symptoms, study found

Severe PMS May Last Longer Than Thought

Psychiatric changes persist after period starts for women with condition known as PMDD, study says

Diets Rich in Vitamin B May Help Prevent PMS, Study Finds

Foods with thiamine, riboflavin had positive effects; vitamin supplements did not

Stopping Antidepressants Boosts Risk of PMS Relapse

Women with most severe symptoms, on drugs for shortest time most affected, study finds

Health Tip: Ease PMS Symptoms

Suggestions that may help you feel better

Delayed Sleep Pattern Tied to Irregular Menstrual Cycles

Cramps, mood swings, other symptoms reported by more than two-thirds of women with disorder

Health Tip: Tame Symptoms of PMS

Diet and exercise can help

New Year-Round Contraceptive Pill Safe and Effective

Unpredictable bleeding did affect some women taking pill in the study

Calcium May Cut PMS Risk

But it may not work for all women, experts caution

Study: PMS May Cost Employers Millions

Health plans covering PMS treatment could save companies money

Backing a PMS Theory

The syndrome may cause back pain

A Birth Control Pill That Eases PMS?

New form of the hormone progestin may hold the key