PMS

Updated 30 March 2016

What is PMS?

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a set of symptoms that affects some women just before their period starts.

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Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a combination of emotional, physical, psychological, and mood disturbances that occur after a woman's ovulation and normally end with the onset of her menstrual flow.

It is thought that PMS may be caused by hormonal changes (fluctuations in oestrogen and progesterone) that occur during the menstrual cycle.

The most common mood-related symptoms are irritability, depression, crying, oversensitivity, and mood swings with alternating sadness and anger.

The most common physical symptoms are fatigue, bloating, breast tenderness (mastalgia), acne and appetite changes with food cravings.

PMS is also known as late luteal phase dysphoric disorder.

The mood changes surrounding this condition have been described as early as the time of the ancient Greeks. However, it was not until 1931 that this disorder was officially recognised by the medical community. The term "premenstrual syndrome" was coined in 1953.

 

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