PMS may cause:
- Mood swings
- Diminished self-esteem
- Difficulty concentrating
- Sleep problems
- Appetite changes, such as sugar and/or salt cravings, or overeating
- Weight gain
- Breast swelling and tenderness
- Gastrointestinal upset
- Muscle pain
Symptoms usually improve when bleeding starts (menstrual period).
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will also be done.
You will be asked to keep a detailed record of your monthly physical and emotional symptoms. If caused by PMS, these symptoms will likely occur 1-2 weeks before your menstrual period. You may have PMS if symptoms occur at the same phase of the menstrual cycle each month.
Treatment options include:
Stress may be managed through lifestyle changes. Relaxation techniques, deep breathing, massage, music, and hot baths can also help reduce stress.
Dietary changes may be helpful. Decreasing salt, sugar, and caffeinemay be advised. Eating small, frequent meals may also help.
Vitamins and Minerals
The following vitamin and mineral supplements might reduce PMS symptoms:
- Vitamin E may reduce breast tenderness
- Calcium may decrease bloating, depression, and aches
- Magnesium may decrease pain, fluid retention, and improve mood
- Manganese may help control symptoms of menstrual pain
Exercising throughout the week may help to reduce symptoms.
Medications to treat PMS include:
- Diuretics to reduce bloating and fluid retention.
- Pain relievers to relieve cramps, headaches, and muscle aches
- Birth control pills to reduce physical symptoms
- Antidepressants to reduce emotional symptoms
Women with severe PMS symptoms may benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy. Therapy may reduce negative emotions and enhance problem-solving skills in relationships. It may also manage obstacles, frustrations, and discomfort.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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a (PMS; Premenstrual Tension Syndrome)
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists http://www.acog.org
Women's Health—Office on Women's Health http://www.womenshealth.gov
Health Canada https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada.html
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada http://www.sogc.org
Premenstrual syndrome. American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: https://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq057.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20120824T1006488269. Updated May 2015. Accessed September 7, 2017.
Premenstrual syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T113966/Premenstrual-syndrome . Updated October 5, 2016. Accessed September 7, 2017.
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) fact sheet. Office on Women's Health website. Available at: http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/premenstrual-syndrome.html. Updated February 6, 2017. Accessed September 7, 2017.
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