Premenstrual syndrome or famously known as PMS is a group of symptoms that usually start one to two weeks before your period during ovulation stage. Most women have at least some symptoms of PMS, and the symptoms usually go away after their periods start. However, for some women, the symptoms are severe enough that it interfere with their activities of daily living. Premenstrual dysphoric disorders or PMDD is a severe form of PMS in which psychological symptoms are prominent and frequently debilitating affecting all aspects of the individual’s daily life
The causes of premenstrual syndrome is not known but it is believed to be attributed by the changes in the estrogen and progesterone level in the body. There are several risk factors for PMS such as genetic, smoking, substance abuse, psychological history such as depression, anxiety disorder or past trauma
PMS causes various physical symptoms such as breast swelling and pain, acne, abdominal bloating, change in bowel habit, headache, body ache, fatigue, weight gain and swelling. There are also emotional and psychological changes including mood swings, irritability, anger, depression, anxiety, sleeping issues and food cravings
PMS can affect your daily activities and confidence and it’s important to have a thorough assessment of your symptoms by experienced medical doctors. Your doctor may perform several test for thyroid disorder and anaemia, sexually transmitted diseases (STD) screening and ultrasound of your pelvis. However, there are no single test to confirm PMS. You can keep menstrual journey diary or using app dictating the physical, psychological and emotional changes that occured every month so that it can help you develop coping strategies for the next cycle
Using a warm bottle can help with the cramps. Other treatment for PMS including regular exercise, yoga, relaxation therapy and various supplements such as vitamin B6, magnesium, calcium and fatty acids may also be helpful. Diet modification by incorporating more complex carbohydrates, whole grains, fruits and vegetables can help with the bloating and improve digestion. Limiting salt and salty foods with adequate water intake can reduce water retention. Avoidance of caffeine, carbonated beverages and alcohol intake may also be helpful. Getting adequate rest and sleep, avoiding heavy exercises and reducing stress is also important to help the body cope during the period of hormonal changes
If your monthly menses disturbing your life, talk to your doctor to discuss more on the treatments available to help you manage your menstrual changes. There are several options that can be consider including short course of pain medication, hormonal pills and anti-depressants depending on the severity of your symptoms, age, medical history and contraceptive needs.
If you have ay questions and concerns about your menses, talk to our experienced female doctor for more information.