Premenstrual syndrome

PMS

Premenstrual syndrome refers to the physical and emotional symptoms that can happen in the two weeks before a period

About

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) describes the physical, emotional and behavioural symptoms that can happen in the two weeks before a woman's period. It's sometimes referred to as premenstrual tension (PMT) and can cause a wide range of symptoms, from bloating to irritability.

Need to know

  • Symptoms of PMS icon plus

    Common symptoms of PMS include:

    • bloating
    • breast pain
    • irritability
    • mood changes
    • loss or lack of interest in sex

    These symptoms tend to ease when your period starts. Some women experience more intense symptoms that can affect their day-to-day lives. This is often down to premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), a more severe form of PMS.

  • Diagnosis icon plus

    If your symptoms aren't severe, simple lifestyle changes such as dietary changes and sleeping regularly can help you to manage PMS. If you think you may have PMDD, your GP or consultant may carry out certain tests to make a diagnosis. They will explain these tests to you and answer any questions you may have.
  • Potential treatment options icon plus

    If you've been diagnosed with PMDD, your GP or consultant may recommend medical treatment. This could range from oral contraceptives to anti-depressants, depending on the nature of your PMDD.

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This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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