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Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
(GY016)

Introduction


Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) can be defined as emotional, behavioral, and physical symptoms that occur in the premenstrual (luteal) phase of the menstrual cycle, which are relieved by the start of menses. Studies have suggested that as many as 80% of women experience mild to moderate premenstrual symptoms, and approximately 3-8% experience severe symptoms.

PMS can begin at any time during the reproductive years and symptoms resolve with menopause (although symptoms may worsen initially in the perimenopausal interval).

Although there seems to be a strong association with depression, the cause of PMS is not known.

PMS occurs only with cycles in which an egg is released awaiting fertilization (ovulatory cycle).
Therefore, the target of some therapies is the inhibition of ovulation.

Because PMS is not a disease, the goal of therapy is the alleviation of symptoms rather than finding a cure. Treatments need to be individualized for each woman based on her symptoms.

Often, lifestyle measures such as dietary modification and moderate aerobic exercise (at least three times per week) are all that are required to completely control premenstrual symptoms. Medications or nutritional supplements are commonly used. Surgery is considered a last-resort and is rarely performed for PMS alone.

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