Premenstrual Mood Changes
What is PMS?
PMS refers to one or more physical or mood symptoms that appear during the week before your period and resolve within a few days of starting your period. More than 100 different symptoms have been reported. Most women with PMS experience mild symptoms.
What is PMDD?
About 3 to 8% of women report premenstrual mood symptoms (such as irritability, tension, mood swings or depressed mood) that seriously interfere with their lifestyle or home, work or social relationships. This is considered to be the most severe form of PMS and is called PMDD.
How are PMS and PMDD treated?
For mild symptoms, diet changes, exercise and managing stress can be helpful. Studies have shown that some vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B6, calcium, and magnesium may decrease premenstrual symptoms for some women. Women with the more severe symptoms associated with PMDD may not respond to these treatments and may require medications. Although we know that PMDD is NOT depression, we have found that some antidepressant medications taken in low doses and taken only during the premenstrual phase reduce the premenstrual symptoms significantly.
Will I always have PMS or PMDD?
Because PMS is related to the menstrual cycle, you will not have PMS if you are pregnant or after menopause (when you no longer have periods).