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Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

Understanding Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) and Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

What Are PMS and PMDD?

Have you ever noticed that some women get really uncomfortable and moody before their periods start? This is often because of something called Premenstrual Syndrome, or PMS for short. PMS can cause different kinds of problems, like feeling really sad or angry, having aches and pains, or even making it hard to get through the day.

There’s also a more intense kind of PMS called Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD). PMDD is like PMS, but the feelings are so strong that they can really mess with a person’s life. Women with PMDD might feel super down or anxious, and these feelings pop up before their period and go away once it starts.

How Common Are PMS and PMDD?

A lot of women – about 2 or 3 out of every 10 – have PMS. PMDD is less common. Only about 1 or 2 out of every 100 women have it, but it’s a really serious condition.

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Why Do PMS and PMDD Happen?

Scientists are still trying to figure out exactly why some women get PMS or PMDD, but they think it has to do with changes in the body’s chemistry. This includes stuff like hormones and how the brain handles certain chemicals that affect our mood.

Some women might be more likely to get PMS or PMDD because of their genes, which are like a set of instructions they inherited from their parents.

What Increases the Risk of PMS and PMDD?

Women in their late 20s to mid-30s are more likely to get PMS or PMDD. Other things that can increase the risk include:

  • Having a history of mood problems like depression.
  • Having family members with similar issues.
  • Smoking cigarettes.
  • Dealing with a lot of stress or having had tough experiences in the past.
  • Being overweight.
Diagnosing PMS and PMDD

To figure out if someone has PMS or PMDD, doctors look for certain signs. The symptoms show up in the second half of the menstrual cycle and get better when the period starts. If someone has PMDD, they need to have at least 5 of these signs, and they have to be pretty intense.

Treatment Options

Treating PMS and PMDD can involve different strategies. Exercise might help, but it’s not clear how much. Medicines called SSRIs are often used because they can help with the mood swings and other symptoms. There are also other medicines and treatments that can be tried if SSRIs don’t work.

Other Helpful Tips
  • Eating a healthy diet with less salt, sugar, and caffeine can help.
  • Staying away from tobacco and alcohol is also a good idea.
  • It’s important to know that PMS and PMDD are real medical issues, and women dealing with them are not “crazy.”
The Outlook for Women with PMS and PMDD

Many women can find ways to feel better and control their symptoms. PMS usually goes away for good when a woman reaches menopause. If a woman has her uterus removed but keeps her ovaries, she might still have PMS.

Final Thoughts

If you think you might have PMS or PMDD, keeping track of your symptoms and when they happen can be really helpful. Treatment can make a big difference, and you don’t have to suffer in silence

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