Premenstrual Syndrome: What Is It?
Premenstrual syndrome, or PMS, is a collection of physical and mental symptoms that often appear two to seven days before the start of menstruation (sometimes up to 14 days). They typically end a few days after the start of your menstruation or at the same time.
Premenstrual syndrome symptoms range significantly in intensity and duration from woman to woman. The most prevalent signs and symptoms are extreme weariness, painful and swollen breasts, lower abdominal edoema, headaches, irritability, and mood changes during periods.
What proportion of women experience PMS symptoms, including mood swings?
The day before or around the time of their cycle, about 75% of fertile women experience moderate symptoms, such as slight uterine cramping.
They are able to carry on with their regular activities unhindered, so overall it is not extremely inconvenient. 20% to 30% of women experience symptoms that are severe enough to limit their ability to go about their everyday activities.
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), a form of PMS, is characterised by severe psychosocial symptoms. On average, it would have an impact on 2% to 6% of women.
Causes & Diagnosis of PMS
Premenstrual syndrome diagnosis criteria have remained ill-defined for a very long time. The problem is clarified by a new classification from the International Society for Premenstrual Disorders (ISPMD). For instance, it has been determined that PMS must be diagnosed if symptoms were present for the majority of the previous year’s menstrual cycles.
PMS Symptoms in Detail
Many of the PMS symptoms listed below are common among women who have PMS, albeit not necessarily all of them.
- Emotional symptoms, such as mood swings, impatience, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, or a sense of depression.
- Overt exhaustion.
- Mood swings during periods.
- Hypersomnia or other sleep disorders.
- Migraines or headaches.
- Food cravings for savoury or sweet things.
- A decrease in sexual desire.
- Pains in the abdomen brought on by uterine spasms.
- Muscle discomfort, particularly in the lower back.
- PMS Fluid retention symptoms include lower abdominal swelling, tender and swollen breasts, heavy or sore legs, weight gain, and
- Breakouts of acne.
Additionally, PMS can exacerbate the signs of various medical conditions. Asthma, epilepsy, or allergy episodes can all be more severe and difficult to handle than migraines or chronic pain.
Each woman responds differently to PMS treatment in terms of effectiveness. Some ladies may have great success with a solution while others may not. Before you find the best PMS therapy, you may need to try a few different ones. Typically, a three-month trial period is recommended.
The lifestyle modifications listed below are sufficient to give women with mild to moderate symptoms some comfort.
Exercise– Regular exercise throughout the month, not just for the few days that PMS symptoms endure (20 to 30 minutes per day, 3 to 5 times per week), leads to a general improvement.
Exercises that enhance blood flow to various organs, such as walking, swimming, biking, running, dancing, etc., in particular, aid in balancing sex hormone swings. Physical activity not only makes you feel good and enjoyable, but it also enables you to expend excess energy that has built up due to stress or, on the other hand, to refuel, if necessary.
Medication can be used to treat symptoms when a healthy lifestyle is insufficient. However, a healthy lifestyle must always be linked with the drug strategy.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs): These drugs lessen breast soreness and ease cramping. They must be taken the week before menstruation as well as the first few days of menstruation for them to be effective. The most common medications used in these circumstances are naproxen (Anaprox®, Naprosyn®) and ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®). Be cautious. Diuretics and NSAIDs should not be used together.
Continuous oral contraceptives—In addition to serving as a contraceptive, they are an effective approach to stop PMS since they block ovulation. This choice is interesting, for instance, if you suffer from severe headaches at the conclusion of your period or while you’re menstruating. All medications can be used constantly, but some — like Seasonale® — are specifically made for this.
Estrogen and progestogen patches – For many women, using oestrogen has been proved to be beneficial. To prevent the negative effects of oestrogen given alone, it must be taken along with a progestogen. It is not advised to become pregnant when using this approach or oestrogen patches for contraception. As a result, you should use some form of birth control during sexual activity (such condoms or an IUD like the Mirena).
PMS symptoms can be adequately treated with antidepressants from the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor families (more specifically irritability). Antidepressants are typically advised to be taken during the two weeks leading up to your period.
Diuretics: These medications encourage fluid excretion and help lessen symptoms of fluid retention (weight gain, leg pain or heavy legs, etc.). They are hardly ever used, save in rare circumstances, to treat PMS due to their potentially dangerous adverse effects. Only spirolactone (Aldactone®) may be used as a diuretic for this purpose. Fluid retention can frequently be controlled with a low-salt diet.
Never skip a meal; consume three healthy meals every day at regular intervals. This keeps the sugar level steady;
Studies have shown that calcium and magnesium supplements can help women with PMS, thus doctors are increasingly suggesting them. Researchers think that PMS may, in part, be a symptom of low calcium.
Stress: Help Fight It
It is preferable to not overbook yourself on important days given the tense environment that can create PMS. Look for ways to deal with stressful situations more effectively (reorganize your schedule, settle a conflict, etc.). Any strategy that induces a feeling of calm is a beneficial addition (deep breathing, meditation, yoga, massages, etc.).
Our fertility specialists at Indira IVF and fertility clinic are eager to assist and address any questions you may have regarding infertility or IVF. You can schedule a free consultation right away.
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