Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is the occurrence of recurrent or cyclical physical, psychological and emotional symptoms that occur in the luteal or premenstrual phase of the menstrual cycle and resolves by the time the menstrual flow ends.
“Premenstrual symptoms” occur in most women. But just as about 5–10% of women have minimal or no symptoms at one end of the spectrum, a similar percentage experience such extreme and severe symptoms which interefere with their normal day to day activities and their relationship with their family and loved ones. This extreme end which is often called premenstrual tension by the general population is referred to as premenstrual syndrome. Another extreme known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is used to describe the extreme predominantly psychological end of the PMS spectrum that occurs in about 3–9% of women. In other words, these women suffer mainly from recurrent severe psychological distress occuring only during the luteal phase with little or no physical symptoms.
These are probably inexhaustible and include;
2. Change in appetite including food craving or loss of appetite
3. Cyclical weight gain
4. Mastalgia or breast pain
5. Abdominal cramps
10. Psychological symptoms include;
12. Mood swings
13. Social withdrawal
14. Decreased interest
16. Poor concentration
19. Negative thoughts
21. Inability to cope
1. American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, 1994: DSM-IV. 4th ed., Washington, D.C.
2. World Health Organization Mental, behavioral and developmental disorders, 1996.