Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Premenstrual Syndrome Overview

What is premenstrual syndrome?
A woman with premenstrual syndrome has uncomfortable physical and emotional symptoms before the menstrual period that interfere with daily activities. The cause of premenstrual syndrome is unknown, but it seems to be related to changes in hormone levels that occur during the menstrual cycle. In the US, about 75 percent of women have symptoms of premenstrual syndrome at some time during their lives.

What are the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome?
Symptoms of premenstrual syndrome include lower abdominal pain, abdominal swelling, back pain, breast pain, nausea, irritability, anxiety, depression, and weight gain. Usually, the symptoms start 5 to 10 days before the menstrual period, and end when the menstrual period begins.

How does the doctor treat premenstrual syndrome?
Treatment for premenstrual syndrome may include vitamin supplements, oral contraceptives, antidepressants, diuretics, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain.

Continue to Premenstrual Syndrome Incidence

Last Updated: Aug 20, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Premenstrual Syndrome References
  1. Johnson SR. Premenstrual syndrome, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and beyond: a clinical primer for practitioners. Obstet Gynecol. 2004 Oct;104(4):845-59. [15458909]
  2. Rapkin A. A review of treatment of premenstrual syndrome and premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2003 Aug;28 Suppl 3:39-53. [12892989]
  3. Wyatt K, Dimmock P, Jones P, Obhrai M, O'Brien S. Efficacy of progesterone and progestogens in management of premenstrual syndrome: systematic review. BMJ. 2001 Oct 6;323(7316):776-80. [11588078]
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