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Causes of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder     (PMDD)
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Causes of pre-menstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)

The cause of PMDD, like PMS is not really known. Many medical experts believe that PMDD is a psychological disorder which has an underlying mental disorder. This theory is widely contested by other medical experts and an agreement on the cause of PMDD is not yet fully understood or agreed today.

The theories that have been proposed on the possible underlying causes of PMDD are:

Abnormal function of the ovaries

Researchers believe that due to the fact that PMDD only occurs in relation to the menstrual cycle, then there could be an underlying problems with the function of the ovaries, which are not releasing the hormones in the correct ratios and this may give rise to the cyclic PMDD symptoms.

The ovarian hormones that are released and which fluctuate during the luteal phase are: eostrogen and progesterone. These two hormones are responsible for enabling the egg to be released from the ovary and enabling fertilisation to occur.


Abnormal function of the central nervous system

Another theory that has been proposed that some women may have an underlying abnormal response to the normal fluctuations of the female hormones that circulate the blood in the two weeks prior to menstruation. It is thought that women that have PMDD have a central nervous system responds very abnormally to the fluctuating hormone levels during the luteal phase (the two weeks prior to menstruation) and this is what causes the PMDD symptoms.

The hormones that are fluctuation during the luteal phase are:


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  Last reviewed: 15 August 2008 || Last updated: 8 January 2010


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Disclaimer: This guide is not intended to be used for diagnostic or prescriptive purposes. For any treatment or diagnosis of illness, please see your doctor.


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