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What is Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)?
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What is pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS)?

Pre-menstrual syndrome or PMS is a physical and psychological disorder that causes a number of symptoms (both physical and psychological) that affect the physical and emotional well-being of women for a period of up to two weeks prior to menstruation.

While PMS can occur for up to two weeks prior to menstruation (usually just after ovulation), the worst symptoms seem to occur in the the week and days just before menstruation. PMS normally disappears (or is reduced significantly) once menstruation starts.

PMS was first classed as a medical disorder in 1953 by Dr Raymond Greene and Dr Katharina Dalton in a paper published in the British Medical Journal the same year.

Research shows that up to 90% of all women experience some level of PMS during their menstruating years and that around 40% of these women have PMS symptoms that disrupt their life in some major way.

Some women even report that any underlying medical disorders (allergies, asthma, irritable bowel syndrome) seem to get worse, or just much harder to manage during PMS.

Pre-menstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) has recently been identified as a type of PMS, but with much worse symptoms.


Facts about PMS


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  Last reviewed: 15 August 2008 || Last updated: 9 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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