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Risk Factors for Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

A risk factor is something that raises the chances of getting a health problem. A woman can get PMS with or without the risk factors listed below. The chances are greater in women who have many risk factors.

PMS is more common in women of reproductive age and in women who are White.

Mental Health Factors

Women with a personal or family history of mental health problems are more likely to get PMS. Examples are depression and postpartum depression.


Women who are overweight or obese are at higher risk of PMS.


Smoking raises the risk of getting PMS.


PMS is more common in women who have had a stressful event happen in the past year.


PMS is more common in women who have had physical, sexual, or emotional trauma.


Premenstrual syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:https://www.dynamed.com/condition/premenstrual-syndrome. Updated August 22, 2019. Accessed January 16, 2020.

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/premenstrual-syndrome-pms.html. Updated July 25, 2018. Accessed January 16, 2020.

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) fact sheet. Office on Women's Health website. Available at: http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/premenstrual-syndrome.html. Updated March 16, 2018. Accessed January 16, 2020.

Last reviewed September 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Elliot M. Levine, MD, FACOG  Last Updated: 1/22/2021