Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is characterized by physical and emotional symptoms that occur in a regular cycle beginning 1-2 weeks before the onset of menstrual flow and improve when menstrual bleeding starts. These symptoms can be extremely distressing and may include:
Although the symptoms of PMS may vary, the most common complaints are:
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a severe form of PMS. According to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), 5 or more of the following symptoms must be present for a diagnosis of PMDD:
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). American Psychiatric Association; 2013.
Premenstrual syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T113966/Premenstrual-syndrome. Updated June 9, 2016. Accessed October 4, 2016.
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 April 2014. Accessed August 18, 2016.
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 December 23, 2014. Accessed August 18, 2016.
Last reviewed September 2017 by Michael Woods, MD, FAAP Last Updated: 9/17/2014