Over 90% of women claim to experience at least some degree of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and some can be severe enough to miss work or daily activities. The providers at Capital Women's Care Howard County in Fulton, Maryland, can help you find relief from PMS.

What is PMS?

PMS involves a combination of various emotional and physical symptoms that often occur after ovulation and before the first day of your menstrual period. These symptoms may be due to the changes in hormone levels as your body moves through your menstrual cycle.

PMS symptoms can be mild and hardly noticeable or so extreme you have to miss work, school, or other activities. If you have severe PMS, you may be among the 5% of women with premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).

Who gets PMS?

Most women get PMS at some point in their lives, but symptoms are typically mild. You may be more likely to suffer from PMS if any of the following conditions apply to you:

  • High levels of stress

  • Family history of depression

  • Personal history of depression or postpartum depression

What are the symptoms of PMS?

There are many possible symptoms of PMS. You may experience only a few or several at once. Typically, you get a similar pattern of PMS symptoms from month to month.

Common physical symptoms of PMS include:

  • Cramping

  • Bloating

  • Joint or muscle pain

  • Breast tenderness

  • Constipation or diarrhea

  • Acne

  • Headache

  • Backache

Common emotional and behavioral symptoms of PMS include:

  • Mood swings such as anxiety and depression

  • Irritability or hostility

  • Decreased interest in sex

  • Feeling tired

  • Sleeping too much or too little

  • Food cravings and appetite changes

  • Social withdrawal

  • Crying spells

  • Tension

  • Difficulty concentrating

How do you diagnose and treat PMS?

There’s no definitive test to diagnose PMS, but your provider at Capital Women’s Care discusses your symptoms during a physical exam. They may ask questions about how long your symptoms last and how much they affect your life.

It may be helpful to keep track of your PMS symptoms on a calendar or phone app. This can provide your OB/GYN with valuable information about your PMS patterns.

If you suffer from severe PMS, your Capital Women’s Care provider discusses the best treatment options. Depending on your unique needs, this may include lifestyle changes, nutritional supplements, or prescription medicines to relieve symptoms.

For personalized PMS treatment from understanding physicians, call Capital Women's Care Howard County, or request an appointment online today.