PMS • Symptoms & that helps with premenstrual syndrome

Are your breasts tense and sore, you feel bloated and suffer from mood swings? PMS presents with typical symptoms. Premenstrual syndrome occurs in many women before their period. What helps against the complaints.

The days before the menstrual period are torture for many women: Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) causes a multitude of physical and emotional complaints. Depressive moods, irritability and a feeling of tension and pain in the breasts are just some of the unpleasant symptoms of PMS.

Article content at a glance:

What is PMS

PMS is one of the most common gynecological complaints. It mainly affects women over the age of 30. About 75 percent of all women of childbearing age report having problems before menstruation. Around a quarter of them struggle with premenstrual syndrome, and around five percent have symptoms so severe that their quality of life is significantly impaired.

The PMS symptoms can be so severe that some women feel unable to work and go about their daily lives. Gynecologists refer to the particularly severe form of PMS as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDS) or premenstrual dysphoria. The word “dysphoric” means “irritable, tense”. PMDS has been recognized as an independent disease since 2000.

Hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle play an important role in PMS. The same symptoms do not always appear in every cycle and their severity can vary from month to month. The unpleasant symptoms always appear in the second half of the menstrual cycle, i.e. ten to 14 days before the menstrual period begins. They go away in the first two days of your period.

  • for self-test

    PMS often resembles the signs of pregnancy. Self-tests can help to classify symptoms correctly.

PMS Symptoms – Body and Mind Suffering

The premenstrual syndrome is associated with various physical and psychological complaints, so far more than 150 symptoms are known. Not every woman experiences all symptoms in the same way. In around five percent, however, the symptoms are so great that everyday life, work and social life are significantly impaired.

Physical symptoms in PMS

Mental PMS Symptoms

During the menopause or after pregnancy, PMS symptoms can become more pronounced – some women experience PMS for the first time at this point in life. It is perhaps comforting that the premenstrual syndrome disappears again at the latest by menopause.

Diagnosis: when to see a doctor for PMS?

Women who experience excruciating and persistent PMS symptoms should see their gynecologist for advice. This is especially true if the premenstrual syndrome affects your ability to work, everyday life and social life. Only a doctor can determine whether your symptoms are actually caused by PMS.

It is also important to rule out other causes for the symptoms, for example normal menopausal symptoms or thyroid diseases. The doctor will first ask you about your symptoms and your medical history (anamnesis). Determining the hormone level shows whether the hormones are out of whack.

This is how a PMS can be treated

Treatment for PMS depends on the severity of which symptoms a woman is experiencing. There are several treatment options that can help the body and mind. However, the effectiveness of herbal medicines, dietary supplements and other measures has not been scientifically proven or the results in studies have been inconsistent. There are a number of things you can do yourself to alleviate and control the symptoms of PMS.

Drugs for PMS

  • Hormonal contraceptives prevent ovulation.

  • Painkillers work against headaches and back pain; Medicines from the group of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), for example ibuprofen, naproxen or acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), are used.

  • Water retention agents (diuretics) counteract water retention.

  • Antidepressants can help women with severe depressive moods and mood swings. Drugs from the group of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are mostly used. However, women should only take them if they are suffering from severe symptoms and other therapies have not been successful.

Herbal medicines and nutritional supplements

  • Dietary supplements such as calcium, vitamin B6 or magnesium

  • herbal preparations made from monk’s pepper or evening primrose oil; tiger lily, black cohosh or cyclamen help some women; Combination preparations that contain different active ingredients can also be useful.

  • St. John’s wort appears to be effective in treating psychological complaints.

PMS: symptoms and that helps with premenstrual syndrome

Behavior therapy

The fact that the subjective attitude towards one’s own body also seems to play a role in PMS explains the success of another therapeutic measure: behavioral therapy in PMS. It has proven to be helpful in various studies. Together with their therapist, patients learn to uncover negative ways of thinking and behavioral patterns and to replace them with positive measures and thoughts. This enables women to cope better with the symptoms of PMS in everyday life.

You can do that yourself at PMS

Women should observe themselves and try out what is good for them. Because there is currently no patent remedy for PMS that helps all women equally.

Some tips against PMS:

  • It is best to keep a menstrual calendar in which you classify the symptoms of the PMS on a scale and note down special features. This will give you a sense of which days are critical for you. The calendar also allows conclusions to be drawn as to whether therapies or lifestyle changes are successful.

  • Eat a diet rich in carbohydrates with plenty of fruit and vegetables (vitamins, minerals) and low in salt. Don’t eat too many sweets.

  • Refrain from alcohol, cigarettes and coffee.

  • Exercise a lot, preferably in the fresh air. Endurance sports such as hiking, (Nordic) walking, swimming or cycling are good. Sport also lifts the mood and is good for the mind.

  • Learn a relaxation method, for example yoga, autogenic training or progressive muscle relaxation according to Jacobson.

  • As far as possible, adjust your daily life to the expected symptoms. Sometimes it is also good to let relatives know when a crisis is coming. So they may have a better understanding of your mood swings.

Not every woman with PMS symptoms feels impaired in her everyday life. Many learn to deal with the complaints and restrictions in a relaxed manner. You exercise, eat healthy, and keep too much stress at bay in the days leading up to your menstrual period. A positive attitude towards yourself and your body will help you get through these times well. In women with severe symptoms – i.e. premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDS) – various therapies can alleviate the symptoms. One thing is certain: with the last menstrual period in the menopause, the symptoms disappear.

Can you prevent PMS?

You cannot prevent PMS – also because the causes have still not been adequately researched. However, relaxation methods, a healthy diet, and plenty of exercise can help alleviate symptoms.

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Source: Lifeline | Das Gesundheitsportal by

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