GynecologyNewsPremenstrual Syndrome (PMS)


Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is associated with a series of physical and psychological symptoms that occur each time during the same period of the menstrual cycle, while absent for the rest of its days.

Its psychological manifestations include melancholy, anxiety, anger, sudden mood swings, inability to concentrate, difficulty in sleeping and memory problems.

Physical symptoms of the syndrome include gluttony, tenderness, swelling of the limbs, weight gain, abdominal pain, headaches, fatigue, skin and gastrointestinal problems.

The individual appearance of these symptoms is not enough to determine that a woman is suffering from PMS, as many women experience similar physical symptoms or mood swings in the days preceding the period. However, when symptoms appear every month, five days before the period for three consecutive cycles in a row, they stop four days after the beginning of the period and adversely affect the patient’s daily life, the syndrome is diagnosed.

As can be seen from the above, the diagnosis is particularly assisted by the recording of the symptoms of the sufferer for at least three months, along with recording the dates of the period.

It should be noted that the symptoms of other conditions are similar to those of PMS and may worsen over time. Some of these conditions are depression, anxiety, perimenopause, chronic fatigue syndrome, irritable bowel, thyroid disorders. Most often, depression and anxiety interact with PMS. More than half of women who seek help for PMS have one of these disorders. However, the difference, for example, in the case of depression, is that its symptoms are present throughout the month and may worsen before or during the period.

Other conditions that are exacerbated by PMS before the period are asthma, allergies, epilepsy, and migraine.

At its most extreme manifestation, called Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) and affecting a very small number of women, the syndrome causes major difficulties in work and personal relationships, and medication is administered to treat it.

Sometimes, depending on the severity of the symptoms, contraceptives are administered, which work well in reducing physical symptoms but do not always address the changes in psychological mood. Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications can help with this kind of psychological manifestations. If your symptoms include fluid retention, your doctor may recommend taking diuretics.

When symptoms are moderate or mild, they can be alleviated by changes in diet and lifestyle. Many women find that aerobic exercise alleviates problems caused by the syndrome, such as fatigue and bad mood. A good goal is 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week.

Simple diet changes also help relieve the symptoms of the syndrome.

High-carbohydrate rich foods, fruits and vegetables, high calcium foods, reduced fat, salt, sugar, caffeine and alcohol are recommended, as well as small meals to keep your blood sugar stable. Your doctor may also prescribe dietary supplements such as calcium and magnesium. It also seems that the evening primrose oil can relieve the symptoms of Syndrome.

Relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga have been found to work comfortably. In addition, sleeping well enough and at regular intervals every day can improve your mood and reduce the fatigue you feel on days affected by PMS.
The Doctor

Dr. Nikolopoulos maintains a private practice in ATHENS, while collaborating exclusively with MITERA’s maternity hospital and the new HYGEIA IVF Athens Assisted Reproduction Unit. At the same time, he is in charge of the Fertility and In Vitro Fertilization clinic at City Hospital, in the city of KALAMATA.