• Understanding PMS (Part 1)

    by Dr. Jumnah Thanapathy
    on Aug 31st, 2016

Studies show that about 85% of women of childbearing age experience symptoms of PMS, in varying degrees, although only between 2% to 10% experience severe symptoms. Treated as a topic for sitcom jokes for many years, PMS, or Premenstrual Syndrome to give it its correct name, is now recognized as a genuine medical condition and one that, if the symptoms are severe enough, requires treatment. The symptoms of PMS can be both physical and also psychological and occur just before the beginning of the menstrual period.

The Causes

The exact cause of PMS is still being researched and debated, but the consensus is that the fluctuations in hormone levels that occur just before the onset of your period is a major factor. The fluctuations, especially of estrogen and progesterone are part of the natural preparation of the body to menstruate.

The Symptoms

The symptoms of PMS are many and varied and can occur in a variety of combinations. The types, number, and severity of the symptoms differ from woman to woman and also from month to month for each woman. The main, and most common symptoms include:


There are other possible symptoms and if you think you have symptoms of PMS, consult your gynecologist to find out if that is the case and if so, what steps you need to take to control the problem.

The Diagnosis

There is no single comprehensive test or set of tests to determine if a woman is suffering from PMS or not. There are some strategies that a health care provider may suggest to help in making a diagnosis, but the problem here is that the type and severity of the symptoms can vary from month to month. That being said, the two most common courses of action are:

In the next part of this blog, we will share tips and suggestions on how to manage and overcome PMS.

Author Dr. Jumnah Thanapathy

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