Premenstrual Syndrome

PMS, premenstrual syndrome, menstruation, period, family planning, reproductive health

What is PMS?

PMS stands for premenstrual syndrome, and it’s caused by changes in the body’s hormonal levels. It refers to the emotional and physical symptoms that a lot of women normally experience two weeks before their monthly period, and disappears once their period begins.

Some women don’t have any signs of PMS or only have very mild symptoms before their period, while some have symptoms that are severe enough to make it hard to do daily activities.

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms illustration in different areas of the body
Image: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325314#symptoms

What are the symptoms?

Premenstrual syndrome can cause a wide range of symptoms, but most women experience only a few. Symptoms include:

  • acne
  • bloating
  • feeling tired
  • backaches
  • headaches
  • sore breasts
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • food cravings
  • feeling blue
  • irritability
  • mood swings
  • difficulty concentrating
  • difficulty handling stress
  • trouble sleeping

In some cases, physical pain and emotional stress are severe enough to interfere with daily living. For most women, symptoms usually disappear within four days after the start of their menstrual period, regardless of their severity.

It can, however, be highly disabling for some women every month. This form of PMS is called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).

How to relieve PMS symptoms?

It is not a huge problem for most women, and the best way to manage these symptoms is to be conscious of what your body is going through, and to live a healthy lifestyle. Proper diet, enough rest, and adequate exercise may help relieve some of these symptoms of PMS.

Premenstrual syndrome can be managed with lifestyle changes, however if it is affecting your daily activities and health, you should consult your doctor.


Premenstrual syndrome (PMS). (n.d.). Office on Women’s Health. https://www.womenshealth.gov/menstrual-cycle/premenstrual-syndrome 

Mayo Clinic Staff. (February 25, 2022). Premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/premenstrual-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20376780 

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