Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

More than 150 symptoms have been reported in association with PMS. There are five basic categories:

  1. Anxiety (includes nervousness, mood swings, irritability & impatience)
  2. Depression (includes crying, confusion, social withdrawal & insomnia)
  3. Pain (includes backache, cramps and breast pain)
  4. Water retention (includes abdominal bloating, weight gain & swelling)
  5. Hypoglycemia (includes headache, craving sweets, increased appetite & fatigue)

(Editor's note: some psychiatrists advocate use of the newer anti-depressant medications called SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) such as Prozac and Zoloft to treat symptoms of PMS. For more information on these drugs, go to: for Prozac and for Zoloft.)

Sources: Shoupe, Donna, Management of Common Problems in Obstetrics and Gynecology, 3rd Edition, 1994.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Premenstrual Syndrome. Committee Opinion #155. Washington, DC: April 1995.

Editor's Note: For more information on PMS and a wide variety of other women's health issues, contact:

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Department of Public Information
409 12th Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20024-2188 USA
Telephone: (202) 484-3321
FAX: (202) 479-6826

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