Overview of premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
Premenstrual syndrome, or PMS, is a group of symptoms that may occur each month in the days before a woman’s menstrual period. PMS is extremely common. Experts estimate at least 85 percent of women experience at least one symptom of PMS on a monthly basis.
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Symptoms of premenstrual syndrome
PMS symptoms vary from woman to woman. Common signs and symptoms you may experience with PMS include:
- Swollen, tender breasts
- Abdominal bloating and weight gain
- Swelling of the hands or feet
- Acne, or increased breakouts
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Difficulty sleeping
- Food cravings
- Mood swings, tension, or irritability
- Anxiety or depression
- Difficulty thinking or poor concentration
- Joint or muscle pain
Some women experience bothersome, uncomfortable, or even severe PMS symptoms. Other women have few, if any, symptoms of PMS.
Causes of premenstrual Syndrome
Because the symptoms of PMS are related to the menstrual cycle, experts think PMS symptoms are related to changes in hormone levels. The neurotransmitter serotonin controls these hormone levels. However, no one knows why some women experience severe PMS symptoms while others do not.