Premenstrual syndrome, or PMS, refers to a set of symptoms that most often:
Keeping a calendar or diary of your symptoms can help you identify the symptoms that are causing you the most trouble. This can help you manage the times when they are likely to occur. Keep a diary or calendar to record:
Treating PMS may involve some trial and error. Some things you try may work, but others may not. Keeping track of your symptoms may help you find the treatments that work best for you.
A healthy lifestyle is the first step to managing PMS. For many women, lifestyle changes alone are enough to control their symptoms.
Changes in what you drink or eat may help. Follow these tips at least during the second half of your cycle:
Getting regular exercise throughout the month can help reduce how severe your PMS symptoms are.
Your health care provider may recommend that you take vitamins or supplements.
Pain relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, and others), and naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve, and others may help symptoms of headache, backache, menstrual cramping, and breast tenderness.
Your health care provider may prescribe birth control pills, water pills (diuretics), or other medicines to treat symptom.
For some women, PMS affects their mood and sleep patterns.
To relieve anxiety and stress, try:
Ask your health care provider about medicines or talk therapy if your symptoms become worse.
Make an appointment with your health care provider if:
PMS - self-care; Premenstrual dysphoric disorder - self-care
Lentz GM. Primary and secondary dysmenorrhea, premenstrual syndrome, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder: etiology, diagnosis, management. In: Lentz GM, Lobo RA, Gershenson DM, Katz VL, eds. Comprehensive Gynecology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2012:chap 36.
Vigod SN. Understanding and treating premenstrual dysphoric disorder: an update for the women's health practitioner. Obstet Gynecol Clin North Am. 2009;36:907-924, xii.
Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
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