PMS - self-care; Premenstrual dysphoric disorder - self-care
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. In your diary or calendar, be sure to record:
You may need to try different things to treat PMS. Some things you try may work, and 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. 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), naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve), and other medicines 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 symptoms.
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.
Call your health care provider if:
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: Cynthia D. White, MD, Fellow American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Group Health Cooperative, Bellevue, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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