Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a combination of symptoms that affect a women’s emotions, physical health, and behavior before certain days of the menstrual cycle. In early medical reports about this issue, clinically significant premenstrual symptoms were named premenstrual tension (PMT) or premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
PMS is a very common condition that affects more than 90 percent of menstruating women these symptoms start five to 11 days before menstruation and typically go away once menstruation begins. These symptoms are mild, but 5-8% have moderate to severe symptoms that are associated with substantial distress or functional impairment.
These emotional disturbances are thought to be connected to the rise and fall of hormones before and during menstruation, specifically estrogen. Estrogen levels begin to rise slowly just after a women’s period ends, and they peak two weeks later. These hormonal peaks and valleys are thought to cause mood swings and other menstrual symptoms.
Some research suggests that female hormones interact with brain chemicals in a way that can affect mood in those with PMS. Lower serotonin levels are associated with depression, irritability and carbohydrate craving, all of which can be PMS symptoms.
Some of the most common emotions experienced are: