ABC Medical Center > Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)

What is Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)?

21:55 - 4 May , 2021


It is a common female pathology associated with a series of symptoms that regularly start 14 days or more after the first day of the last menstrual cycle and disappear a couple of days after the start of menstruation.

So far, the origin of this condition has not been identified, but different investigations indicate that hormonal and chemical changes in the brain have an important relationship in the appearance of this syndrome, which is usually suffered by three out of four women in the menstruation stage, as well as certain cultural, social, and psychological factors.

Studies also indicate that PMS usually occurs in women:

  • 40 to 50 years old.
  • With history of postpartum depression or an affective mood disorder.
  • Who have one or more children.
  • With close relatives with severe depression.

Signs and symptoms Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)

There is a wide variety of signs and symptoms, both physical and emotional, but the most common are:

  • Increased body weight.
  • Fluid retention.
  • Acne.
  • Tiredness.
  • Abdominal distension.
  • Sore joints and muscles.
  • Headache.
  • Diarrhea or constipation.
  • Alcohol intolerance.
  • Hypersensitive breasts.


  • Anxiety.
  • Social isolation.
  • Low self-esteem.
  • Changes in eating habits.
  • Mood swings.
  • Irritability.
  • Insomnia.
  • Crying for no apparent reason.
  • Less tolerance to noise and lights.
  • Loss or increase in sexual desire.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Depression.

Symptoms usually worsen as the climacteric and menopause approach.

It is important to see a specialist if you have these symptoms to prevent them from getting worse, preventing you from performing your daily activities or disabling you.

Diagnosis and treatment Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)

Once your doctor reviews your symptoms and medical history, they will perform a physical and pelvic examination and will help you establish a premenstrual pattern in order to identify the most adverse signs. To do this, you will be asked to write your symptoms down, their severity, and duration in a diary for at least two or three menstrual cycles.

If deemed necessary, they may request a thyroid function test or mood screening, in order to have a more accurate diagnosis.

The indicated treatment, depending on the severity of the symptoms, usually includes the following drugs:

  • Hormonal contraceptives.
  • Anxiolytics.
  • Antidepressants.
  • Anti-inflammatories.
  • Lifestyle changes, such as:
  • Drink lots of fluids.
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and carbonated drinks.
  • Do regular aerobic exercise.
  • Take nutritional supplements.
  • Limit the intake of sugar and salt.
  • Have a balanced diet.
  • Practice meditation, relaxation, and breathing exercises.
  • Diuretics.

Comprehensive women’s health is our priority at the Women’s Center, so we offer services focused on women in all their chronological stages with the highest standards of care to improve their quality of life, through a wide range of prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and follow-up services.

It has three specialized units:
Obstetrics Center
Gynecology Center
Gynecology in adolescence


  • hormone.org
  • mayoclinic.org
  • medlineplus.gov
  • msdmanuals.com
  • cun.es
  • medigraphic.com
  • Meza-Moreno FI, Pimienta-Alcaraz MJ, Vázquez-Valdez MF, et al. Self-reported executive function, and not performance-based measures, strongly associates with symptoms of premenstrual syndrome/premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Salud Mental. 2021;44(2):83-90.
  • Malpartida AMK. Síndrome premenstrual. Revista Médica Sinergia. 2017;2(11):7-12.
  • Chavarría SJ. Diagnóstico y tratamiento del síndrome premenstrual. Rev Med Cos Cen. 2013;70(608):709-715.
  • Pavía RN, Civeira GL, Rosado FA. Síndrome disfórico premenstrual de docentes preescolares en Mérida, Yucatán. Ginecol Obstet Mex. 2009;77(04):183-188.

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