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Premenstrual syndrome and premenstrual dysphoric disorder

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Women Veterans

Premenstrual syndrome and premenstrual dysphoric disorder

Some women notice that they have symptoms that occur only before their period, typically lasting for several days. Common symptoms include feeling irritable, tired, bloated, sore and overwhelmingly stressed. Women also may experience increased appetite and cravings for certain types of food.

When there are only a few symptoms and they are mild, this is known as premenstrual syndrome (PMS). When there are at least five symptoms and they are more intense, it could be a condition called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). Treatments for PMS and PMDD include lifestyle changes, medications, hormone therapy and behavioral therapy.

Do you think your menstrual cycle might be affecting your mood? Complete the screening checklist for PMS and PMDD.

Screening checklist for premenstrual syndrome and premenstrual dysphoric disorder

Do you experience any of these symptoms during the two weeks before your period?

  • Feeling more angry or irritable than usual
  • Feeling more anxious or tense
  • Feeling down or less interested in things
  • Having more difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling more tired
  • Eating more than usual or craving certain foods
  • Sleeping more or less
  • Feeling overwhelmed more easily
  • Physical changes like bloating, breast tenderness, headaches and joint pain

If you answered yes to several of these, or if your symptoms are interfering with your life, consider speaking with your primary care provider or mental health clinician about assessment and treatment options.

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