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What is PMS and PMDD?

Few people can say that they know all about the different disorders, diseases, and tricky acronyms related to menstruation. In this short blog, we will cover premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and premenstrual dysphonic disorder (PMDD). Let’s learn more!

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)

Feeling anxious, having mood swings, headaches and trouble sleeping around your period? The symptoms are individual and can vary from month to month. Most experience PMS at some point. There is a lot you can do to feel better if you have PMS, there are also treatments that can help.

The most common symptoms of PMS include:

• mood swings

• feeling upset, anxious or irritable

• tiredness or trouble sleeping

• bloating or tummy pain

• breast tenderness

• headaches

• spotty skin or greasy hair

• changes in appetite and sex drive

What are the causes of PMS?

It’s not fully understood yet why some experience PMS and others don’t. It may be because of changes in your hormone levels during the menstrual cycle. Some are more affected by these changes than others.

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)

A small number experience more severe symptoms of PMS known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a very severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), which can cause many emotional and physical symptoms every month during the week or two before you start your period. If you have PMDD these symptoms are much worse and can have a serious impact on your life. Experiencing PMDD can make it difficult to work, socialise and have healthy relationships. In some cases, it can also lead to suicidal thoughts.

Emotional experiences:

• feelings of anxiety

• feeling hopeless

• feelings of tension or being on edge

• difficulty concentrating

• feeling overwhelmed

• lack of energy

• less interest in activities you normally enjoy

• suicidal feelings

Physical and behavioural experiences:

• breast tenderness or swelling

• pain in your muscles and joints

• headaches

• feeling bloated

• changes in your appetite such as overeating or having specific food cravings

• sleep problems

What are the causes of PMDD?

The exact causes are still not fully understood but some possible factors are: Being very sensitive to changes in hormone levels. Recent research suggests that PMDD is associated with increased sensitivity to the normal hormonal changes that occur during your monthly menstrual cycle. Genetic research suggests that this increased sensitivity to changes in hormone levels may be caused by genetic variations.

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