premenstrual syndrome

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premenstrual syndrome

(PMS), any of various symptoms experienced by women of childbearing age in the days immediately preceding menstruationmenstruation,
periodic flow of blood and cells from the lining of the uterus in humans and most other primates, occurring about every 28 days in women. Menstruation commences at puberty (usually between age 10 and 17).
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. It is most common in women in their twenties and thirties. Some 70%–90% of menstruating women are said to have PMS on a cyclical basis. There are over 150 symptoms associated with the syndrome, including behavioral changes, eating binges, moodiness, irritability, fatigue, fluid retention, breast tenderness, and headaches. Some women have mild symptoms; others have symptoms that interfere with work or home life. A few are completely incapacitated, a condition called premenstrual dysphoric disorder. The symptoms vary from woman to woman, and each woman's symptoms may vary from month to month, making diagnosis difficult.

The exact cause is unknown. Hormonal imbalances, nutritional deficiencies, and neurotransmitter (serotoninserotonin
, organic compound that was first recognized as a powerful vasoconstrictor occurring in blood serum. It was partially purified, crystallized, and named in 1948, and its structure was deduced a year later.
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 and norepinephrinenorepinephrine
, a neurotransmitter in the catecholamine family that mediates chemical communication in the sympathetic nervous system, a branch of the autonomic nervous system.
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) fluctuations are being studied. PMS patients who have had hysterectomies may continue to have symptoms, but the symptoms in all patients disappear with menopausemenopause
or climacteric
, transitional phase in a woman's life when the ovaries stop releasing eggs, ovarian production of estrogen and other hormones tapers off, and menstruation ceases.
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. There is no cure for PMS. In some women, dietary changes and exercise provide some relief through the loss of water weight, the alleviation of stress, and an increase in the production of endorphinsendorphins
, neurotransmitters found in the brain that have pain-relieving properties similar to morphine. There are three major types of endorphins: beta endorpins, found primarily in the pituitary gland; and enkephalins and dynorphin, both distributed throughout the nervous
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. Antidepressantsantidepressant,
any of a wide range of drugs used to treat psychic depression. They are given to elevate mood, counter suicidal thoughts, and increase the effectiveness of psychotherapy.
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 or antianxiety drugsantianxiety drug,
drug administered for the relief of anxiety. Although their action is not fully understood, most antianxiety medications appear to affect the action of neurotransmitters in the brain (see serotonin and norepinephrine).
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 are sometimes prescribed. In severe cases hormones that induce a premature menopause may be administered.


See publications of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; S. D. Bender, PMS: A Positive Program to Gain Control (1986) and PMS: Questions & Answers (1989); Boston Women's Health Book Collective, Our Bodies, Ourselves for the New Century (1998).

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premenstrual syndrome

, tension
a group of symptoms, including nervous tension and fluid retention, any of which may be experienced as a result of hormonal changes in the days before a menstrual period starts
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
It is reported that women frequently complain of anger and irritability in the premenstrual period.6 However, the relationship between anger and PMS has not been fully elucidated.
Premenstrual symptoms occur during the period covering the luteal phase of the endometrial cycle and ovulation phase of the ovarian cycle.
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is thought to affect around one in 20 women in the UK.
Clinical diagnostic criteria for premenstrual syndrome and guidelines for their quantification for research studies.
The premenstrual syndrome includes any or all of mood swings, tender breasts, food cravings, fatigue, irritability, and depression.
Conclusion: Premenstrual syndrome was found in higher frequency among university students.
Statistically significant association was found between knowledge regarding prevention of premenstrual syndrome and presence of premenstrual syndrome, as p-value 0.00 of Pearson Chi-Square 35 at df1 was less than 0.05.
Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate premenstrual syndrome influences on balance performance in early adolescent swimmer girls.
One study suggested that suboptimal production of premenstrual ALLO may lead to increased arousal and increased stress reactivity to psychosocial or environmental triggers.
Influence of the premenstrual syndrome on the emotional condition of female athlete.
They should be considered after all functional and integrative medicine approaches have failed and are more commonly used for premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).