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Premenstrual Syndrome

What Are The Symptoms Of PMS?

Last modified: 
23/04/2012 - 16:02

Contributing Author: Guy Slowik FRCS

The number, type, and severity of symptoms vary among women. They may also be different in the same woman from month to month.

PMS symptoms include:

  • Fatigue: This is the most common symptom of PMS. Women with PMS may feel so tired they can barely get through the day. Some women also may have trouble sleeping at night.
  • Tension and irritability: A woman with PMS may feel very on edge. Small annoyances seem huge. Often her response is out of proportion to the problem.
  • Difficulty concentrating: Many women with PMS find it hard to do things that require concentration, such as balancing a checkbook, following recipes, or making business decisions. They may also be forgetful.
  • Anger: During PMS, normal feelings of anger are often exaggerated. A woman may be more argumentative and lash out at those around her.
  • Depression: . Sadness and crying easily are common feelings related to PMS. At times the sadness may feel profound and inconsolable.
  • Food cravings: Some women crave particular foods, such as sweets or salt. Others find their appetite for almost any food increases.
  • Breast tenderness: Many woman experience swelling and soreness around their nipples or breasts.
  • Bloating in the abdomen, hands, and legs: Some women with PMS gain weight. Others have fluid shifts to the abdomen, hands, and legs that make them feel uncomfortably swollen or puffy.
  • Headaches: Duration and severity of headaches vary from woman to woman, but are common during PMS.
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From Andrew Maynard - Chair of the University of Michigan Department of Environmental Health Sciences, with help from David Faulkner - 2013 Master of Public Health graduate.