Premenstrual Syndrome Management
Many women notice several symptoms that occur before their menstrual cycles begin. While many symptoms are normal, it can be confusing whether or not there may be something that is out of the ordinary. Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a blanket term used to describe many of these symptoms.
Many women with PMS will experience changes in mood, physical symptoms, breast tenderness, and other women’s health care issues. The great news is that there are treatments for PMS that are highly effective. Understanding how your cycle works, from the luteal phase through ovulation and the start of menstruation is the key to managing your symptoms.
Common Symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome
It is not at all unusual for the majority of women to experience one or more symptoms of PMS.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, these symptoms could include:
- Cramping in the lower abdomen
- Increased migraines or headaches
- Swollen and tender breasts
These and other symptoms can be uncomfortable and cause mood alterations including irritability and anxiety. As you age, these symptoms may worsen, but none should ever cause extreme pain or debilitation long term. We will work with you for the management and treatment of premenstrual syndrome that directly addresses your needs and symptoms.
How do I know if my symptoms are more serious?
According to an article published by Dr.Kimberly Ann Yonkers (Yonkers KA), about 5-8% of women who have more severe PMS may also have more long-term issues including premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). Severe PMS or PMDD can lead to increased mood and behavioral symptoms, including significantly increased physical symptoms.
Your doctor will work with you to perform a comprehensive review of your symptoms to make sure that none are indicators of something more significant. Our providers are compassionate and caring when it comes to treating mood and behavioral challenges associated with PMS and PMDD. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a type of antidepressant medication that works well in these circumstances, and our doctors are experts in their use and side effects.
What are some more serious conditions that are often mistaken for PMS?
You should discuss your symptoms with your doctor since many women often mistake symptoms for more significant conditions as just regular PMS. If you are experiencing heightened or increased symptoms, always discuss them with your doctor to rule out bigger problems.
Typically existing on the inside of your uterus, the endometrial lining helps create the conditions needed for the development of a fetus. If you have endometriosis, you’ll experience growth of this lining on the outside of your uterus instead of inside, causing severe pain and heavy bleeding during menstruation and intercourse.
Fibroids are noncancerous, solid balls of tissue. Uterine fibroids are found on the wall of the uterus. A majority of women experience fibroids, but in general, they don’t grow large enough to cause health problems or symptoms. If they grow past a certain point, however, you may experience an unusually heavy menstrual flow and localized pain in the lower back or lower abdomen.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, or PCOS, is a condition that causes imbalanced hormones, often marked by increased testosterone, the male sex hormone, or underproduction of estrogen, the female sex hormone. PCOS causes inconsistent menstrual cycles, with some women who have this condition having fewer than nine periods a year.
When to Seek Specialized Treatment
If you are experiencing any new or heightened symptoms that have developed over time or come on suddenly, give us a call. There is no need to wait until your next annual exam – it’s always best to get ahead of potential problems.
We know that it can be embarrassing or uncomfortable to discuss certain issues with your doctor, but our commitment to you is to help you understand what is normal and what may be more of a cause for concern. We’ll work with you to manage your PMS or schedule the right tests needed to make sure your symptoms aren’t signs or bigger trouble.
Remember that when it comes to your health, it’s always better to know what’s happening with your body and understand your symptoms. Ignoring or living with heightened symptoms can be bad for your overall health in the long term. If you have any questions feel free to contact our office via phone, email, or schedule an appointment online.