Premenstrual Syndrome: Main Symptoms and Causes

Premenstrual syndrome, more commonly known as PMS, can take on many forms. Approximately 80% of women suffer from different symptoms of PMS, which can be both physical and psychological.
Premenstrual Syndrome: Main Symptoms and Causes

Last update: 16 July, 2019

Did you know that 3 out of 4 women suffer from different symptoms of premenstrual syndrome? For some women, it’s a tolerable issue that doesn’t get in the way of their daily activities, while others find themselves unable to even go to work or school.

Discover the main symptoms of premenstrual syndrome as well as its causes, and ways to reduce and relieve the discomfort.

What is premenstrual syndrome?

Premenstrual syndrome is the integration of various symptoms that appear before a woman’s menstruation. These symptoms can be both physical or psychological in nature.

In general, they appear approximately 14 days after the previous menstrual cycle, and disappear two days before your next period. As we’ve mentioned before, some women experience very mild symptoms that don’t affect their everyday routine.

“In developed countries, PMS affects 30-40% of women of reproductive age, and 20-32% of post-menopausal women.”

–Dr. Fermin Esteban Navarro–

However, other women experience symptoms that are so acute and severe that they require medication to reduce pain and inflammation.

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder refers to cases where women suffer severe depression, irritability and tension prior to menstruation.

Manifestations and causes of premenstrual syndrome

Premenstrual syndrome usually involves the appearance of one or more of the following symptoms:

At the same time, women may also experience the following symptoms on an emotional level:

  • Tiredness
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Lack of concentration
  • Feelings of sadness
  • Hostile behavior
As for the causes of these symptoms, specialists have yet to determine why they occur. Some experts point to changes in hormone levels, whose imbalance can cause liquid retention and edema.
Others point to stress, a lack of certain nutrients, lack of exercise, and other factors. Some also believe they may have to do with levels of serotonin – a neurotransmitter that affects changes in mood.
Main Symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome

How to treat premenstrual syndrome

Women of any age can experience symptoms. However, symptoms worsen once a woman turns 30 and when she gets closer to menopause.

Tracking your symptoms and talking with your gynecologist can help him or her make a proper diagnosis. To treat premenstrual syndrome, the following are necessary:


Exercise can help to reduce PMS symptoms, as physical activity causes the release of endorphins. Endorphins are the substance that makes us feel good.

A routine that is varied in regards to intensity and duration can be especially useful. You can opt for walks outdoors, dancing, water sports, yoga, pilates, and more.

Maintain a balanced diet

Nutrition can be a way to reduce the manifestations of premenstrual syndrome. Experts recommend reducing the intake of refined carbohydrates, sweets, and red meats. In their place, women can eat fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

These products contain nutrients and vitamins that help to improve your skin’s appearance. Furthermore, drinking plenty of water helps in the elimination of toxins and fiber in order to prevent constipation.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle

In order to carry out a healthy lifestyle, women must avoid harmful habits like smoking and alcohol.

It’s also important to limit your intake of coffee and other caffeinated drinks. These products can increase your levels of anxiety and irritability and also lead to much more serious conditions.

Main Symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome

Get plenty of rest

One of the tricks to battling the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome is getting plenty of rest. It may seem obvious, but a lack of rest considerably increases anxiety and irritability, which only makes things worse.

Therefore, use techniques to control stress, take a hot shower or bath, get a massage, or turn to meditation.

In extreme cases you can relieve pain with anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, or use natural remedies.

Whatever the case, you should talk to your doctor and ask him or her to prescribe a vitamin supplement. The supplement should contain magnesium, calcium, complex B vitamins and Omega 3-6-9.

In conclusion, the symptoms of premenstrual symptom vary from one case to another. For some, it’s a minor bother that’s easy to tolerate. For others, it’s a severely unpleasant experience.

Remember that adjusting your lifestyle with the above suggestions will help you to better enjoy your normal daily activities all month long.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.