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Managing premenstrual syndrome (PMS)

Published: 02/09/2009

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is the name given to a collection of physical and emotional symptoms that can occur in the two weeks before you have your period. These symptoms usually get better once your period starts and often disappear by the end of your period.

Nearly all women have some premenstrual syndromes. Each woman’s syndromes are different, and may vary from month to month. Between one and two in 20 women (5–10%) get PMS which is severe enough to prevent them from getting on with their daily lives. A very small number of women get a more intense form of PMS called premenstrual dysphoric disorder.

This information leaflet provides general information about PMS, including:

  • Causes of PMS
  • Treatment options
  • Lifestyle changes that may help
  • Psychological support and therapy
  • Drug treatment
  • Complementary therapy
  • Surgery

This patient information leaflet is based on the RCOG clinical guideline Management of Premenstrual Syndrome, which contains a full list of the sources of evidence used to produce this guidance.

In line with the College process of reviewing all guidance every three years, this information is currently under review. The information in this version is still valid.

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