Over 90% of women experience symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). PMS develops with hormonal fluctuation during the second half of your menstrual cycle, and it causes physical and behavioral changes like bloating, fatigue, and irritability.
PMS is bad enough. But for some women, symptoms are severe enough to interfere with their daily lives, their jobs, and even their relationships with others. This condition, called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), affects up to 8% of women — could you be one of them?
At Solace Women’s Care, Farly Sejour, MD, Natalie Gould, WHNP-BC, and our team can help you get answers. We specialize in diagnosing and treating PMDD, and it’s time to find out if your severe PMS is actually a disorder that requires professional care.
PMS vs. PMDD: How to spot the differences
PMS has a wide range of symptoms, and each symptom can range from barely noticeable to very severe. Most of the time, PMS symptoms develop one or two weeks before your period starts and continue for the first few days of your period.
The most common symptoms of PMS are:
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Swollen or tender breasts
- Mood swings
- Appetite changes
- Low sex drive
While these symptoms can be bothersome, they generally don’t limit your usual activities for more than a day or two each month. But if you have PMDD, your symptoms are much more severe and last longer.
PMDD is different from PMS because the symptoms disrupt your daily life in significant ways. You may find it difficult or impossible to participate in your usual activities or get along with others, and these issues only develop in the 1-2 weeks leading up to your period.
Some common signs of PMDD are:
- Anxiety or tension
- Crying spells
- Difficulty concentrating or remembering
- Increased emotional sensitivity
- Poor self-image
Since every woman’s menstrual cycle and symptoms are unique, it’s not always easy to determine what’s normal on your own. If you suffer from severe PMS symptoms or you think you might have PMDD, it’s important to go to the doctor for a diagnosis.
How to find relief from severe PMS
You shouldn’t ignore severe PMS, and you don’t have to live with it. Dr. Sejour and our team are here to evaluate your symptoms and your health, and we work with you to find the best treatment for your needs.
While any woman can suffer PMDD, certain factors might increase your risk. You may be more likely to have it if you have underlying anxiety, depression, or a family history of PMDD.
PMDD can only be diagnosed by a doctor. In most cases, we diagnose PMDD if you have at least five symptoms of severe PMS, including at least one mood-related symptom.
The best treatments for you vary depending on your needs. Our goal is to minimize or prevent your most bothersome symptoms, and we may recommend:
- Diet and lifestyle changes
- Hormonal birth control
- Nutritional supplements
With the right combination of treatments, PMDD can be managed. Find out if your PMS symptoms could really be PMDD with an appointment at Solace Women's Care in Conroe, Texas. Call us at 936-441-7100 or send us a message online today.