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premenstural syndrome

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) refers to a wide range of symptoms that occur before a woman starts her monthly menstrual cycle. The symptoms usually stop when menstruation begins, or shortly thereafter.


A wide range of physical or emotional symptoms have been associated with PMS.  

Symptoms may include:


  • headache
  • swelling of ankles, feet, and hands
  • backache
  • abdominal cramps or heaviness
  • abdominal pain
  • abdominal fullness, feeling gaseous
  • muscle spasms
  • breast tenderness
  • weight gain
  • recurrent cold sores
  • acne flare-ups
  • nausea
  • bloating
  • constipation or diarrhea
  • decreased coordination
  • food cravings
  • less tolerance for noises and lights
  • painful menstruation
  • anxiety or panic
  • difficulty concentrating
  • depression
  • irritability, hostility, or aggressive behavior
  • increased guilt feelings
  • fatigue
  • slow, sluggish, lethargic movement
  • decreased self-image
  • low self-esteem

The exact cause of PMS has not been identified.  However, it may be related to biological and psychological factors.


Treatment may include:


  • medication
  • warm compress on abdomen

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Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton Hamilton. Phone: 609-586-7900 Physician Referral: 609-584-5900.

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