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Premenstrual syndrome

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A combination of emotional, physical, psychological, and mood disturbances that occur after ovulation and normally end with the onset of the menstrual flow


Premenstrual syndrome pertains to the physical, emotional, and behavioural symptoms that a woman of reproductive age may experience during premenstrual period or following ovulation. The term was coined by Katharina Dalton in 1953 in her academic paper as it is more encompassing than the previous term premenstrual tension, which implies psychological symptoms only.1

Common symptoms include swelling and weight gain due to fluid retention, breast tenderness, irritability, mood swings, anxiety, depression, drowsiness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and changes in appetite and libido.2 These symptoms are usually present for about six days. It often resolves at the onset of the menstrual flow. These symptoms may be triggered by the changes in hormone levels.

Severe psychologic symptoms interfering normal life occur in some women and the condition is referred to as premenstrual dysphoric disorder.

Abbreviation / Acronym: PMS


  • premenstrual tension
  • late luteal phase dysphoria
  • late luteal phase dysphoric disorder
  • menstrual molimina
  • premenstrual tension syndrome

See also:

1 premenstrual syndrome. Retrieved from [1].
2 Premenstrual syndrome. (n.d.) Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary. (2012). Retrieved from [2].