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Premenstrual syndrome - self-care

PMS - self-care; Premenstrual dysphoric disorder - self-care

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Relief of menstrual cramps

Description

Premenstrual syndrome, or PMS, refers to a set of symptoms that most often:

Keep a Diary of Symptoms

Keeping a calendar or diary of your symptoms can help you identify the symptoms that are causing you the most trouble. Writing down your symptoms on a calendar can help you understand possible triggers for your symptoms. It can also help your health care provider choose an approach that is most helpful for you. In your diary or calendar, be sure to record:

You may need to try different things to treat PMS. Some things you try may work, and others may not. Keeping track of your symptoms may help you find the treatments that work best for you.

Healthy Lifestyle Changes

A healthy lifestyle is the first step to managing PMS. For many women, lifestyle changes alone are enough to control their symptoms.

Changes in what you drink or eat may help. During the second half of your cycle:

Getting regular exercise throughout the month can help reduce how severe your PMS symptoms are.

Medicines, Vitamins, Supplements

Your provider may recommend that you take vitamins or supplements.

Pain relievers, such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, and others), naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve), and other medicines may help symptoms of headache, backache, menstrual cramping, and breast tenderness.

Your provider may prescribe birth control pills, water pills (diuretics), or other medicines to treat symptoms.

If you are Feeling sad or Stressed

For some women, PMS affects their mood and sleep patterns.

To relieve anxiety and stress, try:

Ask your provider about medicines or talk therapy if your symptoms become worse.

When to Call the Doctor

Call your provider if:

References

Akopians AL. Premenstrual syndrome and dysmenorrhea. In: Mularz A, Dalati S, Pedigo R, eds. Ob/Gyn Secrets. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 2.

Katzinger J, Hudson T. Premenstrual syndrome. In: Pizzorno JE, Murray MT, eds. Textbook of Natural Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 212.

Mendiratta V, Lentz GM. Primary and secondary dysmenorrhea, premenstrual syndrome, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder: etiology, diagnosis, management. In: Lobo RA, Gershenson DM, Lentz GM, Valea FA, eds. Comprehensive Gynecology. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 37.

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Review Date: 6/2/2020  

Reviewed By: LaQuita Martinez, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Emory Johns Creek Hospital, Alpharetta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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