What is an SPM?

PMS, or premenstrual syndrome, is widespread. About 80% of women are affected. This chronic problem usually occurs a week before your period. the premenstrual syndrome is linked to what is called the "luteal phase". It is a part of menstrual cycle which causes changes that occur as a result of the concentration of estrogen and progesterone. 

What are the symptoms of PMS?

More than 150 symptoms have been identified! However, there is no chance that all of them will manifest at the same time. Symptoms can be physical or emotional which can very quickly become disabling when put together. Thus, premenstrual syndrome can cause the following symptoms: 

  • Emotional symptoms: stress, irritability, depression, feelings of exasperation, etc. 
  • Physical symptoms: weight gain, acne, bloating, menstrual pain, fatigue, malaise, eating disorders, etc. 

In each woman, the premenstrual syndrome can be more or less advanced. One thing is common to all of them is the date of occurrence. Indeed, PMS usually appears the week before menstruation. Sometimes even two weeks before them. 

Several symptoms are experienced by women every month. Although PMS is not serious and does not lead to long-term adverse health consequences, it is still debilitating. 

PMS risk factors?

Some women are more predisposed to PMS and its symptoms. Indeed, several factors can be the cause, in particular: 

  • Genetic : For a long time, doctors and scientific researchers have wondered about PMS and they have found that the risks are much higher if a close relative has been affected. However, no genetic reason has been formally confirmed. These are just researches and observations, but since your genes are involved in all facets of your physical and emotional health, it's safe to assume that PMS is linked to your genes.  
  • The stress : many studies have shown that when you are under stress, under any kind of pressure, such as work or family pressure, stress can cause PMS symptoms. Bloating or menstrual pain are the most common symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. 
  • Diet : in the factors of PMS, we find the diet. Indeed, your diet can greatly affect your menstrual cycle. The intensity of symptoms related to PMS can be more or less important. We mainly find, linked to this factor, symptoms such as irritability, anxiety or bloating. 
  • The Depression : women with symptoms of PMS are, according to research, more at risk of developing forms of depression. More specifically, we will talk about postpartum or prepartum depression. 
  • Chemical changes: in some women, hormonal fluctuations can cause the brain to overproduce chemicals. Serotonin, for example, directly influences sleep and mood. Therefore, the emotional symptoms of PMS may be more intense if the chemical change has resulted in an excess of serotonin. 

How to diagnose PMS?

It can sometimes be difficult to diagnose PMS. Indeed, since so many symptoms result, doctors sometimes have trouble confirming this diagnosis. Although the majority of symptoms are mild, mild and of short duration, it is possible to make a diagnosis of PMS as soon as the symptoms are regular and directly affect your personal activities. 

Because no diagnosis can be concluded from a blood test, we will speak of "clinical diagnosis". In other words, doctors will rely on their own knowledge and experience, while relying on your symptoms, to confirm or not the diagnosis of PMS. 

To help doctors in their conclusion, do not hesitate to keep a diary where you list your symptoms each month, their intensity, and the first day of your cycle (i.e. the first day of your period). This way, your doctor can more easily understand what is happening to you and can diagnose PMS or another gynecological problem.