by Kohnle D

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

(PMDD)

Definition

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) occurs just prior to menstruation and is characterized by significant:
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Tension
PMDD is much more severe and less common than PMS .

Causes

The exact cause is not known.

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase the risk of PMDD include:
  • Having hormonal changes
  • Having a family history of PMDD
  • Experiencing a lot of stress or a traumatic life event
  • Having depression or another mental health condition
Microscopic View of Hormone Receptor
molecule and receptor
Menstruation causes many hormonal changes, which may play a role in PMDD.
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Symptoms

Symptoms include:
  • Extreme sadness
  • Frequent crying
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Unusually strong cravings for certain foods
  • Difficulty concentrating or paying attention
  • Insomnia
  • Panic attacks
  • Mood swings
  • Fatigue or lack of energy
  • Physical symptoms (eg, sore breasts, headaches, joint or muscle pain, swelling, bloating)
Symptoms typically begin 10-14 days prior to the start of menstruation.

Diagnosis

Your doctor will diagnose PMDD based on your symptoms. You may be asked to keep a record of when your symptoms occur and how severe they are.
Your doctor may also order:
  • Blood tests
  • Tests to check hormone levels

Treatment

Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include:

Lifestyle Changes

These steps can help manage symptoms of PMDD:
  • Exercise throughout the week.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine.
  • Learn stress management techniques.
  • Improve your sleep habits.

Medications

Your doctor may recommend:
  • Antidepressants (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors [SSRIs])
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Nutritional supplements

Prevention

To reduce your chance of PMDD, take these steps:
  • Get plenty of exercise and rest.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet.
  • Manage stress.

RESOURCES

American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists http://www.acog.org/

Women's Health.gov http://www.womenshealth.gov/

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/index%5Fe.html/

The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada http://www.sogc.org/index%5Fe.asp

References

PMS and PMDD. Mass General Hospital Center for Women's Health website. Available at: http://www.womensmentalhealth.org/specialty-clinics/pms-and-pmdd/ . Accessed August 14, 2012.

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). Family Doctor.org website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/premenstrual-dysphoric-disorder.html . Updated August 2010. Accessed August 14, 2012.

Premenstrual syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/ . Updated June 14, 2012. Accessed August 14, 2012.

Revision Information

Health Library Search

Only show results from the selected categories.











Coaptite is a gel-like substance. It is used as a 'bulking agent' to increases the size of the urethra. The urethra is a tube that allows urine to pass from the bladder t...

Urethral suspension is a surgery to correct stress incontinence in women. Female Bladder and UrethraCopyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc....

Urethral suspension is a surgery to correct stress incontinence in women. The procedure creates support for the tube that carries urine out of the body. The tube is calle...

Stress incontinence is one of the many causes of uncontrolled leaking of urine. Urethral suspension is a surgery to correct incontinence in women. The incontinence is mo...

Stress incontinence is one of the many causes of uncontrolled leaking of urine. Urethral suspension is a surgery to correct incontinence in women. The incontinence is mo...

This is surgery to remove a cyst on an ovary ....

Urinary incontinence is the loss of voluntary bladder control that can lead to urine leakage. Incontinence can be temporary or long-lasting. It is a symptom, not a condit...

10 Vulvodynia condition

Vulvodynia is chronic pain or discomfort of the vulva. The vulva includes the: Female GenitaliaCopyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc....

11 Vaginismus condition

Vaginismus is an uncontrolled, involuntary spasm of the muscles that surround the vagina. These spasms cause sexual intercourse to be painful. It is a complex disorder. I...

Painful menstrual periods, also called dysmenorrhea, may include pain in the pelvis, abdomen, back, or legs, abdominal cramps, headache, and fatigue. Most women have pain...