The symptoms of premenstrual syndrome or PMS can last anywhere from five to fourteen days before menstruation or bleeding during your monthly period.
New Standard in Defining Duration of PMS
Although the number of days in which a woman’s premenstrual syndrome may vary individually, according to The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, in order to be diagnosed as having PMS, the symptoms must be present at least five days prior to bleeding and end within four days after the period starts, for at least three menstrual cycles. Another key point emphasized in diagnosing PMS is that the presence of these symptoms interferes with your daily activities.
Symptoms of PMS
Among the physical symptoms that accompany PMS during the abovementioned period are enlargement of the breasts, breast tenderness, having a bloated stomach, constipation, diarrhea, headaches, migraines, swelling of the hands or the feet, weight gain, clumsiness, nausea, vomiting and muscle aches.
Emotional symptoms may also take place, such as depression, anxiety attacks, panic attacks, insomnia, change in sexual interest and desire, irritability, hostility, increased appetite, mood swings, inability to concentrate, lethargy and fatigue.
Monitoring the Duration and Presence of PMS Symptoms
According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, keeping a PMS symptom record is extremely helpful in diagnosing if you are indeed undergoing PMS, and will be helpful in determining what courses of action to take for the particular symptoms you are experiencing. These courses of action can include making lifestyle changes, change of diet, taking supplements and taking medications.
Taking note of the intensity and frequency of these symptoms can also help your ob-gyn determine if what you are undergoing is actually a more serious condition which mimics PMS, such as depression, anxiety, perimenopause, chronic fatigue syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome or thyroid disease.
Simon M.D., Harvey . “Premenstrual syndrome – Highlights.” University of Maryland Medical Center. N.p., 4 Aug. 2009. Web. 16 Nov. 2010. <http://www.umm.edu/patiented/
“ACOG Education Pamphlet AP057 — Premenstrual Syndrome .” American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Nov. 2010. <http://www.acog.org/publication
Barclift, M.D., Songhai . “Premenstrual Syndrome Frequently Asked Questions.”womenshealth.gov . National Women’s Health Information Center, 18 May 2010. Web. 16 Nov. 2010. http://www.womenshealth.gov/faq/premenstrual-syndrome.cfm.