What is PMS2?

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a group of symptoms linked to the menstrual cycle. PMS symptoms occur 1 to 2 weeks before your period starts. The symptoms usually go away after you start bleeding. PMS occurs during the menstruation of woman of any age (average onset of 12 years), and the severity of the symptoms may be different for each woman.

For most women it occurs between the ages of 3

The average age of onset


An estimated


of women

experience symptoms of PMS4

The exact causes of PMS are not clear but several factors may be involved²:

  • Changes in hormones during the menstrual cycle seem to be an important cause
  • These changing hormone levels may affect some women more than others
  • Chemical changes in the brain may also be involved
  • Stress and emotional problems, such as depression, do not seem to cause PMS, but may make it worse

Some other possible causes include:

  • Low levels of vitamins and minerals
  • Eating a lot of salty foods which may cause you to retain fluid
  • Drinking alcohol and caffeine which may alter your mood and energy level

Symptoms of PMS2

PMS symptoms can be both physical and emotional, and includes any of the following:

  • Acne
  • Swollen or tender breasts
  • Feeling tired
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Upset stomach, bloating, constipation, or diarrhoea
  • Headache or backache
  • Appetite changes or food cravings
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Trouble with concentration or memory
  • Tension, irritability, mood swings, or crying spells
  • Anxiety or depression

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)2

PMDD is the severe form of PMS and is said to involve the neurotransmitter serotonin (a chemical responsible for maintaining mood balance).

The main symptoms include:

  • Feelings of sadness or despair or even thoughts of suicide, panic attacks, mood swings, lasting irritability or anger, lack of interest in daily activities and relationships, trouble thinking or focusing, tiredness or low energy, food cravings or binge eating, trouble sleeping, feeling out of control, physical symptoms such as bloating, breast tenderness, headaches or joint or muscle pain.
  • You must have 5 or more of these symptoms to be diagnosed with PMDD.

It is estimated that 3-8% of women experience a severe

form of PMS called premenstrual dysphoric disorder


Premenstrual Tesion Categories and Symptoms5

There are four premenstrual tension categories each has a different incidence and different symptoms:


66% – 75% of women


Nervousness; mood changes; irritability; anxiety


65% – 72% of women


Breast swelling and tenderness; abdominal bloating; weight gain


24% – 35% of women


Cravings for sweets; an increased appetite; headaches; dizziness or fainting; fatigue


23% – 37% of women


Crying; depression; forgetfulness; confusion; insomnia