Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors
"Does every woman get PMS?"
I'm 26 and have very bad PMS. My housemates seem fine, though. I thought every woman was affected.
Premenstrual syndrome and its more severe variant premenstrual dysphoric disorder is a medical condition characterized by the presence of physical and behavioral symptoms that occur repeatedly in the second half of the menstrual cycle and often continue into the first few days of menses. These symptoms are they interfere with the affected woman's social, family, home or work life. The most common physical symptoms women who suffer from this problem experience are abdominal bloating, headaches, and breast tenderness. The most common behavioral symptoms women experience are anger and irritability. True PMS is actually a medical diagnosis, the difference being that the physical and behavioral symptoms are significant enough to cause distress and dysfunction in the woman's life. Some studies have placed the number of women suffering from PMS as high as 80%. However, this may be an overestimate, as the criteria used to count women as sufferers of PMS were less stringent than those criteria used for diagnosis of the disease. PMS has been describe in virtually all cultural and ethnic groups and the disorder has been found to occur at comparable rates across most groups. However, in one study, African American women were found to be less likely to suffer from PMS that their Caucasian women. PMS is a common disorder that affects the majority of women and can cause significant distress and dysfunction in women's social, work, or family lives. There are treatments available and if you suffer from significant symptoms, you should be evaluated by a specialist such as an OBGYN. Only upon consultation with a specialist can you be fully evaluated for this disorder and appropriate treatment recommended.
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