Bloating, cramping, mood swings — these are only a few of the symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome (PMS). While most women — 90%, in fact — experience at least mild PMS symptoms, others struggle with debilitating problems that have a serious impact on their quality of life. If you find that your life is interrupted in significant ways each month, there are solutions.
At Tahoe Women’s Care, Dr. Gary Willen and our team understand the effects that a woman’s menstrual cycle can have on her body, and we’re here to help. We offer comprehensive gynecologic services that address every stage of a woman’s reproductive life and the problems that each can potentially present — such as PMS.
In the following, we review what constitutes PMS and what we can do about the problem.
As we mentioned, most women experience some symptoms during their menstrual cycles, but to classify as PMS, the symptoms usually impair your life in some way.
To give you an idea of the widespread effect that your menstrual cycles can have on your life, here are just some of the physical, mental, and emotional symptoms that are linked to PMS, which typically start 5-11 days before your period:
- Tender breasts
- Moodiness or irritability
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Emotional swings
In severe cases, PMS can even cause depression.
Every woman reacts to the swing in hormones differently, which means that some women sail through their menses without incident, while others take to their beds in discomfort for a few days. Most women fall somewhere in between. Depending on the severity and duration of their symptoms, many can benefit from treatment.
When you come in, Dr. Willen performs an extensive review of your symptoms to determine the effect that PMS is having on your life. He also reviews your medical history to make sure there isn’t something else that may be causing your symptoms, such as endometriosis or a thyroid problem.
If he determines that PMS is to blame, he may recommend an oral contraceptive, which works by stopping ovulation. If you’d rather not go that route, we might try other medications to manage your symptoms, such as antidepressants, diuretics, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
There are also many changes you can make at home that may ease your symptoms, such as hydration, exercise, and dietary tweaks to offset bloating. As well, adding supplements like calcium, magnesium, vitamin E, and vitamin B-6 may help to reduce your symptoms.
Since no two women suffer with PMS in exactly the same ways, we recognize the need to tailor our treatment plans for best results. That means we recommend a treatment plan that’s best for your goals and your lifestyle.
If you’re struggling with PMS, contact our office in Carson City, Nevada, so we can find your road to relief.