Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is as the description given to the physical and emotional symptoms that some women experience in the days leading up to their period. It affects women one or two weeks before the beginning of their menstrual period. It may be that a complex combination of environmental, metabolic, and behavioural factors produces a ‘vulnerability’ to the hormonal changes associated with menstruation. A brain chemical, serotonin, may play a role in severe forms of PMS.
Changes in hormone levels are thought to be the main cause of PMS/PMT. More specifically, it is the decline in oestrogen and rise in progesterone for up to two weeks before the period starts.
Each month a follicle containing an egg develops and oestrogen levels rise. Once the egg is released at ovulation, oestrogen levels start to decline and progesterone levels start to rise. Progesterone works against oestrogen, and this combination of falling oestrogen and rising progesterone can result in the symptoms listed above.
During the menstrual cycle some chemical levels in the brain fluctuate, such as serotonin. When serotonin levels are low it may cause tiredness and low mood, similar to those symptoms caused by declining oestrogen levels.
At present there isn’t a specific test which can diagnose PMS/PMT, however if you are experiencing the symptoms above and are finding that your quality of life is affected you can make an appointment to see a specialist gynaecologist here at The Surrey Park Clinic. The specialist will assess your symptoms and recommend appropriate solutions, which could include:
Please call 01483 454 016 to arrange your consultation.