Women's SelfCareNavigator:
Premenstrual Syndrome

Condition/Symptoms for
Premenstrual Syndrome

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a group of symptoms related to the menstrual cycle that can be severe enough to interfere with some aspects of life. PMS is very common. Estimates vary, but surveys have found that between 40 percent and 85 percent of women who menstruate report having some PMS symptoms.  

Symptoms can be both physical and emotional and can range from mild to disabling. They can be severe enough to affect your quality of life, your relationships with family and friends, and your performance at school and work. They usually begin 10 to 14 days before your period and subside once your period starts. They go away for good once you stop having periods.

PMS symptoms may include any or all of the following:

  • depression
  • irritability
  • anxiety
  • confusion
  • trouble concentrating and remembering
  • aches and pains in joints and muscles
  • appetite changes and food cravings
  • crying spells
  • social withdrawal
  • breast tenderness and swelling
  • abdominal bloating
  • headache
  • swelling of hands and feet


The cause of PMS is not well understood.  However, it seems to be related to female hormones that fluctuate during the menstrual cycle and are thought to affect brain chemicals that influence mood.

Last reviewed: 01/01/2007
Last revised: 01/01/2007

CU Dept of Obstetrics and Gynecology LogoPeer-Reviewed by the Faculty of the University of Colorado Denver Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Women's SelfCareNavigator

Sample Topic:
Index of Topics (pdf)

Sports Medicine SelfCareNavigator

Sample Topic:
    Elbow Bursitis
Index of Topics (pdf)


Other Info


Products Home



homeabout usweb-based productsbusiness solutionsnewslinkscontact us

This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
Verify Here.



SelfCareNet, Inc. Copyright © 2000 - Denver, Colorado
Last modification date: November 10, 2014