Decoding the Monthly Mystery: A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding & Managing Premenstrual Syndrome

Understanding and Managing Premenstrual Syndrome: Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

What is premenstrual syndrome?

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) manifests itself through a set of physical and emotional symptoms that generally occur in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, that is to say the second part of the cycle which precedes menstruation. Various women are affected by PMS, and the intensity of symptoms can vary greatly from person to person.

Symptoms of premenstrual syndrome

The symptoms of PMS are multiple and can impact women’s quality of life. Typically, they fall into two categories: physical and emotional.

Physical symptoms

  • Breast pain and swelling
  • Bloating and changes in body weight
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Digestive disorders
  • Persistent fatigue
  • Feeling of heaviness or cramps in the lower abdomen

Emotional symptoms

  • Marked irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety or tension
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Changes in appetite
  • Sleeping troubles

The causes of premenstrual syndrome

Hormonal imbalance

One of the major causes attributed to PMS is hormonal imbalance which occurs during the menstrual cycle. Fluctuations in the hormones estrogen and progesterone are particularly suspected of influencing symptoms.

Psychosocial factors

Links between psychosocial factors and PMS have been highlighted by various research. Stress, relationship conflicts and various social pressures can worsen symptoms.

Lifestyle and diet

A sedentary lifestyle, poor diet, and the use of certain substances, such as caffeine or alcohol, can exacerbate PMS symptoms.

Genetic factors

Some experts agree that genetic predisposition plays a role in the appearance and severity of PMS.

Treatments and management of premenstrual syndrome

Dietary changes

Add to your diet essential nutrients such as magnesium, calcium and B vitamins can help alleviate PMS symptoms. A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and cereals is preferred.

Regular physical activity

Exercise helps reduce tension, improve mood and control body weight, providing considerable relief to some women suffering from PMS.

Relaxation techniques

Meditation, yoga, or any other relaxation practice can help manage stress and reduce emotional symptoms related to PMS.

Psychological support

Support from a mental health professional may be relevant for women whose emotional symptoms are prominent and disturbing.


hormone therapy

Some women may benefit from hormone therapy to balance hormone levels, under close medical supervision.


Pain medications such as paracetamol or ibuprofen may be indicated to relieve the physical pain associated with PMS.


To combat water retention and bloating, prescribing diuretics can sometimes be appropriate.


In cases of severe mood disorders, certain antidepressants could be prescribed, always under medical supervision.

Alternative medicines

herbal medicine

Plants such as chasteberry or chamomile are often praised for their soothing and regulating properties.


Although the effectiveness of homeopathy remains debated, some individuals find relief from premenstrual symptoms through this approach.


Acupuncture may play a role in reducing tension and hormonal imbalances, providing an alternative for those seeking non-drug options.

Although the conclusion is omitted from this article, it is essential to note that the management of premenstrual syndrome is above all individual. Recognizing the variability of symptoms and the uniqueness of each woman facing PMS is fundamental for appropriate management of the syndrome.

PMS is a complex phenomenon that requires a holistic approach, taking into account the physiological, emotional and environmental aspects specific to each woman. Raising awareness on this subject and the search for personalized solutions are essential steps in improving women’s well-being in the face of PMS.

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