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Premenstrual syndrome: definition

We call a set of premenstrual syndrome physical and psychological signs recurring female menstrual cycle related. These signs of PMS occur before and during menstruation, then disappear for at least a week later. They must occur in several successive cycles. Otherwise, it speaks only of premenstrual symptoms.

Americans have individualized psychiatric syndrome for mental disorders PMS: premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), they have included in their classification of psychiatric illnesses in 1994.

What are the risks and health significance of premenstrual syndrome?
If 50 to 80% of women between puberty and menopause suffer from premenstrual symptoms, more or less frequent and severe. Suffers only a small part of a syndrome or premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) or 3-6% of all menstruating women (Anne Gompel).

According to the study Cocoon (Women's Health, 2009), premenstrual syndrome as defined medical affects almost 13% of women and 4% severe. But one year, severely affected women generally are more, and those who did not complain one year before describing this a year later. This is a transient syndrome and more variable than a disease.

Premenstrual syndrome is associated with more divorces, professional and academic failures or poorer performance. It causes a lot of absenteeism and loss of transient and recurrent activity. Its impact on quality of life can be very high, but totally neglected.

What are the causes of PMS?
It would be a disturbance multi-organ related to sudden hormonal changes during ovulation. An argument in this regard is that the symptoms disappear during pregnancy and menopause, and do not exist before puberty. Hormone levels are not the only cause, the sensitivity and the number of receptors for these hormones are probably a major part in the various manifestations of premenstrual syndrome.

Estrogen-progestin contraceptive (pill) in blocking ovulation, hormonal changes removes her, but the therapeutic benefit of PMS is not insured, it may be necessary to try several pills before finding the right one.

Estradiol and progesterone affect the movements of the water in the body and cortisol, as well as the brain. Estrogens stimulate serotonin (neurohormone welfare) and catecholamines (up and general activity), they promote neuronal stability. Progesterone, it inhibits the activity of neurons in general and its metabolites (products of its chemical degradation) have a variety of actions that could explain a part of severe premenstrual syndrome.

Involvement of genes is also very likely, since the twins suffer the same way.
You should also know: the link between premenstrual dysphoric syndrome and major depression was found.

What are the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome?
The symptoms vary in intensity from one woman to another, but are quite similar in general.

- Physical disorders: swelling of the abdomen and / or breasts, headaches, weight gain (water retention), sleep disorders or compulsions for sweet ...

- Psychological disorders: fatigue, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, feeling of being overwhelmed, loss of self-control, aggression, sadness, apathy, lack of motivation, depression ...

These symptoms all have in common the time of their appearance before menstruation and disappear during the following week.

Positive diagnosis is made when a woman has at least five signs every month for a year, always before and during menstruation and a symptom-free interval after menstruation.

Tables are available from self-gynecologists to grade the severity of symptoms and determine precisely the extent of the disease.

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