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A risk factor is something that increases your likelihood of developing a disease or condition.

It is possible to develop premenstrual syndrome (PMS) with or without the risk factors listed below. However, the more risk factors you have, the greater your likelihood of developing PMS. If you have a number of risk factors, ask your doctor what you can do to reduce your risk.

Age

PMS is most common in women between the ages of 25-40.

Psychological Factors

Women with depression are more likely to have PMS than those who do not have depression. Having a personality disorder may also increase a woman’s risk for developing PMS.

Stress

Stress is thought to play a role in the severity of PMS symptoms.

Dietary Factors

Low levels of certain vitamins and minerals (for example, magnesium, manganese, vitamin E) may increase a woman’s risk for developing PMS. Risk of PMS is also higher in women who eat a lot of salty foods. This can lead to fluid retention. A diet with a lot of simple sugars (for example, candy, sweet drinks) may cause mood changes and fatigue.

References:

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Practice bulletin: premenstrual syndrome. ACOG. No. 15. April 2000.

Premenstrual syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/. Updated June 14, 2012. Accessed August 20, 2012.

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Family Doctor.org website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/premenstrual-syndrome-pms.html. Updated August 2010. Accessed August 20, 2012.

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) fact sheet. Women's Health.gov website. Available at: http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/premenstrual-syndrome.cfm. Updated May 18, 2010. Accessed August 20, 2012.



Last reviewed September 2013 by Andrea Chisholm, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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