Since premenstrual syndrome (PMS) includes a wide range of symptoms, a specific diagnosis may be difficult to make. Therefore, it is necessary to keep a record of your monthly physical and emotional symptoms. This will help your doctor to make an accurate diagnosis. The symptoms will most likely occur 1-2 weeks before you menstruate. When symptoms occur at about the same time each month, PMS is likely the condition.
Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and medical history. The timing of your symptoms and their impact on daily activities are very important to consider. You may be given a questionnaire or a chart to keep track of your discomforts.
A complete physical exam will provide important information. Although there is no single finding that confirms the diagnosis of PMS, your doctor will want to look for signs that may indicate another conditions. Examples include thyroid disorders, diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, endometriosis, perimenopause (if you are over 40), or medication side effects.
Premenstrual syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated June 9, 2016. Accessed August 18, 2016.
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/premenstrual-syndrome-pms.html. Updated April 2014. Accessed August 18, 2016.
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) fact sheet. Office on Women's Health website. Available at: http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/premenstrual-syndrome.html. Updated December 23, 2014. Accessed August 18, 2016.
Last reviewed August 2016 by James Cornell, 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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