August 31, 2018

What Is PMDD?

What is PMDD?

What is PMDD? PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder) impacts the psychological well-being of 3-5% of reproductive-age women. When symptoms are severe enough to cause problems with work or personal relationships, it is likely that a woman is suffering from PMDD. PMDD has only recently been recognized as a distinct disorder. Previously, women suffered in silence. The symptoms are very real and can be debilitating. Fortunately, there are effective treatment options available.

Regular aerobic exercise can help to lessen PMDD symptoms. Exercise will also help to improve any underlying fatigue and depression. Relaxation and stress reduction are very important in women with PMDD. Finally, getting enough sleep is essential.

 Supplements such as calcium, magnesium, and vitamin E may improve some of the symptoms of PMDD. In terms of medications, it may help to prevent ovulation altogether. Hormonal contraceptives are a very effective means for preventing ovulation. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen are very effective at relieving some of the pain and discomfort associated with PMDD.

Drugs used to treat depression, called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) work well in women with PMDD. These medications can be used continuously throughout the month or they can be limited to the 2 weeks before the onset of symptoms each month. If anxiety is a major component of a woman’s PMDD, then she may also want to speak with her healthcare provider about an anti-anxiety medication.

There are a number of treatment options available to address the symptoms of PMDD. Some trial and error will be required as a woman works with her healthcare provider to find the best regimen for her. If you have more questions, please contact us! We are here to help!

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Beth Plante, M.D. Board-Certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility