Premenstrual Symptoms

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Seiji Kanazawa

Seiji Kanazawa, MD, PHD (Obstetrics and gynecology (OBGYN))

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Content updated on Sep 6, 2022

About the symptom

It describes a wide variety of symptoms that one experiences at the start of the menstruation.

When to see a doctor

Seek professional care if you experience any of the following symptoms

  • Swelling of the affected area

  • Low back pain

  • Eyelid edema

  • Menstrual abnormality (duration or volume)

  • Pelvic pain

  • Lower abdominal pain

Possible causes

  • Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)

    PMS consists of both mental and physical symptoms, occurring 3-10 days before menses. Symptoms start to improve once menses begins. The cause of PMS is poorly understood, but is related to fluctuations in levels of female hormones.

  • Functional dysmenorrhea

    Dysmenorrhea is the medical term for period pains. It can be divided into primary or secondary. Primary or functional dysmenorrhea is the common menses cramps/pain that come recur and is not due to other diseases. Secondary dysmenorhea is due to problems with the reproductive system. Functional dysmenorrhea is usually diagnosed only after other investigations (e.g. ultrasound) do not find any abnormalities responsible for the pain.

  • Endometriosis

    A condition where endometrial cells (cells that line the womb) grow in other places such as the ovaries. This causes pain that is worst during menses but the symptoms can vary. The exact cause is unclear, but it can affect women of any age. There are several possible explanations including the backwards flow of menstrual blood into the abdominal cavity, disorder for the immune system or transformation of the normal cells of the abdomen.

  • Secondary dysmenorrhea

  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder

Related serious diseases

  • Angioedema

    Swelling of the eyes, lips or other parts of the body, due to an allergic reaction. Triggers usually include external allergens like nuts, crustaceans, bee stings and drugs. However, in some cases this condition may be genetic and inherited in the family.

Questions your doctor may ask about this symptom

Your doctor may ask these questions to check for this symptom

  • Do you have any discomfort or unpleasant symptoms, before or during your period?

  • Do you have abnormal menstrual cycles e.g. too early or too late

  • Are your periods abnormal e.g. in duration or amount of bleeding?

Other Related Symptoms

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Reviewed By:

Seiji Kanazawa

Seiji Kanazawa, MD, PHD (Obstetrics and gynecology (OBGYN))

From our team of 50+ doctors

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Developed by doctors.

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