Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

Symptoms that occur before a period starts are highly common and are most likely due to hormonal changes associated with the menstrual cycle. Referred to as PMS, these symptoms are very real and can be uncomfortable but typically do not prevent a woman from living her life, taking care of her family, performing her work, or making important decisions. A more rare and extreme form of PMS is premenstrual dysphoric disorder or PMDD. The caring physicians at Mount Pleasant OB/GYN are available to help navigate the diagnosis and treatment for PMDD to help our patients live a full life.

Understanding PMDD

Approximately 5% of women experience the menstrual disorder PMDD. Generally, symptoms manifest one to two weeks prior to the start of a period and go away a few days after it starts. This may not seem like a long time; however, PMDD is so debilitating that it impacts the ability to function and takes away from one’s ability to perform daily activities. Common severe physical and emotional symptoms include:

  • Mood Swings
  • Emotional Sensitivity
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Back Pain
  • Cramping
  • Appetite Changes
  • Bloating
  • Forgetfulness
  • Paranoia
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Depression
  • Hot Flashes

Diagnosis & Treatment for PMDD

The symptoms for PMDD can overlap with other conditions or disorders, so a visit to your gynecologist is necessary for an accurate diagnosis. We will perform a physical exam, talk to you about your symptoms, and track when they occur to determine if they align with your menstrual cycle. There are ways to mitigate the symptoms that occur due to PMDD. Treatments that may be explored on their own or in combination with each other include:

  • Medications including Antidepressants & Oral Contraceptives
  • Cognitive Therapy
  • Dietary & Lifestyle Changes

Schedule Your Appointment

We understand that the pain, anxiety, and discomfort associated with PMDD can be difficult to endure. Know that you are not alone, and you have options for treatment. Contact our medical office to schedule an appointment so we can start you on a path to getting your symptoms under control.