Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) (cont.)
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Exams and Tests
No single test can diagnose PMS. A diagnosis of PMS or premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is usually based on a medical history and information from a two- or three-cycle menstrual diary(What is a PDF document?) where you record your symptoms, menstruation days, and ovulation days, if possible.
It's important for your doctor to rule out other conditions that cause symptoms like those of PMS, so it may take more than one visit to diagnose your symptoms. Diagnosing PMS may be difficult if you have another condition that gets worse during the last 2 weeks of your menstrual cycle.
There are ways to reduce your PMS symptoms and their impact on your life. But no single treatment works for all women. You may have to try several to find the right choices for you.
The first step is to try some lifestyle changes, such as limiting caffeine and getting regular exercise. For more information, see Home Treatment.
If you still have moderate to severe symptoms after two or three cycles of home treatment measures, talk your doctor about further treatment options. These may include taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants or low-estrogen birth control pills. For more information, see Medications.
Surgery to remove the ovaries (oophorectomy) is a rarely used, controversial treatment for the severe form of PMS, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). For more information, see Surgery.
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