Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) (cont.)
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Exams and Tests
No single test can diagnose premenstrual syndrome (PMS). A diagnosis of PMS or the more severe form, 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?) or symptom diary where you record daily symptoms, menstruation days, and ovulation days, if possible. Because it's important for your health professional to rule out other conditions that cause PMS-like symptoms, it may take more than one visit to diagnose your symptoms.
Diagnosing PMS may be difficult when a woman has another condition that is made worse during the last 2 weeks of her menstrual cycle.
Knowing whether your symptoms are premenstrual helps you and your health professional decide on the best treatment for you. By definition, PMS and PMDD occur only during the phase between ovulation and the start of menstrual bleeding. Traditionally, ovulation was thought to happen 14 days before the next menstrual period, or on day 15 of a 28-day cycle. But ovulation dates often vary from woman to woman and from month to month. Women with irregular cycles have a wide range of possible ovulation days.
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