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Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) (cont.)

When to Seek Medical Care

If a woman has symptoms of PMS that do not go away within 3-4 days of the start of her period, call a doctor. The woman may have a different medical problem.

When the typical symptoms of PMS become so severe that lifestyle is drastically altered, talk with a doctor.

  • The doctor will evaluate the patient's symptoms for signs of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), a mental health concern, which should be diagnosed and treated.
  • Serious signs may also signify other mental or medical problems. Psychiatric diagnoses such as chronic depression, anxiety disorders, and personality disorders may overlap with the diagnosis of PMDD. Medical considerations include hormone imbalances, thyroid problems, electrolyte problems, and low levels of red blood cells. The doctor will want to rule out these more serious medical problems.
  • If the patient has such serious mood changes or behavior changes that she feels she may hurt herself or another person, seek medical care immediately at a hospital's emergency department.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/10/2014

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Premenstrual Syndrome »

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a recurrent luteal phase condition characterized by physical, psychological, and behavioral changes of sufficient severity to result in deterioration of interpersonal relationships and normal activity.

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