How to Battle Premenstrual Syndrome

Find out the causes and treatments of PMS.

Sanaz Majd, MD
3-minute read

Women endure a lot – pap smears, mammograms, birth, menopause, the list goes on. But one of the most frustrating medical issues that women face includes the disruptive symptoms involving our menstrual cycles.  At least pap smears generally happen once every 3 years, mammograms once every 2, giving birth happens anywhere from zero to a dozen times a lifetime, and menopause just once.  But premenstrual syndrome (or PMS) is a regular monthly occurrence. And it’s no picnic.

PMS affects up to one third of women and is quite common.  It includes both physical and emotional symptoms that begin about 1-2 weeks prior to the onset of your menstrual periods.  And for those days, symptoms can be so severe that they can interfere with our relationships and personal life, and even our jobs.

What Are the Symptoms of PMS?

Symptoms vary from woman to woman, but most experience a mixture of both physical and emotional distress:

  • Bloating

  • Weight gain

  • Fatigue

  • Breast tenderness

  • Body aches

  • Headaches

  • Increased appetite

  • Food cravings

  • Acne

  • Joint or muscle aches


  • Mood swings

  • Sadness or hopelessness

  • Crying

  • Irritability

  • Confusion

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Sleep disturbances


Please note that all content here is strictly for informational purposes only. This content does not substitute any medical advice, and does not replace any medical judgment or reasoning by your own personal health provider. Please always seek a licensed physician in your area regarding all health related questions and issues.

About the Author

Sanaz Majd, MD

Dr. Sanaz Majd is a board-certified Family Medicine physician who graduated from Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia. Her special interests are women's health and patient education.