Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) | Diagnosis & Treatment

How is PMS diagnosed?

Diagnostic procedures for PMS are currently quite limited. Your daughter's complete medical history, physical and pelvic exam will help her physician identify causes for her discomfort.

Your daughter's physician may ask her to keep a journal of her symptoms for several months to track the timing, severity, onset and duration of the symptomsA psychiatric evaluation might be recommended to rule out other possible conditions.

What are the treatment options for PMS?

Besides counseling with her physician and engaging in healthy habits and stress management, possible treatments of PMS include:

  • diuretic use prior to the time symptoms are usually noted (to reduce fluid retention)
  • prostaglandin inhibitors (i.e., nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, or NSAIDs, such as aspirin, ibuprofen), to reduce pain
  • oral contraceptives (to prevent ovulation)
  • progesterone (hormone treatment)
  • tranquilizers
  • dietary changes
  • vitamin supplements (i.e., vitamin B6, calcium, and magnesium)
  • regular exercise
  • antidepressants (or other medications)

Simple, healthy lifestyle changes may help your daughter manage the pain and annoyance of PMS. Encourage her to:

  • exercise regularly, at least three to five times a week
  • eat a well-balanced diet, with plenty of whole grains, vegetables and fruits
  • lower her intake of salt, sugar, caffeine and alcohol
  • get plenty of sleep and rest.