Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) | Diagnosis & Treatments

How is PMS diagnosed?

Diagnostic procedures for PMS are currently quite limited. A complete medical history is the most helpful in diagnosing PMS. Sometimes, a physical and pelvic examination may be needed to exclude other causes of your daughter’s 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 symptoms. A 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:

  • prostaglandin inhibitors (i.e., nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, or NSAIDs, such as aspirin, ibuprofen), to reduce pain
  • hormonal treatments such as birth control pills
  • dietary changes
  • 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