What is premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)?
A much more severe form of the collective symptoms known as premenstrual syndrome (PMS), premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) affects approximately 3 percent to 8 percent of women of reproductive age and is considered a severe and chronic medical condition that requires attention and treatment.
What causes PMDD?
Although the exact cause of PMDD is not known, several theories have been proposed. One theory states that women who experience PMDD may have abnormal reactions to normal hormone changes that occur with each menstrual cycle. This may include fluctuation of estrogen and progesterone levels that normally occurs with menstruation, causing a serotonin deficiency, in some women (serotonin is a substance found naturally in the brain and intestines that acts as a vessel-narrowing substance, or vasoconstrictor). Additional research is necessary.
Treatment for premenstrual dysphoric disorder:
Specific treatment for PMS will be determined by your physician based on:
- your age, overall health, and medical history
- extent of the condition
- symptoms present
- your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
- expectations for the course of the condition
- your opinion or preference