Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or Premenstrual Tension (PMT) as it was formerly known describes a range of symptoms that occur every month, during the second half (luteal phase) of the menstrual cycle, and disappears when your period stops.
Approximately 90% of women suffer from some form of PMS, 35% of whom say PMS significantly interferes with their lives. The most common age for PMS to develop or worsen is in the mid thirties. Several factors are thought to influence its severity; these include stress, genetics, age, number of children, diet and chronic disease.
There are over 200 symptoms associated with PMS; the most common symptoms include irritability, depression, mood swings, breast tenderness (mastalgia), backache, bloating, and changes in appetite and food cravings.
Some women with severe PMS, have emotional and behavioural symptoms, which can catastrophically interfere with their daily life and relationships, this is called Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD).