What Is The Prevalence of PMS Sufferers Throughout the World?

Who is affected by PMS?

It is estimated that about 95% of women in their reproductive years experience pre-menstrual symptoms at some point.  Between 10 and 40% of those women will experience severe symptoms, to the extent that they are considered a “syndromeâ€.  PMS affects all races and cultural groups, who may have a different set of criteria for characterizing the syndrome, and coping with any symptoms. PMDD (Pre-menstrual Dysphoric Disorder) is an acute type of PMS, affecting up to 8% of women who suffer from PMS.


Although PMS has probably always affected women to some degree, (though our modern diet and sedentary lifestyle have exacerbated symptoms) it remains a stereotyped and misunderstood condition due to cultural views that make it an uncomfortable topic of conversation. 

Communication remains an important health component for proper diagnosis, promoting positive health practices, and researching and understanding the body and its functions. Additionally, it is important to understand how and why women are affected by PMS in order to engage in positive, compassionate relationships with our partners and social circles.  It should be noted that not all effects of PMS are inherently something to suffer through.  Heightened libido, bursts of creativity and energy, renewed inner confidence, and feelings of contentment with our community are often reported during PMS.

Common PMS characteristics

However, it is undeniable that there are a lot of negative symptoms and feelings linked to the monthly occurrence of PMS.  Some common characteristics are:
  • Decrease in libido
  • Irritability and anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Bloating
  • Cramps in the abdomen, lower back, and pelvic area
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Sadness
  • Anger
  • Pressure in the pelvic area

Relief and treatment

Relief from PMS targets the body and mind.  This is because of the complex combination of causes related to PMS due to hormone fluctuations, dietary needs and changes, and psychological shifts.  The way in which we seek relief depends on our cultural background, personal and medical values, and physical abilities.  Common and sound recommendations include an increase in exercise, decrease in sodium intake, caffeine, and alcohol, and adding fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet, including those rich in iron and Vitamins B, E, and D3.

Other forms of relief

Stress is a major factor for some women when dealing with PMS.  Try establishing a coping strategy beforehand that reduces your stress.  That may include getting a massage to help release toxins and relax, getting enough sleep, or practicing deep breathing or meditation. Although a decreased libido may prevent some women from wanting to engage in sex, orgasms have been reported as alleviating cramps, irritability, and sleep difficulty associated with PMS.  Exercise, healthy foods excluding sugar and caffeine, and some supplements may improve the libido.

Beyond PMS

PMS is a common monthly occurrence, but it can be managed.  A proper diagnosis is important for treating the symptoms of PMS.  If you experience prolonged pain, anxiety or depression, talk to your health care provider.




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