Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is linked to normal changes in your
endocrine system that start when you
ovulate, lasting up to the first days of your
menstrual period. Menstrual cycles usually last 26 to
30 days. But many women have irregular cycles that are shorter or last longer.
This means the day of ovulation can vary from woman to woman and month to
month. Women with irregular cycles have an even greater range of possible
ovulation and premenstrual days.
Any number of
hormone changes can cause premenstrual symptoms-this
accounts for the many types of symptoms that women have after ovulation. As
adrenal glands, and
ovaries work together to produce an egg (ovum) and
prepare your body for a possible pregnancy, they send out chemical signals to
one another and the rest of your body. These signals-in the form of hormones
and brain chemicals, or
neurotransmitters-can affect your mood, energy level,
ability to think clearly, body fluid and weight, and pain perception. If one
part of the endocrine system isn't working right, the rest of the system is
affected, often causing a combination of premenstrual symptoms.
Depression is a symptom that many
women experience during their menstruating years. The key element that sets
apart PMS-related depression from other forms of depression is the timing of
symptoms. More than 150 different symptoms have been ascribed to PMS, but the
hallmark of PMS-related problems is their occurrence during the two weeks prior
to the onset of menstruation (around the time
of ovulation). Women suffering
from PMS-related depression report dramatic relief from their symptoms...
Although most women first experience PMS in their mid-20s, PMS may become more common for women in their 30s. Among
women in their late 30s and early 40s (who have erratic periods, ovulation, and
hormone changes), unpredictable physical, emotional, and mood-related
perimenopausal symptoms can be similar to PMS and
premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). After
menopause, when hormones are low and no longer
fluctuating, women do not have PMS.