Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) - When To Call a Doctor
Many women have
premenstrual syndrome (PMS) either before or during
their menstrual periods. If you have severe symptoms, you may wonder whether
you need to see your health professional for symptom treatment.
Call your health professional if:
- PMS symptoms regularly disrupt your life and
keep you from doing your regular activities.
- You feel out of
control because of PMS symptoms.
- PMS symptoms do not respond to
- Significant PMS symptoms (such as
anxiety, irritability, crying, or mood swings) do not
end after a couple of days of your menstrual period.
If PMS symptoms consistently occur for several
months in a row, try home treatment measures. Many women find that making small
changes in their lifestyle significantly improves their symptoms.
If home treatment does not improve your symptoms and they are severely
disrupting your life, make an appointment for 3 months from now to see your
health professional. Many health professionals will want you to complete a
menstrual diary for at least two menstrual cycles before they can diagnose and
If you think you have PMS, keep track of the following
menstrual diary(What is a PDF document?).
- Your symptoms and their
- Dates when symptoms occur
- Days that you
ovulate (if you can tell when this
- Days when you have your menstrual period
Who To See
Generally, your primary health professional can
diagnose and treat premenstrual syndrome (PMS). If your health professional is
not familiar with PMS, he or she can refer you to one who is.
Health professionals who can diagnose and treat PMS include:
If you have severe PMS, you may need to consult a
gynecologist to help develop a treatment plan. If your symptoms are mainly
emotional or behavioral, or you have been diagnosed with
premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), working with a
psychologist may help you find ways to manage your
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.