Is there a difference?

In the time before her period, one woman may say she feels a little blue.  Another tears up more easily or becomes very short-tempered.

Every woman experiences her own unique combination and severity of premenstrual symptoms.  More and more women are willing to talk about it.  It has become clear that while many women have premenstrual syndrome (PMS), fewer have a condition doctors call PMDD, or premenstual dysphoric disorder – a more severe group of symptoms that occur 1 to 2 weeks before a woman’s period.  While 75% of women of childbearing years experience at least one symptom of PMS, anywhere between 3% and 8% of women experience PMDD.

PMDD is a recognized medical condition, and there may be something you and your healthcare professional can do about it.  If you are one of these women, don’t let PMDD interfere with your life and your relationships. You can help take control of your symptoms.

What is PMDD?

Woman who have PMDD experience a combination of severe emotional and physical symptoms that significantly interferes with daily activities, school, work, or personal relationships.  The symptoms occur during the 1 to 2 weeks before their period.

What are the Symptoms?

Emotional symptoms:

  • Feeling sad or depressed
  • A sense of hopelessness
  • Feeling worthless/guilty
  • Feeling anxious/tense
  • Mood swings
  • Feeling overwhelmed/out of control
  • Feeling sensitive
  • Irritability/anger
  • Having conflicts
  • A diminished interest in activities
  • Difficulty concentrating

Physical symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Increased appetite
  • Food cravings
  • Sleeping more
  • Breast tenderness
  • Breast swelling
  • Headaches
  • Bloating
  • Muscle aches

To learn more about PMDD, visit