Skip to main content


Commonwealth OB-GYN

OB-GYNs located in Brookline Village, Brookline, MA

Are PMS symptoms driving you crazy? Find out how to relieve or get rid of your symptoms with help from the team at Commonwealth OB-GYN in Brookline Village, Brookline, Massachusetts. With nutritional counseling, lifestyle changes, and medical solutions to PMS symptoms, this team of doctors can help you enjoy life again. Call or schedule a consultation today to get the help you need.


What is PMS?

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is the name for uncomfortable changes that can happen to women at a certain time of the month. This is the time between when your body releases an egg (ovulation) and the first days of your period.

PMS is extremely common, and estimates show that up to 75%-80% of women experience at least one PMS symptom before their period. These PMS symptoms include a combination of physical and emotional changes in the days leading up to your period.

Unfortunately, there’s no single cause of PMS. Hormonal fluctuations that occur before menstruation cause some PMS symptoms and others are related to the levels of sex hormones and their relationship with other naturally-occurring chemicals in your body.


What are the symptoms of PMS?

Symptoms of PMS can be divided into two categories: physical and emotional.

Physical symptoms

Your physical symptoms of PMS may include one or more of the following:

  • Thirst and appetite changes (food cravings)
  • Breast tenderness
  • Bloating and weight gain
  • Headaches
  • Aches and pains
  • Fatigue
  • Skin problems


Your physical symptoms may vary monthly, depending on your overall health, nutrition, and lifestyle habits.

Emotional symptoms

The emotional symptoms of PMS you may be experiencing can be frustrating and upsetting and include the following:

  • Depression
  • Angry outbursts
  • Irritability
  • Crying spells
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Poor concentration
  • Insomnia
  • Changes in sexual desire


How is PMS diagnosed?

There is no test for diagnosing PMS. You are likely to receive a PMS diagnosis when you experience symptoms, both physical and emotional, in the one to two weeks leading up to your period for two to three cycles in a row.


How is PMS treated?

For mild symptoms, conservative treatment typically includes diet and lifestyle changes. Some foods — like complex carbohydrates and calcium-rich foods — can reduce your symptoms. Avoiding or reducing alcohol, caffeine, fat, sugar, and salt intake can also reduce symptoms like headaches and bloating.

Lifestyle changes to relieve PMS include regular exercise, stress management, and relaxation techniques.


Can medication help PMS symptoms?

In moderate to severe cases, your doctor might recommend medications to relieve your symptoms. Hormonal contraceptives like birth control pills can reduce symptoms caused by hormonal fluctuations. If you experience severe mood changes, medications like antidepressants may help.

If PMS symptoms are preventing you from living your life, our Commonwealth OB-GYN team can help. Call to schedule your visit now.