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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 710-712

Clinico-epidemiological features of premenstrual syndrome among Egyptian women

1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, Menoufia University, Menoufia, Egypt
2 Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Menoufia University, Menoufia, Egypt
3 Department of Family Medicine, Al-Santa Health Sector, Al-Gharbia Governorate, Egypt

Date of Web Publication23-Jan-2017

Correspondence Address:
Mona M Awad
Department of Family Medicine, Al-Santa Health Sector, El-Hamrawy Street, Al-Santa City, Al-Gharbia Governorate, 31511
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1110-2098.198787

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The aim of the present study was to  examine the clinical physical, behavioral, and social effects of premenstrual syndrome and premenstrual dysphoric disorder among Egyptian women that affect their quality of life because of the impact symptoms these have on their activities of daily life.
Premenstrual syndrome has been prevalent among women all over the world since the 19 th century, affecting their quality of life.
Data sources
Medline databases (Pubmed, Medscape) and all articles are available on the internet from 2000 to 2014.
Premenstrual syndrome is a common cyclic disorder of young and middle-aged women characterized by emotional and physical symptoms that consistently occur during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. Women with more severe affective symptoms are classified as having premenstrual dysphoric disorder. In women with moderate symptoms, treatment includes both medication and lifestyle modifications. Dietary supplements, such as calcium and evening primrose oil, may offer modest benefit.

Keywords: activities of daily life, lifestyle, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, premenstrual syndrome, quality of life

How to cite this article:
Sanad ZF, Al-Kelany O, Salama A, Awad MM. Clinico-epidemiological features of premenstrual syndrome among Egyptian women. Menoufia Med J 2016;29:710-2

How to cite this URL:
Sanad ZF, Al-Kelany O, Salama A, Awad MM. Clinico-epidemiological features of premenstrual syndrome among Egyptian women. Menoufia Med J [serial online] 2016 [cited 2020 Sep 21];29:710-2. Available from: http://www.mmj.eg.net/text.asp?2016/29/3/710/198787

  Introduction Top

Millions of women, at some point in their lives, experience troublesome physical, emotional, and cognitive symptoms during the 2 weeks leading up to menstruation [1],[2] .

When these symptoms interfere with their day-to-day life, this is called premenstrual syndrome (PMS) [3, 4, 5, 6].

It is estimated that 8-20% of reproductive-aged women experience moderate-to-severe PMS [7] .

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a premenstrual condition closely related to PMS that affects an estimated 3-8% of women worldwide [8],[9] .

PMDD is usually characterized by severe psychological symptoms such as depression, anxiety, or persistent anger. PMDD is much more severe than PMS and can impact a woman's life as much as a major depressive disorder [10],[11] .

Both PMS and PMDD occur in cycles. During the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, which lasts from ovulation to the onset of menstruation, the levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone in a woman's body change [12],[13] .

These hormonal fluctuations coincide with the onset of PMS symptoms. It is thought that changing hormone levels affect brain chemicals called neurotransmitters and neuropeptides that help regulate mood [14] .

Direct actions of hormones, coupled with their effects on neurotransmitters, are believed to contribute to PMS and PMDD. The symptoms of PMS and PMDD usually go away when, or soon after, menstruation begins and return again during the next luteal phase [15] .

Dietary and lifestyle changes may be sufficient to resolve symptoms in mild cases of PMS. These include exercising; eating a healthy diet rich in vegetables, whole grains, and fruits; avoiding excess salt, sugar, alcohol, and caffeine; getting adequate sleep; managing stress; and not smoking. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help address physical symptoms such as cramps, pain, and headaches, but are not without side effects, especially if used for long-term [16] .

Cognitive behavioral therapy and other behavioral and self-help modalities may also reduce PMS and PMDD symptoms [17],[18] .

Mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community [19] .

For women whose symptoms are not relieved by dietary and lifestyle modifications alone, several drugs are available to treat PMS and PMDD, though many women find several of them to be only partially effective or experience unwanted side effects [20] .

These medications include oral contraceptives and gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists, which block ovulation; and serotonin reuptake inhibitors and anxiolytics, which modify brain neurochemical metabolism [21] .

Women who suffer from PMS or PMDD are not limited to conventional treatments, however. Many integrative interventions, including calcium and vitamin D, chasteberry extract, magnesium, St John's wort, and vitamin B 6 , have been shown to reduce the symptoms of PMS in clinical studies [22],[23],[24] .

Moreover, given the hormonal basis of PMS and PMDD symptoms, women who experience either of these conditions should undergo a blood test to evaluate their sex hormone levels. Hormonal imbalance, which can be determined through blood testing, may be an important underlying factor in PMS and PMDD for some women. Once a hormonal imbalance has been identified, some women may benefit from using bioidentical hormone replacement therapy to restore balance among their hormones [25],[26],[27],[28] .

  Conclusion Top

Women frequently experience troublesome premenstrual complaints. These PMS symptoms can have debilitating effects on these women's quality of life and work production.

However, race, ethnicity, and culture may influence the expression of premenstrual symptoms and their severity. Most current studies on PMS have been conducted in western countries. Thus, it is imperative to investigate the prevalence, severity, and most common symptoms of PMS among various populations to promote quality of life, health, and well-being during the reproductive age.

It is concluded that PMS is a very common problem and does not exist only in the west but also in African countries like Egypt. Studies conducted indicate that the prevalence of PMS is very high and it adversely effects the quality of life and productivity of Egyptian women, which leads to increased direct and indirect medical costs. It also affects their self-confidence and relationships with others.

Quality of life of Egyptian adolescent females can be increased by organizing educational programs on PMS at various levels. Hence, PMS has a substantial social, occupational, academic, and psychological effect on the lives of millions of women (from menarche to menopause) and their families.

Different methods have been proposed for the management of PMS. Accurate diagnosis, proper diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes along with the services provided by healthcare providers who go door to door or act on the spot can be helpful in relieving premenstrual symptoms, restoring functions, and optimizing the overall health of Egyptian women with PMS.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

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