Premenstrual syndrome, or PMS, is often a term thrown around in jest. For women who suffer from premenstrual dysphoric disorder, however, premenstrual syndrome is no laughing matter.
What is PMDD?
It’s estimated that two to ten percent of menstruating women suffer from PMDD. If you have a family history of clinical or postpartum depression, you may be at a greater risk for PMDD. Extreme mood swings, a noticeable increase in anxiety, feelings of irritability and heightened anger are all common symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder, which can have very real and debilitating affects on sufferers. PMDD can negatively impact your professional and personal life, and may even take a toll on your relationships and overall emotional health if the condition goes untreated. Fortunately, there are effective and safe treatments for PMDD which can significantly decrease the symptoms of patients who struggle with premenstrual dysphoric disorder.
Accepted Treatment for PMDD
In addition to counseling on good nutrition and the importance of exercise, medical professionals may also prescribe one of three drugs which are currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of premenstrual dysphoric disorder. These include Zoloft, Sarafem and Paxil CR, but there are other antidepressants which may also decrease symptoms. In patients who suffer from unpleasant side effects from the drugs, an intermittent schedule of medication during only the fourteen day premenstrual period may be recommended. Birth control pills and nutritional supplements may also be indicated for some women.
Treating and managing your PMDD will require you to get a diagnosis and medical care from a gynecological professional who understands the impact premenstrual dysphoric disorder can have on your life and relationships. Contact a gynecological practice with experience treating PMDD today to discuss your treatment options.
Posted on behalf of Carlos Alarcon, M.D., Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A.