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Premenstrual Syndrome

  1. Margaret L. Stubbs

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0702

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Stubbs, M. L. 2010. Premenstrual Syndrome. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. Chatham University, Pittsburgh, PA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is commonly understood to refer to a cluster of unpleasant physical and psychological symptoms that may be experienced prior to menstruation. Identified symptoms include bloating, breast tenderness, backache, muscle or joint pain, trouble with sleeping, acne, food cravings, irritability, mood swings, anxiety, and depression. The onset of menstruation is said to diminish symptom experience, and the cause of PMS is often described as related to the changing hormone levels of the menstrual cycle. The American Psychiatric Association (2000) includes premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) as a diagnostic category in the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR) to refer to an extreme form of PMS, which is asserted to affect 3–8% of women.


  • menstruation;
  • premenstrual syndrome;
  • ovulation;
  • reproductive cycle