Aim: Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a commonly encountered complaint among women. It may affect women's quality of life and reduce their occupational productivity. This study aims to describe the symptoms of moderate-to-severe PMS and to examine the onset, stability, and severity of PMS among Chinese women.
Methods: A descriptive study included 142 women with self-reported PMS, aged 18–45 years, who were recruited by the Outpatient Department of Gynecological Endocrinology, Peking Union Medical College Hospital. Premenstrual symptoms were retrospectively assessed by using screening questionnaires modified with the DSM-IV. In total, 126 eligible subjects were asked to record their daily symptoms during two consecutive menstrual cycles by using a premenstrual syndrome diary (PMSD).
Results: Of 126 eligible subjects, 67 filled in the PMSD for two cycles. The median of total scores of PMSD peaked on the day before menses and dropped after the beginning of the menses. Mood swings were the most common moderate-to-severe symptom prospectively reported by the subjects. The symptoms of PMS were relatively consistent across the two cycles.
Conclusions: Women with moderate-to-severe PMS were vulnerable to psychological symptoms. Further studies are needed to understand the correlations between hormonal changes and the experience of symptoms related to the menstrual cycle.