DR BUKOLA Adewole of University College Hospital, UCH, Ibadan, says Pre- menstrual Syndrome, PMS, is prevalent in women in their 30s. Adewole, a consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan on Tuesday. She said “PMS is common as women age through their 30s. “Sometimes, symptoms can get worse over time and may lead to Premenstrual Disphoric Disorder, PMDD, which is a severe form of PMS.” She defined PMS as a condition that affects woman’s emotions, psychological and physical health and behaviour during certain days of the menstrual cycle.
She added that “PMS usually starts before menses and goes away once menses begins. “PMS and PMDD are linked to normal changes in the endocrine system which makes hormones that control the menstrual cycle. “Many researchers believe that a change in hormone levels at the beginning of menstrual cycle may be blamed. “The levels of estrogen and progesterone increase during certain times of the month. “The increase in these hormones can cause mood swings, anxiety and irritability. “The one direct cause that is known to affect some women is genetic: Many women with PMS have close family members with history of PMS.” The consultant Obstetrician said an appreciable number
of menstruating women have symptoms of PMS occasionally, while a few could have severe symptoms that could mess up their month. She explained that “the exact cause of PMS is not known. “Women with PMDD experience symptoms such as depressed mood, tension, and other symptoms that are typically more severe than those seen with PMS. “PMDD is usually treated with antidepressants and some cases birth control pills.” Dr Olubukola Adesina, another Consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist at UCH, said that the risk factors for PMS were many but listed the most common ones. Adesina, also a senior lecturer at University of Ibadan, said history of depression or mood disorders such as post partum depression or bipolar, family history of PMS and family history of depression were common risk factors. He said the symptoms were embedded in the menstrual cycle of women and occurs during period. He explained that the average woman’s menstrual cycle lasts 28 days, while ovulation (when an egg is released from the ovaries) occurs on day 14 of the cycle. Menstruation (bleeding) begins on day 28 of the cycle, he added. “PMS symptoms can begin around day 14 and last for seven days after the start of menstruation. “Symptoms are usually mild or moderate and the severity of symptoms varies. Some women could have abdominal bloating and pain, Sore breasts, headaches, constipation, and emotional outbursts, while others would not. “In adolescents, acne, food cravings, especially sweets, irritability, depression or sadness and sensitivity to light, are very common symptoms,” he stressed. Adesina advised that if symptoms became severe such that it could affect daily lifestyle, such person should seek immediate medical help. Prof. Ayo Adeniji, a retired professor of botany and plant pathologist, advised women to include pure honey into their diet one week before their menses. He said honey was the best home remedy that could alleviate those symptoms mentioned, adding that it had many varied health benefits. He also suggested turmeric, aloe-vera gel and ginger drink with warm water to reduce the symptoms


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