Premenstrual syndrome

'Premenstrual syndrome' describes a combination of physical symptoms, which most often occur in the days preceding a period.

These symptoms are both mental (depressive irritation, anxiety, altered mood, lack of interest or even poor concentration) and physical (breast tension, headache, oedema or swelling).

The impact on quality of life is significant and can increase in intensity when the menopause arrives.


This syndrome may be due to an abnormal response to natural hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle. It is aggravated by smoking, too much alcohol, and obesity, as well as by genetic predispositions.

Diagnosis and treatment

The diagnosis is reached through an in-depth case history (the information you provide about the history of your disease). It may reveal symptoms that arise before menstruation (in the second phase of the cycle) and disappear when it occurs. This diagnosis is not always simple to define, since a premenstrual syndrome may be combined with other problems.

There are several effective treatment options, which depend on each patient. Firstly, it is very important to exclude poor dietary habits and to have a good lifestyle which, for example, includes physical exercise. Doctors sometimes prescribe medicines or psychological support.


Fertility Medicine and Gynaecological Endocrinology
CHUV Maternity Unit
Av. Pierre-Decker 2
1011 Lausanne
Fax +41 21 314 32 74
 Last updated on 17/08/2018 at 10:46