Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) vs Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD): How Are They Different?

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) vs Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD): How Are They Different?

Women typically experience a host of symptoms before they get their periods. They might feel sluggish, bloated, angry, and irritable. They could also experience acne flare-ups, have tender breasts, and feel like crying for no reason. If these things happen to you fairly regularly, they could be symptoms of PMS or premenstrual syndrome.

However, suppose your PMS symptoms are so extreme that they prevent you from doing tasks at work or home, affect how you relate to people, or otherwise prevent you from living normally. In that case, you might have PMDD, or premenstrual dysphoric disorder, a severe form of PMS. Besides caring for yourself by using intimate care products designed for use during your period, you should know the difference between menstruation-related ailments. Here is a closer look at PMDD.

How To Differentiate Between PMS and PMDD

PMS and PMDD have many of the same symptoms. When dealing with either of these, people experience fatigue, tender breasts, headaches, food cravings, mood swings, joint and muscle pain, bloating, and trouble sleeping. However, these two ailments differ in significant ways.

For example, if you have PMS, you might experience symptoms of depression. When you have PMDD, though, the sadness might be so extreme that you feel hopeless. Some people even have suicidal ideations when they go through PMDD. Aside from depression, PMS and PMDD also trigger anxiety. However, the intensity of your anxious feelings would be greater if you have PMDD. When you have PMDD, your mood swings are more drastic, and you may feel like you have no control of your life. Persons who have PMDD might stop caring about their hobbies, friends, family, or job, which could have long-term social repercussions.

What Causes PMS And PMDD?

Specialists are uncertain about the exact causes of PMS or PMDD. It is not like maintaining your blood sugar levels or correcting your vaginal pH balance can prevent these from affecting you every month. However, research shows that genetics and changes in hormone levels might be significant factors.

How Do You Diagnose PMS or PMDD?

Typically, a gynaecologist will speak with you and diagnose your symptoms, though there are currently no formal tests to determine if you have PMS or PMDD. What they can do is ask you to fill out a chart detailing your symptoms over several weeks. To diagnose a syndrome, doctors must observe that the symptoms are present one to two weeks before your monthly period. They should also go away when you get it, and this pattern must occur for at least two menstrual cycles.

What Are Treatments For PMS And PMDD?

If you have a mild form of PMS, you can address your symptoms through lifestyle changes like adjustments to your diet and sleep schedule. Stress reduction techniques and increased exercise might also help. Some people might need prescription drugs or over-the-counter medicine for pain management.

As for PMDD, you might need additional medication. Women with PMDD have reported experiencing relief from symptoms of depression when taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRI antidepressants. SSRIs can relieve mood-related symptoms from PMDD. Women might also take birth control pills since preventing ovulation means reducing the symptoms of PMDD. Birth control pills also relieve physical aches and pains. One such pill is drospirenone-ethinyl estradiol oral, which is an FDA-approved medicine for PMDD.


Many women experience PMS right before their period. Things like bloating, headaches, acne flare-ups, and irritability are common. However, if you are experiencing debilitating mood swings, suicidal thoughts, or severe anxiety before your period, it might be time to talk to your gynaecologist and get screened for PMDD.

Don't forget to care for other aspects of your reproductive health while you're on your period. Vaginal well-being, for instance, is a vital part of keeping your reproductive system healthy. Using the right products also helps. When you're shopping for intimate care products, look no further than Imbue Natural. Our paraben- and cruelty-free products are perfect for women no matter where they are in their cycle. Shop for our products today!

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