What are some physical symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS)?

There are over 150 physical and psychological symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Because each woman is different, your symptoms and the severity of your symptoms will likely be different from your friends, and even from your family. There are, however, commonalities that will help you distinguish PMS from other conditions or illnesses. Most symptoms start within 10 days of the start of your period and stop or improve when your menstrual flow (bleeding) starts. To determine if you have PMS, keep a journal to chart your premenstrual symptoms, their timing, and their severity. If your symptoms appear regularly over several months, chances are that you have PMS.

Some of the physical symptoms of PMS include:

  • abdominal cramping
  • acne, cold sore or herpes outbreak
  • appetite change, salt or sweet craving
  • backache
  • breast tenderness
  • clumsiness
  • constipation or diarrhea
  • diminished sex drive
  • dizziness or fainting
  • fatigue, nausea, vomiting
  • frequent urination
  • headache
  • fluid retention and bloating
  • weight gain (up to 5 pounds)

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.