Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) refers to a group of physical and behavioral symptoms that occur in a cyclic pattern during the second half of the menstrual cycle. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is the severe form of PMS. Common symptoms include anger, irritability, and internal tension that are severe enough to interfere with daily activities.
Mild PMS is common, affecting up to 75 percent of women with regular menstrual cycles; PMDD affects only 3 to 8 percent of women. This condition can affect women of any socioeconomic, cultural, or ethnic background.
PMDD is usually a chronic condition and can have a serious impact on a woman's quality of life. Fortunately, a variety of treatments and self-care measures can effectively control the symptoms in most women.