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Effects of premenstrual dysphoric disorder on women’s sexual health

Effects of premenstrual dysphoric disorder on women's sexual health

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder, also known as PMDD, is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome. It is a serious woman’s sexual health condition. The premenstrual syndrome causes women to experience severe premenstrual symptoms. But, PMDD has physical and psychological symptoms that disrupt the daily activities in a woman’s life and affects the health of her mental state. PMDD can cause severe irritability, depression, panic attacks, or anxiety usually a week or two prior to your period. The premenstrual dysphoric disorder requires certain treatments or lifestyle changes in order to be treated once diagnosed. In this article, the condition is explained in detail along with its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.

Causes of PMDD

The exact cause of PMDD is still unknown. The most common cause of PMDD is considered to be the hormonal changes in women throughout the menstrual cycle. The fluctuations of hormones in women can lead to changes in serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter. Women who are sensitive to such change are most likely to experience the premenstrual dysphoric disorder.

Another cause of PMDD can be a family history of mood disorders or postpartum depression.

Symptoms of PMDD

As stated earlier, premenstrual dysphoric disorder is the worst form of premenstrual syndrome. Hence, the symptoms of PMDD are more or less the same as those of premenstrual syndrome, but way more serious. The symptoms of PMDD are usually observed a week before your period arrives, and typically last a few days after the arrival of periods. They cause a disturbance in a woman’s life. Symptoms of PMDD include:

  • Mood swings
  • Anger towards people
  • Panic attacks
  • Nervousness and confusion
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Emotional sensitivity
  • Headaches
  • Tiredness and laziness
  • Bloating
  • Increased appetite
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Pain in the abdomen, thighs, back, etc.
  • Heart palpitations
  • Muscle spasms and numbness
  • Sleeping problems
  • Women with PMDD may suffer insomnia or hypersomnia that are reduced sleep and excessive sleep respectively.
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Hot flashes, flushes, etc.
  • Painful periods
  • Decreased libido
  • Tender breasts
  • Fluid retention

Fluid retention causes urinary tract infections, swollen hands or feet, weight gain, etc.

  • Skin problems

Women with PMDD may experience skin problems like inflammation, itching, acne, worse sores, etc.

The symptoms of PMDD disturb women’s activities and make them uncomfortable. The symptoms can last until menopause and may require medical treatment at once.

Diagnosis of PMDD

The symptoms of PMDD are almost the same as premenstrual syndrome. Hence, in order to diagnose premenstrual dysphoric disorder, the doctors are likely to perform a physical test and consider obtaining the medical history of the patient. The doctor may use a symptom chart to determine how the symptoms are related to the menstrual cycle. The diagnosis of PMDD requires at least five of all the symptoms mentioned above.

Treatment of PMDD

The condition of the premenstrual dysphoric syndrome can be treated in multiple ways. One may choose the method of treatment depending upon the severity of symptoms and the advice of the doctor. The following are a few ways to treat PMDD:

Through medications

There are further two types of medications for the treatment of PMDD depending upon the symptoms. One affects ovulation while the other affects the central nervous system. The following is written about both of them:

Oral contraceptives or birth control pills

Oral contraceptives and birth control pills are the types of medications that affect ovulation in women. These contain hormones and some formulas that can be used to treat the symptoms of PMDD. Examples of these medications are Lupron, Zoladex, etc. You can find a variety of oral contraceptives at the harbor compounding pharmacy.


The antidepressants treat the condition by affecting your nervous system. Medicines such as Paxil, Zoloft, Prozac, etc., control the change in brain chemicals, thus aiding in the treatment of PMDD.

Pain killers

Other methods of treating PMDD include over-the-counter pain relievers such as aspirin. These can help you treat cramps, breast tenderness, backaches, headaches, joint pain, etc.

Through cognitive therapy

It has been seen that cognitive therapy along with the medications has helped a lot in treating the symptoms of PMDD.

Through supplements

Supplements are recommended by doctors in almost every disease. There are numerous supplements that can help you treat the symptoms of PMDD. The following are some examples of such supplements:

  • Vitamin E and D
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium and magnesium oxide
  • Primrose oil
  • Chasteberry extracts

Calcium and vitamin D help to improve the conditions of premenstrual dysphoric disorder in women. These help to reduce the severity of symptoms of PMDD and protect women from osteoporosis.

Through lifestyle changes

Every disease related to human beings can be treated through a few lifestyle changes. These take more time to affect than medications but have a longer-lasting effect. Also, the treatments through lifestyle changes have no side effects. You must learn how to manage your stress through relaxation techniques. The following activities can help you with reducing the symptoms of PMDD:

  • Acupuncture
  • Guided imagery
  • Qi therapy
  • Photic stimulation
  • Yoga

You can try changing your diet by replacing the use of excessive sugar, salt, caffeine, alcohol, etc., with an increased intake of carbohydrates and protein.

Find a doctor

If you are finding a doctor near you, please visit the harbor compounding pharmacy online. They’ve got plenty to offer!

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