PMS self-check! Explanation of differences from PMDD

A woman who has been menstruating once a month for many years may worry that she feels sluggish before her period. Even though the discomfort subsides when menstruation begins, it's harder than you might think to have uncontrollable upsets every month.

In this article, I will introduce a PMS self-check method that you can do immediately when you are worried that "I might be PMS". We will also introduce the difference from PMDD, which is a term that is very similar to PMS.

Knowing whether your premenstrual discomfort is PMS or not can help you plan for it. If you think, "I don't want to be fed up with the menstrual period that comes once a month," please do a PMS self-check immediately.

Find out in this article

  • Differences between PMS symptoms and PMDD
  • PMS self-check method
  • How to deal with PMS

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What is PMS

PMS stands for Premenstrual Syndrome. In Japanese, it is translated as "premenstrual" and "syndrome", and is called "premenstrual syndrome" as it is.

What does PMS actually look like? The Japan Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology defines it as ``mental or physical symptoms that persist for 3 to 10 days before menstruation, and which diminish or disappear with the onset of menstruation.''

Psychological symptoms of PMS

  • depressed mood
  • irritation
  • sleepiness

, and physical symptoms include

  • breast firmness
  • headache
  • swelling of limbs

And so on.

In other words , PMS is not a symptom during menstruation such as menstrual pain, but a physical or mood disorder that occurs before menstruation.

The exact cause of PMS is unknown, but it is said that one of the causes is fluctuations in female hormones.

A woman's body repeats the cycle of "menstruation → ovulation → (if there is no fertilization) the next menstruation" as one cycle. During this one cycle, there is a period between ovulation and the next menstruation in which two types of female hormones, estrogen and progesterone, drop sharply.

It is believed that one of the causes of PMS is that the sudden drop in these two female hormones triggers abnormal secretion of hormones and neurotransmitters in the brain.

Differences from PMDD

PMDD stands for Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. It is translated as "Premenstrual", "Dysphoric", and "Disorder", and PMDD is called "premenstrual dysphoric disorder" in Japanese.

PMDD is an exacerbation of mood disorders among the symptoms of PMS . People who do not usually have depressive symptoms may experience symptoms of despair, uncontrollable tears, aggressiveness, and other symptoms that make it difficult to control their emotions.

In many cases, PMDD clearly interferes with daily life, but it is also characterized by returning to a normal mental state a few days after the start of menstruation, just like PMS.

PMS self-check

Here are some common symptoms of PMS. Take a self-check to see if you have PMS by referring to the five diagnostic criteria introduced below.

(As a point of caution, self-checking of PMS cannot be done with only one menstrual cycle. It is necessary to check the state before menstruation for at least 3 months. In order to quickly notice changes in physical condition and improve the accuracy of self-checking. Also, keep a close eye on your menstrual cycle and premenstrual conditions.)

[Physical disorders that are likely to occur with PMS]

  • breast swelling and pain
  • bloated stomach
  • headache
  • stomach ache
  • joint or muscle pain
  • Weight gain due to increased appetite
  • swelling of limbs

[Mood disorders that are likely to occur with PMS]

  • depressed mood
  • explosive anger
  • irritation
  • anxiety
  • sleepiness
  • poor concentration
  • dizzy

[Diagnostic criteria for PMS]

1. One or more of the above physical or mood disorders during the 5 days before menstruation for the past 3 consecutive months.

2. Physical and mood disorders disappear within 4 days after the onset of menstruation and do not recur until the 13th day after the onset of menstruation.

3. Physical and mood disorders are not caused by drugs or alcohol that you normally take.

4. Premenstrual physical or mood disturbances for 2 consecutive months thereafter.

5.Severe physical or mood disorders, such as not being able to go to work or school, are clearly interfering with daily life.

The most significant feature of PMS is that physical and mood disturbances appear before menstruation, and after menstruation begins, the disturbance subsides like a lie . In addition, PMS symptoms often appear in a complex manner, and there are large individual differences, so it is said that there are more than 200 types of symptoms.

So when you do your PMS self-check, make a note of what you're feeling and how your body and mood change before and after your period.

What if there are many applicable items?

It is believed that the more items that apply to the PMS self-check, the stronger the PMS symptoms.

The more severe the symptoms, the earlier it is necessary to get rid of physical and emotional disorders. Specifically, if there are three or more items that apply to the self-check, we recommend that you visit a nearby gynecologist .

If you visit a specialized medical institution, you can receive treatment using medicine according to your symptoms.

Examples of drug treatments include:

  • Ovulation suppression therapy

By stopping ovulation, it suppresses the rapid fluctuations in female hormones and makes it difficult for PMS symptoms to appear.

  • Symptomatic treatment using analgesics and diuretics

Appropriate medications, such as pain relievers for headaches and diuretics for swelling, can be used to relieve any PMS symptoms that may have occurred.

  • herbal medicine

We will improve the constitution so that PMS symptoms are less likely to occur with Kampo that matches the individual's constitution and symptoms.
canvas offers a free medical interview service on the official LINE, and you can also send Chinese medicine tailored to your concerns and constitution.

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If the symptoms are severe, you can consult a doctor who is familiar with PMS and relieve or alleviate the physical and emotional discomfort you are feeling. If you have more than three items in the self-check, or if you are having trouble with your daily life, please consult a gynecologist.

When there are few applicable items

If your PMS self-check shows fewer than 3 items, you are unlikely to have PMS. However , if you are concerned that you have physical discomfort or uneven mood before menstruation, please consult a specialized medical institution.

PMS refers to a state of concern such as multiple premenstrual symptoms. Even if you don't have multiple upsets, it's possible that the upset you're worried about has appeared due to your premenstrual hormone status. If you are patient and do not see a doctor even though you are sick, your symptoms may get worse and worse.

When you go to see a doctor, be sure to bring the notes you used in the “PMS self-check” to record the symptoms you are concerned about and the period of discomfort. It can also help you see your doctor and help you choose the right treatment for your condition.

Also read the following articles
If you want to know more about the causes of PMS and how to improve it, click here


In this article, I introduced the PMS self-check method. Since PMS includes not only physical disorders but also mood disorders, it often appears as complex symptoms.

When performing a self-check, it is important to record the details of your physical and mood disorders and the period of time when the disorder occurs.

If you leave PMS untreated, it can lead to PMDD, which makes your mood worse and interferes with your daily life. If you have three or more items that apply to PMS in the self-check, please consult a gynecologist as soon as possible.

In addition, even if you do not check three or more, we recommend that you see a gynecologist if you have been suffering from PMS symptoms for a long time or have severe symptoms.

If you visit a specialized medical institution, you will be able to get along well with the changes in your body and mood that accompany menstruation with treatments that match your symptoms.

Having PMS once a month for about 40 years from the onset of menstruation to menopause is harder than you think. Don't worry about it alone, feel free to visit a gynecologist as if you were going for a consultation.

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