Nearly two-thirds of women have bothersome premenstrual symptoms | Health, Medicine and Fitness

Cara Murez

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 7, 2022 (HealthDay News) — A majority of women experience premenstrual mood swings and anxiety, making it a “key public health problem around the world,” according to a new study.

Researchers found that 64% of women experience these symptoms, which interfere with their daily lives.

“Our study demonstrates that premenstrual mood symptoms are incredibly common around the world,” said study lead author Dr. Jennifer Payne, director of the Reproductive Psychiatry Research Program at the University College of Medicine. the University of Virginia. “Most importantly, a majority of women said their PMS symptoms interfered with their daily life at least once in a while.”

For the study, researchers analyzed more than 238,000 survey responses from women aged 18 to 55 in 140 countries using an app called Flo, which helps women track their menstrual cycle, mood and their physical symptoms.

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Just over 85% of women surveyed said they had food cravings, around 64% reported mood swings or anxiety, and 57% felt tired. Nearly 29% of participants said their premenstrual symptoms interfered with their daily life every menstrual cycle, while about 35% said these symptoms sometimes interfered.

“The incidence of reported premenstrual mood and anxiety symptoms varied widely across countries, ranging from a low of 35.1% in Congo to a high of 68.6% in Egypt,” Payne said in a university press release. “Understanding whether differences in biology or culture underlie country-level rates will be an important future research direction.”

Older respondents were more likely to report distraction, low libido, trouble sleeping, gastrointestinal symptoms, weight gain, headache, sweating or hot flashes, fatigue, hair changes, rashes and swelling. This “makes sense,” the researchers said, because many of these symptoms are also associated with perimenopause, a time when women experience symptoms including irregular menstrual cycles as they transition into menopause.

Payne hopes the results, published online recently in the Women’s Mental Health Archives, will help women get better care by helping healthcare providers become more aware of how often women experience these symptoms.

“There are a number of treatment strategies available to address premenstrual symptoms that interfere with a woman’s daily functioning,” she said. “Increased awareness of the frequency of these symptoms and that if they impact function, there are treatments available, will help women improve their quality of life.”

The Office on Women’s Health has more on PMS.

SOURCE: University of Virginia Health System, press release, September 6, 2022