Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a common condition experienced by many women before their menstrual cycle begins. While most women may have mild symptoms, some individuals may face more severe and unusual manifestations of PMS. In this article, we will explore the various aspects of PMS, including its symptoms, duration, underlying causes, and the available options for managing severe PMS. We will also highlight the benefits of seeking treatment for severe PMS symptoms at University Urgent Care.

How Many Days Before Your Period Does PMS Start?

PMS typically occurs in the days leading up to your period. Most women start experiencing symptoms about five to 11 days before menstruation begins. However, the exact timing can vary from woman to woman, and some individuals may even experience symptoms a week or two before their period.

What Are Four Common Symptoms of PMS?

Mood Swings: Many women experience mood swings during PMS, which can range from feeling irritable or anxious to experiencing sudden episodes of sadness or depression.

Physical Symptoms: Common physical symptoms include bloating, breast tenderness, headaches, and fatigue. These symptoms can significantly impact daily activities and overall well-being.

Changes in Appetite: Some women may notice changes in their appetite during PMS. This can manifest as cravings for specific types of food or increased hunger.

Emotional Symptoms: Emotional symptoms may include increased sensitivity, tearfulness, or a general feeling of being overwhelmed. Some women may also experience difficulty concentrating or have trouble sleeping during this time.

How Long Does PMS Last?

The duration of PMS symptoms can vary among individuals. In most cases, symptoms last for a few days to a week before the start of menstruation. However, for some women, symptoms may persist throughout their entire premenstrual phase, which can last up to two weeks.

What Are Unusual Symptoms of PMS?

While the symptoms mentioned above are more commonly associated with PMS, there are some unusual manifestations that can occur as well. These symptoms may include:

  • Joint and Muscle Pain: Some women experience increased muscle and joint pain during PMS, which can make movement and physical activities uncomfortable.
  • Digestive Issues: PMS can lead to gastrointestinal symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea, and nausea. These symptoms can significantly disrupt daily routines.
  • Skin Changes: Hormonal fluctuations during PMS can cause skin-related issues like acne breakouts, oily skin, or increased sensitivity.
  • Allergy-Like Symptoms: Certain women may experience allergy-like symptoms during PMS, such as nasal congestion, watery eyes, or sneezing.

What Exactly Causes PMS?

The exact cause of PMS is not yet fully understood. However, hormonal changes, specifically fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone levels, are believed to play a significant role. These hormonal shifts can affect the brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters, leading to mood and behavioral changes.

Additionally, serotonin, a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating mood, has been linked to PMS. Reduced serotonin levels during the premenstrual phase can contribute to mood swings and irritability.

Why Are My PMS Symptoms So Severe?

For some women, PMS symptoms can be particularly severe and disruptive. Several factors can contribute to the severity of symptoms, including:

  • Hormonal Imbalances: Imbalances in estrogen, progesterone, and serotonin levels can lead to more pronounced symptoms.
  • Sensitivity to Hormonal Changes: Some women are more sensitive to hormonal fluctuations, making them more susceptible to experiencing severe PMS symptoms.
  • Stress: High levels of stress can exacerbate PMS symptoms. Stress management techniques may help reduce the severity of symptoms.
  • Lifestyle Factors: Certain lifestyle choices, such as poor diet, lack of exercise, and inadequate sleep, can worsen PMS symptoms.

What Is Considered a Severe Form of PMS?

When PMS symptoms significantly impact a woman’s daily life and well-being, it may be categorized as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). PMDD is a severe form of PMS that affects approximately 3-8% of menstruating women. The symptoms of PMDD are more intense and may include severe mood swings, anxiety, irritability, and feelings of hopelessness.

What Can Be Done for Severe PMS?

If you are experiencing severe PMS or suspect you may have PMDD, it is essential to seek medical attention. A healthcare professional can evaluate your symptoms and develop an appropriate treatment plan. The following interventions may be recommended:

  • Lifestyle Modifications: Adopting healthy lifestyle habits such as regular exercise, a balanced diet, and sufficient sleep can help manage PMS symptoms.
  • Medications: Your healthcare provider may prescribe medications to alleviate specific symptoms, such as hormonal birth control, antidepressants, or diuretics.
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT can be beneficial for individuals with severe PMS or PMDD. This form of therapy helps identify negative thought patterns and develop coping strategies to manage symptoms effectively.
  • Alternative Therapies: Some women find relief from severe PMS symptoms through alternative therapies like acupuncture, yoga, or herbal supplements. However, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before trying any new treatment.

Treating Severe PMS Symptoms at University Urgent Care

When seeking treatment for severe PMS symptoms, University Urgent Care offers several benefits:

  • Expert Medical Professionals: University Urgent Care is staffed with experienced healthcare professionals who specialize in women’s health. They have the expertise to diagnose and manage severe PMS symptoms effectively.
  • Prompt Evaluation: University Urgent Care provides prompt evaluation for patients experiencing severe PMS symptoms. They understand the urgency of your condition and strive to offer timely care.
  • Comprehensive Assessment: The medical professionals at University Urgent Care will conduct a thorough evaluation of your symptoms, medical history, and lifestyle factors. This comprehensive assessment ensures personalized and tailored treatment plans.
  • Access to Various Treatment Options: University Urgent Care offers access to a wide range of treatment options for severe PMS symptoms. They can prescribe appropriate medications, recommend lifestyle modifications, and provide guidance on alternative therapies.
  • Coordinated Care: If further specialized care is necessary, University Urgent Care can help coordinate referrals to appropriate healthcare providers, ensuring continuity of care and comprehensive management of your symptoms.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When should I visit urgent care for severe PMS symptoms?

A: If you are experiencing severe PMS symptoms that significantly impact your daily life or have concerns about your condition, it is advisable to seek medical attention. Urgent care centers like University Urgent Care can provide prompt evaluation and recommend appropriate interventions.

Q: How can I differentiate between normal PMS and PMDD?

A: While PMS symptoms can be uncomfortable, PMDD symptoms are more severe and disruptive. If your symptoms interfere with your ability to function or negatively impact your mental well-being, consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis.

Q: Can PMS symptoms change over time?

A: Yes, PMS symptoms can vary from month to month and may change over time. Keeping a symptom diary can help identify patterns and track changes in symptom severity, aiding in more effective management.

Q: Are there any natural remedies for PMS?

A: Some women find relief from PMS symptoms through natural remedies such as dietary changes, herbal supplements, and relaxation techniques. However, it is important


PMS is a common occurrence for many women, but the severity and duration of symptoms can vary greatly. While mild symptoms are manageable, severe PMS or PMDD can significantly impact a woman’s quality of life. Seeking medical attention and exploring appropriate treatment options are crucial for finding relief. University Urgent Care offers a range of benefits when it comes to treating severe PMS symptoms.

With expert medical professionals specializing in women’s health, University Urgent Care ensures prompt evaluation and a comprehensive assessment of your symptoms. They can provide access to various treatment options, including medications, lifestyle modifications, and alternative therapies. Additionally, their coordinated care approach ensures continuity of care and referral to specialized providers if necessary.

Remember, if you are experiencing severe PMS symptoms or have concerns, it is always best to consult with a healthcare professional or visit an urgent care center like University Urgent Care for personalized care and guidance. Don’t let severe PMS symptoms disrupt your daily life when effective treatment options are available to support your well-being.

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