What is premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)?

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a more serious form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). PMS causes bloating, headaches and breast tenderness a week or two before your period.

With PMDD, you might have PMS symptoms along with extreme irritability, anxiety or depression. These symptoms improve within a few days after your period starts, but they can be severe enough to interfere with your life.

How common is PMDD?

PMDD affects up to 10% of women who have periods.

Who might get PMDD?

You may be more prone to PMDD if you have:

What causes PMDD?

Experts don’t know why some women get PMDD. Decreasing levels of estrogen and progesterone hormones after ovulation and before menstruation may trigger symptoms. Serotonin, a brain chemical that regulates mood, hunger and sleep, may also play a role. Serotonin levels, like hormone levels, change throughout your menstrual cycle.

What are the symptoms of PMDD?

PMDD symptoms appear a week or two before menstruation and go away within a few days after your period starts. In addition to PMS symptoms, you may have:

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