PMS (premenstrual syndrome) is a real condition caused by the body's response to a normal menstrual cycle. The menstrual cycle is brought on by changing levels of hormones (chemical messengers) in the body. In some women, normal hormone changes are linked to decreases in serotonin, a brain chemical that improves mood. These changes lead to PMS symptoms each month.
During the menstrual cycle, a series of hormone changes prepare a woman's body for pregnancy. The ovaries make hormones, which include estrogen and progesterone. Throughout the cycle, the levels of these hormones change. This causes the lining of the uterus (womb) to thicken. Hormone changes also lead to ovulation (release of an egg). If a woman doesn't become pregnant, her body sheds the thickened lining and the egg during the menstrual period. For many women, the menstrual cycle lasts 4 weeks (28 days). Some women have shorter cycles. Others have longer ones. No matter how many days your cycle is, you can have PMS only if you ovulate.
No one knows why some women have PMS and others don't. But PMS symptoms are closely linked to changing levels of estrogen, serotonin, and progesterone.
Estrogen rises during the first half of the menstrual cycle and drops during the second half. In some women, serotonin levels stay mostly steady. But in women with PMS, serotonin drops as estrogen drops. This means serotonin is lowest in the 2 weeks before the period. Women with low serotonin levels are likely to have symptoms of PMS.
Progesterone can have a "calming" effect on the body. This can ease physical symptoms caused by the body's monthly changes. In women with PMS, progesterone may not have this calming effect. This may make symptoms more severe.
Bloating (retaining water)
Swelling of hands and feet
Withdrawing from friends and family
Having trouble concentrating
Date Last Reviewed:
Date Last Modified:
Dr. Marsha Bornt started seeing me when I was in my early twenties (20 years ago). After seeing many doctors, she was the 1st doctor to diagnose me with endometriosis. I went on to have many laparoscopies with her over the years. In my thirties I moved about 45-50 min away from Apple Hill, so I ended up seeing another doctor who performed another laparoscopy...
Staff was very friendly and professional. I had a few questions that the doctor was more than happy to answer for me. I got all that needed to be done in a very timely manner. I was very pleased with my visit. Trying to find a parking spot was very frustrating though. Arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your appointment.
I am always glad to meet with Dr. Bornt. She is very pleasant and makes sure she has answered all your questions or concerns. She is very thorough in her approach about your medical history . . .wants only the best for you as her patient.