PMS symptoms and menopause
May 22, 2014

PMS May Be Linked To Later Menopause Complaints, But Not Hot Flashes

April Flowers for - Your Universe Online

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is one of the worst parts of being a woman. Symptoms often include mood swings, tender breasts, food cravings, fatigue, irritability and depression, and according to the Mayo Clinic, three out of every four women experience some form of PMS, but not every woman experiences the same symptoms, or with the same severity.

A new study from Helsinki University Central Hospital and Folkhälsan Research Institute in Helsinki, Finland reveals that women who have PMS before menopause may not be troubled by hot flashes during menopause. It does, however, mean they might be susceptible to other menopause complaints, such as poor memory and concentration.

The study, published in a recent issue of Menopause, is the first to highlight the link between PMS and a decrease in quality of life after menopause.

The research team recruited 120 healthy, postmenopausal women who had not taken hormones. The women were asked to answer a survey concerning the PMS symptoms they suffered, as well as their current health. They also kept a diary of their hot flashes, tracking the number and severity.

Of the participants, nearly 90 percent recalled experiencing PMS to some degree. Half of these remembered symptoms that interfered with work, home or social life, and 40 percent rated their PMS as moderate or severe. Analysis of the questionnaires and diaries, however, showed no significant relationship between hot flashes and their severity and PMS. PMS symptoms were linked to depression, poor sleep, feeling less attractive, and especially with memory and concentration problems after menopause.

The researchers caution that further research is needed to understand if PMS and menopause complaints other than hot flashes have a common cause such as a similar change in regulation of the autonomic nervous system or genes that predispose to both.

According to a statement by North American Menopause Society (NAMS) Executive Director Margery Gass, MD, "Women who are troubled by PMS can be reassured that it doesn't mean bothersome hot flashes are inevitable later."