Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a common condition that affects many people who have regular periods. It may be related to the changes in your hormone levels during your cycle.
PMS does not always mean that something is wrong, but you could look for help if the symptoms have an impact on your daily life.
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Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) Symptoms & Treatment
Who can get treatment online
Treatment is available online at Zava if:
- you have been diagnosed with PMS
- a Zava doctor thinks the treatment is right for you
How to place an order
- Fill in our brief questionnaire about your health and lifestyle
- Our online Zava doctor will check your assessment to see if Citalopram is right for you
- If your order is right for you, then it can be posted to your preferred address or you can collect it from a local post office instead
Common side effects of PMS treatment
Citalopram can cause some side effects. These are usually less frequent and less important when the treatment is taken on certain days of your period cycle, rather than continuously.
Side effects usually disappear within 4 to 5 days, and usually don’t come back in future months.
The most common side effect is nausea. Other common side effects are:
- insomnia or feeling sleepier
- feeling dizzy
- decreased libido
All the side effects are temporary and should disappear when the treatment is stopped.
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a common condition affecting many people of reproductive age. Most people who have periods will have PMS at some point. Symptoms can start a couple of weeks or a few days before your period. They vary from person to person and can also vary from month to month.
It isn’t fully understood why some people experience PMS, but it may be related to the changes in your hormone levels during your menstrual cycle. PMS does not always mean that something is wrong, but you should seek help if it affects your daily life.
Yes. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a more severe form of PMS. It is sometimes called ‘severe PMS’ and its symptoms have a big affect on your daily life.
Period pain (or dismenorrhea) is not a symptom of PMS.
Both period pain and PMS affect people who have menstrual cycles, but they are usually not felt at the same time.
Some studies have found that period pain is more common in people who are experiencing PMS.
The most common symptoms include:
- mood swings
- feeling anxious
- difficulty sleeping
- breast pain or tenderness
- spotty skin or greasy hair
- changes in sex drive
- changes in how much you eat, or cravings for specific food
To know for sure, a doctor will need to tell you that you have PMS.
Usually PMS symptoms occur a few days to a couple of weeks before your period is due. The symptoms follow the cycle of your periods, so you might find they start to get better when you start your period and will usually disappear before your period is finished.
It is helpful to keep a diary of your symptoms for at least two period cycles to discuss with a doctor. This will help with establishing whether there is a pattern behind your symptoms.
Other conditions will usually cause symptoms with different timings. These will not be related as closely to your menstrual cycle as PMS is:
- Pregnancy may cause some of the symptoms of PMS, such as breast tenderness. The only way to find out if you are pregnant is to get a pregnancy test
- Thyroid problems could cause some symptoms similar to PMS. However, there are normally some other symptoms as well, which would help differentiate these two
- Some other medical conditions can get worse during the week before your period (such as migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, or chronic fatigue syndrome)
Speak to your doctor if you are concerned about your symptoms, or if you think you may have symptoms related to another condition.
Your doctor will look at your medical history and symptoms, and arrange tests to help decide whether you have PMS or another condition.
You could think about getting treatment for PMS if your symptoms are affecting your daily life.
We offer treatment with Citalopram, which can be helpful for both the emotional and the physical symptoms of your PMS.
Completing our simple online assessment about your health and lifestyle may help to decide whether treatment is suitable.
You could also speak to your doctor or GP for advice on PMS. Taking a diary of your symptoms will help to make things clearer.
At Zava we offer Citalopram as treatment for your PMS.
Citalopram is an antidepressant. It is usually taken once a day. There are different dosages, and a Zava Doctor or your GP will help you find the right one for you.
In order to buy Citalopram, you need a prescription. Zava offers a convenient service which allows you to obtain a prescription and order Citalopram online.
You can also consider lifestyle changes or drug treatments depending on the type of symptoms you experience. These could be:
- eating small, balanced and frequent meals with lots of healthy carbohydrates
- getting regular exercise
- reducing stress levels with techniques such as yoga or meditation
- getting enough, regular sleep
- stopping smoking, if relevant
- reducing the amount of alcohol you drink, if relevant
- taking painkillers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol
Your doctor may be able to prescribe you stronger painkillers if your main symptom is pain that is not managed with simple over the counter painkillers.
Your doctor might also recommend cognitive behavioural therapy, if it could help you with the emotional symptoms of PMS.
If you are currently taking Citalopram for a different condition, that is not PMS, or if you think that you would benefit from doing this, we would recommend that you contact your healthcare professional who will be able to issue a prescription for you if needed.
Dr Laura Joigneau Prieto
Dr Laura Joigneau Prieto joined Zava in April 2018 as a clinical doctor. She studied medicine at the Universidad Autónoma in Madrid, Spain, and at the Pierre and Marie Curie Faculty in Paris, France. She did a Master’s Degree in clinical medicine in 2009 at the Rey Juan Carlos University in Madrid.Meet our doctors
Last reviewed: 23 Oct 2018
NHS. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pre-menstrual-syndrome/ [accessed 20 October 2018]
NICE Guidance. Available at: https://cks.nice.org.uk/premenstrual-syndrome#!scenario [accessed on 21 October 2018]
MIND. Available at: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/premenstrual-dysphoric-disorder-pmdd/#.W8x0wduZN-V [accessed 21 October 2018]
Accord UK Ltd, Summary of Product Characteristics. Citalopram 20 mg tablets. Available at: www.medicines.org.uk [accessed 21 October 2018]
Body Ecology. Available at: https://bodyecology.com/articles/pms-and-candida-overgrowth-the-dangers-of-estrogen-dominance [accessed 21 October 2018]