Are the weeks leading up to your period always hard going? Finding ways to reduce PMS symptoms and stablise your system may involve trial and error. The following treatments may help beat PMS.
For women who feel their lives are hijacked by hormones every month, antidepressants can provide enormous relief. “The antidepressants stabilise the level of hormones, such as serotonin, so that some women with PMS or PMDD no longer experience those huge mood swings from hormonal fluctuations,” says Sonia Davison, an endocrinologist and clinical fellow of the Jean Hailes Foundation.
A new approach to this treatment is to take the antidepressant intermittently. “It may be taken for one week or 10 days of each month when symptoms occur,” says Prof Kulkarni. “To ensure the dose and type of antidepressant suits your system, speak to your GP about having a blood test or swab to get background on your metabolic system and guide the choice of antidepressant.”
If antidepressants are not effective, women who suffer severe symptoms of PMS may choose to undergo a ‘chemical menopause’, where strong hormones are used to stop ovulation and give women a break from the terrible hormonal and mood swings. “This approach sometimes needs to be permanent but can also have a kind of resetting effect on the brain,” Prof Kulkarni explains. “If women choose to come off the hormones, their impact is usually reversible and even when no longer on the therapy, the hormonal-related moods swings may be greatly reduced.”