What is PMDD And How Might It Impact Your Pregnancy?

Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) is one of the more severe, yet less talked about disorders that can occur. It starts out during ovulation and gets worse until the first day of your period, then it goes away until ovulation.

It starts on the day of ovulation, you start getting normal PMS symptoms then it progresses to severe cramping and mood swings similar to Bipolar Disorder. On day one of your period, the symptoms end and you go back to normal until you start ovulating again. It is not curable and is considered progressive. The end of your period cycle is what ends the disorder.

What is PMS?

PMS or Pre-Menstrual Syndrome is an actual problem that hits a lot of women during the week leading to her cycle. It is marked by mild to moderate cramping, bloating, mild mood swings and food cravings, tender breasts and many of the early pregnancy symptoms.

It can be caused by a mix of hormone changes and the uterus lining starting to shed, outside of that, the cause is largely unknown.

The cause is completely unknown about PMDD as well.

How do the two compare?

While, in general, PMS is typically pretty tame and isn't disabling, PMDD is. PMDD causes both physical and emotional changes but the major indicator is Bipolar type swings and instead of only lasting up to a week before your period, it normally starts at ovulation (or around 10 days before).

PMDD takes many of the symptoms of PMS and puts intensity into them- especially the mood swings.

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What are typical treatments for PMDD?

Antidepressants, hormonal birth control pills, some supplements can be used to treat this disorder, but always consult a doctor before since there are some you can take too much and have some concerning side effects.

Lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, exercising, trying to destress and avoid stress during that time in your cycle, meditation, yoga, eating healthier and sleeping more can also help control the mood swings and life your spirits.

How can I get tested?

There are no specific tests, no blood work or anything doctors can do. What is most recommended is to keep a symptom journal through two-period phases. Mark down the date, symptom, and severity. You may also want to mention if you've been drinking, how you're eating, exercise, smoking and other factors that may influence. You can find a guideline here.

Doctors will need to rule out other medical issues that may be a factor. Hyperthyroid can cause anxiety, anxiety attacks and rapid heart rate among other things and hypo can cause depression, so they should run a full thyroid panel to make sure it's not that and any other tests that may play a role.

Most of the time, stress mixed with normal PMS can be the cause of the symptoms, but if you're starting to get severe symptoms that interfere with relationships and other areas of your life, you may want to start tracking symptoms and see your OB.

Women suffering PMDD, however, can get some relief. The symptoms of PMDD only show up around the time of menstruation, so if you're pregnant, you will have a break in the symptoms.

There have been some findings that women who experienced any level of PPD could be at risk of developing PMDD as well, so it can happen postpartum and is thought to be caused by sensitivities to hormones.


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