J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. 2006 Dec;19(6):397-402.

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) in Adolescents: Severity and Impairment.


Vichnin M,Freeman EW,Lin H,Hillman J,Bui S.

Departments of Obstetrics/Gynecology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

Objectives:

Identify the presence of patients with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) in an adolescent gynecology practice, and evaluate the reported severity, impairment and timing of the symptoms in the menstrual cycle.

Methods:

Adolescents ages 13-18 years completed a symptom questionnaire, functional impairment ratings, and a brief medical history questionnaire during an office visit. Teens who responded that they had PMS and reported a premenstrual symptom score at least 50% greater than the postmenstrual score and rated moderate to severe impairment in one or more domains comprised the "PMS" group. Teens who responded that they had PMS but did not meet the symptom and impairment criteria were termed "PMS not supported." Teens who responded that they did not have PMS and did not meet the PMS symptom and impairment criteria were termed "No PMS." .

Results:

Study participants (n = 94) had a mean age of 16.5 years (+/-1.3 SD); 31% met the criteria for the PMS group, 54% said they had PMS but did not meet criteria, and 15% clearly had no PMS. In the PMS group, the most severe symptoms were mood swings, anxiety, and irritability, with the greatest impairment in the home/family domain. Dysmenorrhea and the duration of PMS were significantly associated (P< 0.01) with PMS in univariate and multivariate analyses.

Conclusions:

The reports of premenstrual symptoms, their severity, timing and impairment suggest that PMS is common in adolescents. Further study is warranted to confirm these results with prospective assessment of PMS and to evaluate treatments for adolescents who have clinically significant PMS.


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