Diary: Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)

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Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) can be associated with a wide range of symptoms. Most of them are non-specific. In other words, they can also be caused by many other medical conditions.

Signs of PMS may include breast tenderness, abdominal pain, headaches and mood swings, as well as trouble sleeping or concentrating, irritability, anger, achy joints and water retention.

To find out whether there is actually a link between these problems and your menstrual cycle, it can be helpful to keep a diary – ideally for at least two to three months. This can also be useful when preparing for a doctor’s appointment.
PMS diary

Illustration: Image of diary – as described in the article

Preview of diary

  • The current month can be entered into the space at the top, and the date on which your period started can be noted in the box below.
  • You can record how long your period lasted by drawing a line along the dates or adding further ticks.
  • Any symptoms you observe throughout the month can be recorded in the table, indicating how severe they were using dots of different sizes:
  • Things can be added to the list – either by typing them into the PDF file, or writing them on a printed version.
  • You can use the last two rows of the table to make a note of whether the problems affected your relationships with your family, partner, friends or colleagues.

Example of a filled-in table:

Illustration: Example of diary with added notes

Illustration: Example of diary with added notes

IQWiG health information is written with the aim of helping people understand the advantages and disadvantages of the main treatment options and health care services.

Because IQWiG is a German institute, some of the information provided here is specific to the German health care system. The suitability of any of the described options in an individual case can be determined by talking to a doctor. informedhealth.org can provide support for talks with doctors and other medical professionals, but cannot replace them. We do not offer individual consultations.

Our information is based on the results of good-quality studies. It is written by a team of health care professionals, scientists and editors, and reviewed by external experts. You can find a detailed description of how our health information is produced and updated in our methods.

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Please note that we do not provide individual advice on matters of health. You can read about where to find help and support in Germany in our information “How can I find self-help groups and information centers?

Created on June 14, 2017
Next planned update: 2021


Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG, Germany)

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