It affects over 90% of women in varying degrees, some suffering so badly that they have to miss work or school, while for others symptoms are milder(1). In fact 5-10% of women describe their symptoms as severe or disabling(2).
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a condition that affects a woman’s emotional and physical health and behaviour during certain days of the menstrual cycle(3). PMS generally starts 5 to 11 days before menstruation and typically goes away once menstruation begins(3).
Even though PMS is so common and can affect a women’s quality of life to such an extent(2), it is still fairly misunderstood and untreated(2). For the millions of women affected, the symptoms are very real(1, 2).
Breast swelling and tenderness, abdominal bloating and weight gain are experienced by approximately 65 to 72% of women while cravings for sweets, an increased appetite, headaches, dizziness or fainting and fatigue are reported to affect 24 to 35% of women. Nervousness, mood changes, irritability and anxiety affect 66 to 75% of women(2) while 23 – 37% of women say that they experience crying, depression, forgetfulness, confusion and insomnia(2).
The cause of PMS is unknown although many researchers believe that it could be related to a change in both sex hormone and serotonin levels at the beginning of the menstrual cycle(3). Some vitamin and mineral deficiencies are also thought to worsen certain PMS symptoms, including deficiencies in Magnesium, Vitamin B6, Vitamin E and Zinc(2).
Due to the complexities of PMS, there is no single effective treatment but some studies have shown that certain vitamin and minerals may help to ease certain symptoms(1, 2). Furthermore, some women find that using evening primrose oil for premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and breast pain may be effective(4). Evening primrose oil is the oil from the seed of the evening primrose plant and is used as a dietary source of essential fatty acids(4).
In fact, results of a study published in 2010 in the Alternative Medicine Review found that Evening Primrose Oil used in combination with Vitamin E may improve breast pain or tenderness(5), a symptom which itself is said to affect 70% of premenopausal women at some point in their lives(4). Primeve Plus® is South Africa’s number 1 Evening Primrose Oil supplement(6) and contains Magnesium, Vitamin B6, Vitamin E and Zinc.
The addition of Vitamin B6 may help with PMS symptoms, including moodiness, irritability, forgetfulness and anxiety1while magnesium may also help relieve some PMS symptoms(1).
Some other tips that may relieve certain PMS symptoms include regular exercise, getting enough sleep and choosing healthy foods. It is also advisable to avoid foods that contain too much caffeine, salt and sugar in the two weeks leading up to your period(1). Studies have also shown that calcium, which is found in foods such as milk, cheese and yogurt, may help reduce some PMS symptoms including fatigue and depression(1).
Primeve Plus® is especially designed for women and may alleviate some of the symptoms associated with PMS and menopause as well as assist in the maintenance of overall female health, including healthy hair, nails and skin. It can be taken by children from 9 years old.
Go to www.primeveplus.co.za for more information.
Up to 5% of women of childbearing age suffer from premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), a health problem similar to PMS with more serious that may require medication or other treatments(7). Speak to your doctor if your PMS symptoms are severely affecting your quality of life.
This article is for information and educational purposes only and is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. Studies as part of the references were not conducted on Primeve Plus. This unregistered medicine has not been evaluated by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority for its quality, safety or intended use. For more information on your medical condition and treatment options, speak to your healthcare professional.
Further information is available on request from iNova Pharmaceuticals. Name and business address: iNova Pharmaceuticals (Pty) Ltd. Co. Reg. No. 1952/001640/07. 15E Riley Road, Bedfordview. Tel. No. 011 087 0000.
- Office on Women’s Health. Premenstrual Syndrome (2018) at https://www.womenshealth.gov/menstrual-cycle/premenstrual-syndrome(Website accessed on 20 June 2019)
- Dean C, Steinberg SK, Sylvester WH, Medical Management of Premenstrual Syndrome. Adapted from: Abraham GE National Factors in the Etiology of the Premenstrual Tension Syndromes. J Reprod Med 1983; 28(7):446-464 at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21267135(Website accessed on 20 June 2019)
- Healthline – Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) (2016) at https://www.healthline.com/health/premenstrual-syndrome(Website accessed on 20 June 2019)
- Web MD. Evening Primrose Oil (2018) at https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-1006/evening-primrose-oil(Website accessed on 20 June 2019)
- Pruthi, S. et al. Vitamin E and evening primrose oil for management of cyclical mastalgia: a randomized pilot study. Alternat Med Rev 2010; 15(1):59-67 at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20359269(Website accessed on 20 June 2019)
- IMS:TPM Data (V3X, G2X and D11A/ Constructed Class). MAT Jan 2017.
- Office on Women’s Health. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) (2018) at https://www.womenshealth.gov/menstrual-cycle/premenstrual-syndrome/premenstrual-dysphoric-disorder-pmdd(Website accessed on 21 June 2019)