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  • Jennifer L. Gerard

Could it be PMDD?

Updated: Jan 20

Did you know an estimated 5-10% of women have PMDD? Many don't know there is a name for what they experience month after month and that effective treatments are available! Knowledge is power so let's dive in!

What Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) is…

-> PMDD is a mood disorder related to how your brain reacts to the natural rise and fall of estrogen and progesterone associated with your menstrual cycle

-> PMDD is characterized by cyclical symptoms that occur before your period including anxiety, depression, mood swings, anger and irritability. These symptoms improve once your period starts. The cycle of symptoms returns in a few weeks before your next period.

-> PMDD is a long-term condition and may persist throughout a woman’s menstrual years. It can be quite the roller coaster one week every month and that’s a lot of days!

What PMDD is not…

✕ PMDD is not PMS (premenstrual syndrome) although the two terms are often (incorrectly) used interchangeably.

✕ PMDD is not a hormone “imbalance” but it is hormone-based.

How is PMDD diagnosed?

Diagnosis can be tricky and not all providers are familiar with PMDD. There is no blood test although blood work can help rule out other conditions such as thyroid imbalance. The first steps for diagnosis is tracking of your symptoms for 2 months. There is a great tracking tool from the International Association of Premenstrual Disorders here and a great place to start!

What next?

If you think you have PMDD, treatment is available! The next step is to discuss your symptom diary with a provider knowledgeable in PMDD and get a plan for treatment.

If you live in Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Maryland, Nebraska, New Mexico or North Dakota, Jennifer Gerard – Nurse Practitioner can help! She is educated on PMDD and offers virtual visits for diagnosis and treatment. Appointment information available at or click the button below to be taken to Appointment Request form.

If you live outside the service area, please contact your usual provider or OB/GYN for recommendations or search the IAPMD directory here.

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