Premenstrual Syndrome in Teens: Care Instructions

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Your Care Instructions

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is the changes in your body or mood that are related to your menstrual cycle. The changes may bother you during the second phase of your cycle. This is between the time you release an egg (ovulate) and the first days of your period.

Doctors don't know why some women have PMS while others do not. It's also not clear why some women have worse symptoms.

PMS symptoms include bloating and muscle aches. You also may be moody and have food cravings and sleep problems. You will know you have PMS if your symptoms affect your work, school, or relationships. Talk with your doctor about things you can do to feel better. There are many home treatments and medicines that you can try.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Take anti-inflammatory medicines for body aches and breast tenderness. These include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve). Read and follow all instructions on the label.
  • Take your medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor or nurse call line if you think you are having a problem with your medicine.
  • Cut down on or avoid caffeine, chocolate, and salt. Do this while you have PMS or several days before you might have symptoms.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Get plenty of water, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Get plenty of exercise every day. Go for a walk or jog, ride your bike, or play sports with friends.
  • Talk to your doctor about taking calcium and magnesium supplements. These may help relieve PMS symptoms.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have severe vaginal bleeding.
  • You have new or worse belly or pelvic pain.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • You do not get better as expected.
  • You have unusual vaginal bleeding.

Where can you learn more?

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