Updated: Aug 21
The primary goal of treating Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) is to alleviate the physical and emotional symptoms that significantly impact a person's quality of life during the luteal phase of their menstrual cycle. Treatment strategies are designed to reduce the severity and duration of PMDD symptoms, improve overall well-being, and enhance daily functioning.
The specific aims of treating PMDD include:
Symptom Relief: The most immediate aim of treatment is to effectively manage and reduce the physical and emotional symptoms associated with PMDD. This includes addressing mood-related symptoms such as irritability, depression, anxiety, and mood swings, as well as physical symptoms like breast tenderness, headaches, and fatigue.
Improved Quality of Life: PMDD can have a profound impact on a person's quality of life, affecting their relationships, work, and overall functioning. Treatment aims to alleviate symptoms to the extent that individuals can engage in their daily activities without significant disruption or distress.
Enhanced Emotional Well-Being: Mood disturbances are a hallmark of PMDD, and treatment seeks to stabilise mood, reduce mood swings, and alleviate emotional distress. This can lead to improved emotional well-being and a more positive outlook.
Stress Reduction: Some treatment approaches for PMDD include stress management techniques. By learning coping strategies and stress reduction methods, individuals can better manage the emotional toll of PMDD symptoms.
Normalisation of Hormonal Fluctuations: Hormonal therapies, such as the combined oral contraceptives, HRT or hormone-regulating medications, aim to stabilise the hormonal fluctuations that trigger PMDD symptoms. These treatments help create a more predictable hormonal environment, reducing symptom severity.
Minimisation of Disruption: Treatment should minimise the disruption that PMDD causes in various aspects of an individual's life, including relationships, work, social interactions, and personal goals.
Tailored Approach: Treatment plans should be personalised to each individual's unique symptoms, medical history, and preferences. What works for one person may not work for another, so healthcare providers aim to find the most suitable treatment approach.
Long-Term Management: Depending on the severity of symptoms, treatment might focus on short-term relief during the luteal phase or involve ongoing management strategies throughout the menstrual cycle.
The choice of treatment will depend on the individual's specific symptoms, medical history, and preferences. Treatment options might include lifestyle changes, psychotherapy, medications, hormonal therapies, or a combination of these approaches. Regular communication with your clinician is key to monitoring progress and adjusting the treatment plan as needed.