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Local health officials spread awareness about premenstrual disorders

Samantha Morrill

Health professionals are highlighting Premenstrual Disorders, or PMDs, during PMD Awareness Month.

Researchers at the University of Illinois Chicago recently conducted a clinical study that found some female patients with a history of suicidal ideation experienced an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and planning during the days leading up to and during menstruation.

Dr. Rebecca Todd is an OBGYN with UK in Morehead and St. Claire HealthCare. She said some women reported serious mental health symptoms.

“Women will experience severe and sometimes disabling mood instability, depression, and anxiety in those days leading up to the menstrual cycle; and it usually results once the menstrual cycle starts but can last a few days into the menstrual cycle,” she said.

Todd added disorders like premenstrual dysphoric disorder could be responsible for more extreme mental health symptoms.

“I can tell you from experience and from other studies is that there is a very real condition called premenstrual dysphoric disorder which is actually classified as a type of depressive disorder by the American Psychiatric Association,” she said.

According to the Federal Office on Women’s Health, there are some mood-stabilizing medications such as anti-depressants and hormonal medications like birth control that can be used to treat PMDD symptoms.

Todd said she hopes in the future more menstrual health professionals will do a better job screening patients for PMDD and assigning them the proper therapy to help them.

More information about PMDD can be found at womenshealth.gov or by contacting local health providers.