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What to Know About PMDD

What to Know About PMDD

October 12, 2023

Each month, menstruators experience a range of emotions and physical changes that are tied to their menstrual cycle. For many, this time is relatively smooth, but for some, it can be a rollercoaster ride of intense emotional and physical symptoms. One condition that affects a portion of menstruators is Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD).

What is PMDD?

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) that goes beyond the typical mood swings and discomfort many menstruators experience before their periods. It affects about 3-8% of menstruating individuals and is characterized by emotional and physical symptoms that disrupt daily life.

Unlike PMS, which might cause temporary discomfort, PMDD symptoms are more intense, lasting for several days to two weeks before menstruation and improving shortly after menstruation begins.

Identifying Symptoms of PMDD

PMDD symptoms can vary from person to person, but they generally include:

Emotional Symptoms

  • Intense mood swings
  • Feelings of sadness or hopelessness
  • Irritability or anger
  • Anxiety or tension
  • Lack of interest in usual activities

Physical Symptoms

  • Fatigue and lack of energy
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Appetite changes or unusual food cravings
  • Muscle aches and joint pain
  • Bloating 
Common Symptoms of PMDD

What Causes PMDD?

The exact cause of PMDD isn’t fully understood, but it’s thought to be related to the fluctuation of hormones, particularly serotonin, which plays a key role in regulating mood. Menstruators with PMDD might have an increased sensitivity to normal hormonal changes, leading to the extreme symptoms experienced.

If you think you have PMDD, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional. They can accurately diagnose your condition and tailor a treatment plan to fit your specific needs.

Learn more about other menstrual disorders on our blog, The Periodical 📲

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Stay in the flow — we’ll send you period positivity + timely updates on the menstrual movement.

claire coder,founder + ceo

claire coder,
founder + ceo

Hi! I’m Claire. I founded Aunt Flow after getting my period in public without the supplies needed.

Founded in 2016, Aunt Flow is a certified WBENC women-owned company based in Columbus, Ohio. At 18 years old, I dedicated my life to developing a solution to ensure businesses and schools could sustainably provide quality period products, for free, in bathrooms. Our products are made with organic cotton (no weird stuff) and we are constantly working to reduce our environmental impact! For every 10 tampons and pads we sell, we donate 1 to a menstruator in need. I call this people helping people. PERIOD.®