PMS doesn’t exist

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Pre-menstrual stress (PMS), also known as pre-menstrual tension (PMT), no longer exists. A group of Canadian academics signed the death-warrant with its review of 47 studies of the widely-accepted condition.

The academics found that many of the studies did not live up to good scientific practice. Of those which did, only 13 per cent found a link between the pre-menstrual days and a woman’s bad mood.

The group concluded that none of the studies could provide clear evidence of a “specific pre-menstrual negative mood syndrome”. To give further weight to its findings Jane Ussher, the professor of women’s health psychology at the University of Western Sydney, has found that the idea of PMS is a Western one. There is no similar concept in India, China or Hong Kong.

Women have not taken kindly to the news that PMS is all in their heads.

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Opinion – Feeling a bit tetchy

According to this study PMS is a fictional condition which only exists in the minds of western women. The anger, frustration or irrational sadness many women feel at the same time every month is entirely coincidental, and we should all stop making such a song and dance over it.

That statement alone makes me feel a bit tetchy. Maybe these scientists are right and PMS has nothing to do with hormone cycles (even though it is a well-known fact that hormones can make your mood somewhat volatile – just ask anyone who has tried to argue with a pregnant woman). Maybe the well-documented, regularly occurring snippiness many women feel is caused by the fact that women are still expected to do a greater share of the household chores, or that wage-equality in Australia has stalled, with women still only earning around 85c to the dollar compared to men in the same role.

Or perhaps it is simply because of studies such this one, which seem to think it is acceptable to invalidate the feelings and experiences of women with the excuse that it’s all in our heads.

Before I go and raid my chocolate stash to calm down, may I also point out that the three countries used as examples of places without documented PMS are:

  1. All Asian countries, and thus not a good representation of ‘non-western’ countries
  2. Not known for their liberated female population
  3. Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China, making the three samples even less diverse

Just a thought.

Do you think PMS is just an excuse for women to be in a bad mood? Or have the academics gone too far this time?

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Total Comments: 43
  1. 0

    No- I think PMS is real and, for some women, a very debilitating condition. Medical ‘research’ makes we want to weep at times – chocolate is good for you/bad for you, coffee causes cancer/increases your longevity, sunshine is the number one killer/without it your bone health will decrease. Give me a break!!!

    • 0

      I remember bursting into tears at the kitchen table and hubby worried and asking me whatever the matter and I DIDNT KNOW…..i WAS SPOILT HAD EVERYTHING A GOOD PARTIME JOB ETC ETC AND DIVINE FAMILY…NO ONE TOLD ME it was the beginning of the change of life……

  2. 0

    No. Women have plenty of other excuses for being in a bad mood. 😉 PMS is for real.

  3. 0

    I tend to think this so called survey of a whole 47 was done by males – maybe the chosen 47 were males too eh?

    Anyone who has ever endured PMS knows too darn well what a pain it is. It is such a pity only women can experience this – (I for one would love a little revenge!!)

  4. 0

    I endured PMS for several years too, and it is very real! Got divorced and it went away. Bit of black humour——-couldn’t resist, sorry!

  5. 0

    LOL Michael, just wondering how much understanding your ex got at those times? Have a feeling I know already! Poor lady!

  6. 0

    Just wondering if your wife is reading this as we speak!! (or type anyway) Love the humour by the way – always good to have a laugh.

  7. 0

    Jen and Michael … love your posts 🙂 I don’t mind being crappy for whatever reason, but to be told “It’s just that time of the month for her” is likely to result in death. Condescending .. grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr get out of my way, give me that shot gun, don’t even think about me, what’s your problem?? Me …. the damned PMS witch?? Nahhh … but I will be next month. Keep pushing my buttons (and you’ll pay big time!!) Come on, have you finished?? PMS all in my mind!!!??? OMG. gimme a break.

    I abso-bloody-lutely love being a woman 🙂 🙂 Guys, trust woman NOT to lie about PMS … it exists 🙂 🙂

    • 0

      I forgot … like Kaye said, PMS is a very debilitating condition. I have PMS most days and can’t do housework, cook, iron, geee, all because of PMS. I am the eternal optimist and love my PMS 🙂

      editor’s note .. I am only joking 🙂

  8. 0

    Seriously, this time, academics should know better than to even attempt any survey with only forty-seven studies never mind a survey such as this. Definitely not to be taken any more seriously than my attempt at ‘black humour’

    • 0

      Michael, I read the article and I thought it meant 47 different research studies which should involve thousands of women. Words are invented to cover new things (like PMS and psychiatry), but you are right, unless the research is very intense it will not be accepted.

      Reppie, further to Michael’s post, … IF the researchers were male, did they do their research when the women had PMS or was that beyond their bravery?? 🙂 Oh Michael, I AM serious 🙂 Only a fool or an suicidal man would approach a full-blown PMS woman 🙂

      As for your black humour,

    • 0

      ooooops, I didn’t finish this!!

      as for your black humour, I love it 🙂

  9. 0

    Never had it myself but I am sure some women do

  10. 0

    I have just read the article by Jacqueline Maley
    Parliamentary Sketch Writer for the Sydney Morning Herald and I have to say I disagree with what she is saying. NOT all women get PMS but to say it does not exist is wrong. The 47 research programs on PMS may have been done only in Western countries, and the research not up to the psychiatrist’s standards, but Psychiatry is only a reasonably new science too so should we question psychiatratic research too ?? I feel the concern about the validity of the research is worded incorrectly and should be more along the lines “…some women may experience mood/psychological or physical changes to the body during the menstrual cycle. ..”

    OR is this the media again trying to stir us into bickering amongst ourselves? Is the article just to fill space??

    Read more:

    • 0

      My Daily Paper ! There is nothing more amusing than an article by writers who have no background knowledge on the subject they are writing and are not going to spoil a story by lack of fact. More research should be made before going to print.

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