Donna J. Hagberg, MD

Gynecologist located in Cos Cob, CT

More than 90% of women report experiencing some premenstrual symptoms, but in some women, these symptoms are severe enough to radically interfere with their daily life. If you find PMS disrupts your quality of life and ability to go to work or school, board-certified OB/GYN Donna J. Hagberg, MD, may be able to help. She offers management and prevention strategies for women in Cos Cob, Connecticut, suffering from PMS. Call the office or request an appointment online.


What is PMS?

PMS is not the occasional bloating or cramping that occurs along with your period. The condition is a combination of physical and emotional symptoms that arrive just after ovulation and prior to the start of your period.

These symptoms usually occur due to the falling estrogen and progesterone levels that happen if you don’t get pregnant when an egg is released. Your hormone levels begin to rise again after your period starts and PMS symptoms start to resolve.

What are the symptoms of PMS?

PMS symptoms range from mild to severe and affect every woman differently. They include:

  • Swollen, tender breasts
  • Bloating and gas
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Cramping
  • Headache and backache
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Tension
  • Trouble concentrating and mood swings
  • Depression and feelings of sadness

How is PMS treated?

Dr. Hagberg may recommend simple over-the-counter pain relievers to help you with the physical discomfort of cramping, back pain, and headaches. Sometimes, over-the-counter pain relievers lessen bleeding and pain once your period starts, too.

In serious cases, you may be offered prescription medications to ease your symptoms. These include:

  • Hormonal birth control
  • Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications
  • Water pills or diuretics

Which of these medications will work for you depends on your symptoms. Talk to Dr. Hagberg about the benefits and risks of each choice.

How can PMS be prevented?

Certain lifestyle changes can help mitigate your PMS symptoms or stop them altogether. Regular physical activity and eating a healthy diet that includes small, frequent meals can help keep symptoms under control. Foods rich in calcium as well as fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains support steady moods and a reduction in PMS symptoms. Avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and sweets can also make a difference in your mood. Learn to manage your stress, through self-care routines such as yoga or deep breathing, and to make sleep a priority during the premenstrual time, too.