Is PMS Inflammatory Condition?

When you mention “one of those days, just a bad phase” most women will not think of Pink Floyd’s lyrics. The critical days during every month remind too many women of headaches, tender breasts, abdominal pain, depression, troubles with sleeping, mood swings, general sensitivity, fatigue and gaining weight due to abnormal desire to eat candies and carbs. The critical days also known as the period of premenstrual symptoms can seriously handicap many women making them less productive and hard to cope with due to irritability and physical discomfort. On the other hand, although developed countries even allow women to be absent from work during that day, there is still too many people, men particularly, believing that PMS is a myth and exaggerated complaining by spoiled and capricious women.

After the research conducted by a team of medical experts at the University of California, the science defends women proving the link between PMS symptoms and underlying inflammation.
Namely, scientists decided to go deeper into exploring possible causes and mechanisms of premenstrual symptoms and the determined association between severity of these symptoms and blood concentration of C-reactive protein.

C-reactive protein (CRP) is one of the inflammatory mediators often used as lab indicator to detect infections or other kinds of inflammations, as well as some cardiovascular diseases.


The research involved 3 300 women aged 42 to 52, who were healthy and did not take any hormonal treatment. Women answered series of questions about variety and severity of their PMS symptoms and the high sensitivity CRP was measured in their blood.

After the data was collected, the team of scientists has analyzed gathered information and found an intriguing connection. Women who reported frequent and intensive symptoms had higher blood concentration of CRP during premenstrual days.

In addition to that, these conclusions correlated with anamnesis information from the same women who reported relief of symptoms when using anti-inflammatory drugs during troubling days.


Arguing the newly found association between PMS symptoms and inflammatory indicator CRP, the researchers agree that more analyzing and investigation is needed in future.

Currently, the data show a correlation between these two, but it remains to be determined whether PMS is inflammatory condition itself causing a higher concentration of CRP or higher concentration of CRP caused by some other inflammatory condition makes these women more susceptible to intensive PMS symptoms.

It is certain that CRP concentration above three milligrams per liter was followed by the greater variety and more intensive symptoms compared to women who had a lower concentration. The same correlation was determined between CRP concentration and some other conditions, such as depression or obesity.

The research and its results offer several significant aspects. It is important finding of the causes of premenstrual symptoms and might contribute to further understanding of underlying mechanisms. It may also lead to target treatment of these symptoms that could help many women worldwide cope with the tough period in a month, stay functional and with just slight discomfort. It may also reveal the connection between these symptoms and a higher risk of some other conditions that could be prevented if caught and treated timely.

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