MONDAY, Sept. 12, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Premenstrual mood changes are a persistent issue among women of reproductive age, according to a study published online Aug. 26 in the Archives of Women’s Mental Health.

Liisa Hantsoo, Ph.D., from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues used a large international dataset to explore patterns in premenstrual symptom frequency with age. A survey was administered to users of the Flo mobile app (ages 18 to 55 years). The analysis included responses from 238,114 app users from 140 countries.

The researchers found that the most common symptoms reported were food cravings (85.28 percent), mood swings or anxiety (64.18 percent), and fatigue (57.3 percent). With increasing age, absentmindedness, low libido, sleep changes, gastrointestinal symptoms, weight gain, headaches, sweating or hot flashes, fatigue, hair changes, rashes, and swelling were significantly more frequent. There was no variance observed in the frequency of mood swings and anxiety by age group. More than one-fourth of the respondents (28.61 percent) reported that premenstrual symptoms interfered with their everyday life during each menstrual cycle.

“We found that a significant proportion of women reported that premenstrual symptoms interfered with daily functioning every cycle in the overall sample but that this proportion varied widely by country, indicating a need for further study,” the authors write.

Two authors are employees of Flo Health Inc.

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