Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology


PMS Program


The PMS Program is conducted for the treatment and investigation of premenstrual syndromes (PMS).  PMS is a poorly understood disorder that affects 20% - 25% of reproductive age women to a degree that diminishes usual functioning and causes significant distress.  The National Institutes of Health has provided support for this Program since 1988.

Clinical activities of the PMS Program are focused on the evaluation of PMS and the efficacy of potential treatments for the disorder.  The PMS Program currently offers clinical trials of hormonal treatments and psychotropic medications, particularly the serotonergic reuptake inhibitors that provide significant symptom relief for this disorder.  The effectiveness of long-term treatment of this chronic disorder is of current importance.

Associated research activities of the PMS Program at this time are focused on studies of allopregnanolone, a metabolite of the reproductive hormone progesterone.  PMS can be considered a consequence of complex interactions between ovarian steroid production, central neurotransmitters and peripheral autonomic and endocrine systems.  Studies in this area potentially provide information for diagnosis and treatment not only of PMS but also of depression, anxiety, epilepsy and infertility.  Development of diagnostic criteria for the clinical evaluation of premenstrual distress is also of ongoing importance for the research activities of the Program.