To assess the attitudes of women with premenstrual symptoms in relation to their perception of complaints and request for medical advice.
Cross-sectional study of a representative cohort of 2018 Spanish women aged 15–49 years. Participants were personally interviewed at home and completed the premenstrual symptoms screening tool.
A total of 1554 women (73.7%) complained of some of the premenstrual symptoms during the last 12 menstrual cycles. The prevalence of moderate or severe premenstrual syndrome (PMS) was 8.9% and the prevalence of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) 1.1%. Only 291 (18.7%) women had sought medical advice. The main reason given by 90.6% of symptomatic women for not seeking medical consultation was to consider that symptoms were normal. A total of 175 (60.1%) women received pharmacological treatment (hormonal contraceptives in 95% followed by analgesics in 50% and anti-inflammatory agents in 44%), 20% were not treated because physicians considered that symptoms were not important and would disappear spontaneously, and 12% received only advice to change life style.
Women suffering from PMS or PMDD do not usually seek medical advice and among those seeking medical care, in many cases, an adequate response to their demands is not obtained.
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Published online: July 11, 2011
Accepted: June 23, 2011
Received in revised form: May 5, 2011
Received: October 8, 2010
© 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.