Laura Weiss Roberts, Teresita McCarty, and Sally K. Severino
University of New Mexico School of Medicine
I. Historical Background
II. Normal Menstrual Cycle
III. Developmental View of Women's Health and the Menstrual Cycle
IV. Phenomenology of Premenstrual Syndrome
V. Restoring Mental and Physical Health Related to the Menstrual Cycle
Follicular Phase of the Menstrual Cycle The initial portion of the menstrual cycle, starting at the onset of menses until ovulation occurs. The length of the follicular phase is variable.
Hypothalamus and Pituitary Gland Subcortical, midline brain structures that function in the regulation of a number of neuroendocrine systems. Lesions and tumors of the hypothalamus frequently are associated with a broad variety of psychiatric, physical, and behavioral symptoms such as emotional changes (e.g., apathy, sadness, nervousness, irritability, frequent crying), paranoia, abnormal menstrual and thyroid function, and appetite and sleep problems. Luteal Phase of the Menstrual Cycle The latter portion of the menstrual cycle starting after ovulation until the onset of menses. The phase is about 14 days long and is named after the corpus luteum of the ovary.
Ovaries Paired sexual organs, located in the lower abdomen of women, that serve as the source of ova and secrete a number of steroid hormones necessary for menstruation, ovulation, first trimester pregnancy sustenance, and other aspects of women's sexual health.
Ovulation The point in the menstrual cycle at which the egg, the reproductive germ cell, is released from a mature ovarian follicle.
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD), formerly Late Luteal Phase Dysphoric Disorder (LLPDD) Terms that refer to that small percentage of women who have premenstrual syndrome with primarily emotional symptoms severe enough to affect their ability to function at home or in the workplace. Premenstrual Exacerbation Aggravation of such chronic conditions such as asthma, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, substance abuse, headaches, allergies, seizures, or herpes during the premenstrual phase.
Premenstrual Phase, also "Late Luteal Phase'' or "Premenstruum" The 5- to 7-day period immediately preceding menses.
Premenstrual Symptoms Those physical, behavioral, or mood changes that appear to change in severity during the late luteal phase of the cycle, do not exist in the same form or severity during the mid or late follicular phase, and disappear or return to their usual level of severity during menses.
Preventive Health Care Clinical care that places an emphasis on the decreased incidence (i.e., number of new cases each year) of disease (primary prevention), the early recognition and eradication of disease (secondary prevention), and the minimization of suffering caused by disease (tertiary prevention). Uterus The womb, a hollow, muscular organ in women that opens to the vaginal canal and undergoes
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Pre-Menstrual Syndrome Treatment Interventions sequential and cyclic changes (i.e., proliferative, secretory, menstrual) between menarche and menopause. It is the structure in which the fertilized ovum normally becomes embedded and the developing fetus matures before birth.
PREMENSTRUAL SYNDROME (PMS) refers to a condition that some women experience preceding the onset of their monthly menses. It consists of the cyclic recurrence of physical, psychological, and/or behavioral symptoms of sufficient severity that medical treatment is sought. Optimal care for the physical and psychological well-being of women who suffer from PMS is built on an understanding of the developmental aspects of women's sexual health, including biological, psychological, and social/cultural influences.
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