PMS doesn’t exist. Period.

Don’t blame premenstrual syndrome for feeling depressed, stressed and irritable. Turns out it may be a myth, according to a recently published paper in the journal Gender Medicine by a University of Toronto-led research team.

The researchers don’t dispute physical symptoms linked to menstruation, such as bloating or abdominal pain. But after reviewing 47 studies they found no clear evidence to support the idea that a woman’s menstrual cycle puts her in a negative mood in the days before her periods.

“This puzzlingly widespread belief needs challenging,” concluded the authors of Mood and the Menstrual Cycle: A Review of Prospective Data Studies.

Gillian Einstein, one of the report’s authors, told Torstar News Service. “We have a menstrual cycle and we have moods, but they don’t necessarily correlate.”

So why do women attribute feeling down to their menstrual cycles?

For one thing, PMS is a social construct, rooted in negative feelings many cultures have toward menstruation, a natural female function, said Einstein, a neuroscientist and director of the Collaborative Graduate Program in Women’s Health at the university.

Another possibility, she suggested, is that “this is the time of the month when women are given permission to not be sweet, docile and cheerful — expected attributes of women.

“It may be the time of the month when (women) feel they can say what’s on their minds.”

Or as comic Roseanne Barr once put it, “Women complain about PMS, but I think of it as the only time of the month when I can be myself.”

PMS has long been the butt of jokes, with some referring to it as Pissy Mood Syndrome and Pardon My Sobbing. But turns out there may not even be anything to joke about.

For their review, the U of T researchers combed through studies dating back to 1806. They found 646 that dealt with mood and the menstrual cycle — but only focused on 47 that met vigorous scientific criteria.

Of those, 18 showed no evidence of negative mood at any time of the month; another 18 found women were moody before and during their period; seven found classic PMS symptoms and in four studies women were actually crankier when they weren’t premenstrual.

A problem with much of the data was that women knew the real purpose of those studies, which may have influenced their responses.

“What’s interesting about this review is that this is the information that the medical community, psychiatric community and people who are treating women who come in complaining of PMS — this is the literature they rely on,” said Einstein. “And, it’s not that great. Most of it doesn’t meet strong standards of evidence.”

To fill the need for more rigorous research, the team of researchers did their own studies. They found no relationship between women’s hormone levels and their moods, either positive or negative. Negative mood was much more strongly linked with poor health and high stress levels.

Sure, women are sometimes cranky, snarky, even weepy. But that’s more likely related to their circumstances.

If women are really stressed out, or struggling with a bad life situation, they’re doing themselves a disservice by chalking up their negative mood to PMS, because then they won’t get the help they need, said Einstein.

“There are lots of things in the social sphere that affect women that are not completely tied to the biology of being a woman,” she said. “Don’t underestimate the power of life’s circumstances to affect how you’re feeling.”

I KNOW you have an opinion about this research, and it’s findings..!  I only ask, that you keep it clean….thx

p.s. I believe PMS is a real thing….just sayin…