A better Medway
Published: Monday, 13th May 2019

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) is a condition that affects around 1 in 20 women and people assigned female at birth.

PMDD is a suspected genetic disorder with symptoms that often get worse over time and around reproductive events including:

  • menarche - the first time a person gets their period
  • ovulation
  • pregnancy
  • birth
  • miscarriage
  • perimenopause - which starts several years before menopause

50% of those with PMDD will make a suicide attempt in their reproductive lifetime.

90% of those with PMDD are thought to be undiagnosed.

Symptoms of PMDD

Symptoms of PMDD include:

  • feelings of sadness or despair or even thoughts of suicide
  • feelings of tension or anxiety, panic attacks, mood swings, or frequent crying
  • lasting irritability or anger that affects other people
  • a lack of interest in daily activities and relationships
  • trouble thinking or focusing
  • tiredness or low energy
  • food cravings or binge eating
  • trouble sleeping
  • a feeling out of control
  • physical symptoms such as bloating, breast tenderness, headaches, and joint or muscle pain

These symptoms occur during a week or two before menstruation and go away within a few days after bleeding begins. A diagnosis of PMDD requires the presence of at least five of these symptoms. 

There is no one experience of PMDD - it varies in timescale, severity and symptoms for each person.

How to adjust for employees with PMDD

If you have female employees, you need to know about PMDD and how to make appropriate reasonable adjustments.  

Workshops to understand PMDD and employment support for employers are currently being offered in Kent by See Her Thrive - to help you create an inclusive and supportive environment for your employees to thrive.

See Her Thrive has linked with Laura Murphy (founder of Vicious Cycle: Making PMDD Visible project) and on the Board of Directors at the International Association for Premenstrual Disorders (IAPMD) to deliver workshops in the South East.

Find out more about PMDD

You can also find out more by emailing hello@viciouscyclepmdd.com.

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