Premenstrual Syndrome Differential Diagnoses

Updated: Feb 19, 2021
  • Author: Megan A Moreno, MD, MSEd, MPH; Chief Editor: Andrea L Zuckerman, MD  more...
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Diagnostic Considerations

Other problems to be considered in the differential diagnosis of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) include the following:

  • Depression
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)
  • Dysmenorrhea [18, 21]

It is important to rule out other conditions that cause erratic or dysphoric behavior before diagnosing PMS. Rare conditions, such as temporal lobe epilepsy, may cause behavioral changes consistent with PMS. However, these behaviors should not cluster during the luteal phase.

Some parents view their daughter's dysphoria as PMS instead of recognizing a more serious depression and suicidal ideation. In this situation, the parent often is looking for a way to avoid recognizing the possibility that their child is experiencing mental health symptoms. If the physician accepts this history uncritically, a serious depressive disorder may be misdiagnosed as PMS.

Differential Diagnoses