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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 June 2008, 06:09 GMT 07:09 UK
PMT: Your stories
Most women get mild PMT like feeling ratty, bloated or getting cramps. But around 1 in 20 have such severe emotional symptoms they say they just can't cope with life around their periods. These women volunteered to tell Newsbeat their stories. Some names have been changed.

Drugs
Women who suffer from PMT can be prescribed drugs to ease the pain

Ruth, 25, Dorset

My PMT touches every area of my life. It has created all sorts of problems at work, and I am now involved a legal process in a bid to sort it out.

It also affects my relationships with men. I want to split up with whoever I'm going out with once a month.

Keeping close friends is also really hard, as I can't handle being around people for up to two weeks of every month for fear of rejection or in case they think I am mad!

It's a constant battle to maintain the life I build up when I feel well. My hormones make me feel paranoid, change how I feel about everything and create instant depression.

I have tried so many kinds of anti-depressants but none have helped me. My case is so severe I am now taking Hormone Replacement Therapy.

I hope it works.

Claire, 26, London

I think one of the reasons I lost a great boyfriend was because of my PMT.

I am usually kind and outgoing but I get mood swings just before my period and cramps which are so bad that I can't sleep.

I managed to avoid my boyfriend seeing me like this for ages. When I tried to explain, he used to joke "PMT doesn't actually exist!"

Last year I was away a lot with work and holidays, and it ended up that nearly all the time we spent together had to be just before my periods.

Would you want to stay with someone who breaks down in tears on the bus for no reason or has a massive go at you for something tiny? He didn't.

I have been offered anti-depressants but I don't like the idea of getting hooked on them.

Sian, 29, Hertfordshire

I am trying out anti-depressants because I am a PE teacher and my lack of energy around my period is affecting how well I can do my job.

I just have no energy to do anything. I was put on the drugs pretty quickly after seeing my doctor, but they have told me they are to treat my PMT, not because they think I am clinically depressed.

The other option they gave me was the coil, but because I didn't know much about it and I had to make a decision quickly, I didn't go for it.

I have been on the pill in the past but I can't go back on it because it makes my periods and symptoms worse. I do feel much calmer on anti-depressants but I don't want to be on them forever.

Jessica, 25, Kent

I started having problems as a teenager.

I was drained and felt down and got bad mood swings before my period and had to take a day or two off school a month.

When I was 14, my doctor prescribed me Prozac to treat the PMT. It was the first thing they offered me and it didn't work.

Since then I have been on many different contraceptive pills and tried all sorts of potions to manage my periods.

It is my opinion that doctors dish out drugs like sweets instead of promoting a more rounded approach to women's health.

I feel a lot better now after making changes to my diet and exercising more.

April, 28, Bedford

I didn't speak to a doctor for years. I tried to carry on without any help, but the PMT was badly affecting my life.

I broke down crying all the time and got annoyed easily.

Things calmed down when I was pregnant, but got much worse again after I had children.

I realised how much my hormones were affecting things and visited my GP. She was actually very understanding.

I was put on anti-depressants after I kept a diary of my symptoms. I still cry and am ratty but it's not as bad as it was.

I feel more normal and I can enjoy life more.




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