Pre-Menstrual Syndrome remains taboo among Chennaiites

Members of Doctors Association for Social Equality (DASE) say 10 percent of women undergo Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS) in the city.

Chennai: Although Chinese swimming sensation Fu Yuanhui has been applauded for breaking the taboo discussing menstruation, city doctors say menstruation and its related problems are still a taboo among city dwellers.

Members of Doctors Association for Social Equality (DASE) say 10 percent of women undergo Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS) in the city.

PMS, an often neglected medical condition affects women’s emotions, physical health and it causes behavioral changes during certain days of the menstrual cycle, generally just before menses.

“Unfortunately, awareness about these hormonal changes is little even among educated women. Although it is not a fatal condition like cancer or TB, we urge the government to conduct screenings across the state to diagnose this problem because the condition has direct impact on the mental health of a woman,” said a gynecologist.

PMS ranges from mild to moderate to severe. While physical problems involve pain in breasts, tenderness, bloating, etc, psychological conditions vary from mood swings to depression to suicidal tendency.

Building awareness about PMS is important especially when more women choose to work outside home, said Josphine Sagayam, a gender activist.

“Although it is a common condition among menstruating women, state governments and central governments have still not acknowledged it. It is time the condition concerning women’s health was addressed, especially in a state ruled by a woman,” said Sagayam.

Doctors say depression among women is at an all-time high and PMS is a major cause for depression.

But only a very few women seek medical help to overcome this situation. Others tend to ignore and consider this abnormal condition as normal.


“While B complex supplements and hormonal pills can mitigate mild to moderate PMS, severe conditions coupled with other problems are a serious cause for concern and it needs timely medical intervention,” said gynecologist Dr Vijayalekhmi, Vijaya Hospital.

“During nights when my husband and kids sleep peacefully by my side, I lay awake, feeling worthless and shed tears in distress, for no reason. It is a terrible feeling and I am at loss for words. I can only say that at times I contemplate death, prior to my periods,” said Sangeetha, a mother of two children.

Sangeetha is one among many women who walks towards the edge of life and returns unhurt every month.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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