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Criteria for diagnosing the core premenstrual disorder

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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Criteria for diagnosing the core premenstrual disorder

The International Society for Premenstrual Disorders (ISPMD) has defined the following criteria for the diagnosis of core premenstrual disorder:

  • it is precipitated by ovulation
  • symptoms are not defined, although typical symptoms exist
  • any number of symptoms can be present
  • physical and psychological symptoms are important
  • symptoms recur in the luteal phase
  • symptoms disappear by the end of menstruation
  • a symptom-free week occurs between menstruation and ovulation
  • symptoms must be prospectively rated
  • symptoms are not an exacerbation of an underlying psychological or physical disorder
  • symptoms cause significant distress and impairment of daily activities, such as work commitments, social interactions and family activities (1).


  • some patients with severe psychological symptom may fulfil the American Psychiatric Association (APA) criteria for premenstrual dysphoric disorder
  • the criteria for premenstrual syndrome and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) fulfil the ISPMD criteria for core premenstrual disorder (2)


  1. Walsh S, Ismaili E, Naheed B, O'Brien S. Diagnosis, pathophysiology and management of premenstrual syndrome. The Obstetrician &Gynaecologist 2015;17:99-104
  2. O'Brien S et al. Diagnosis and management of premenstrual disorders. BMJ. 2011;342:d2994.

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