By: Bibi Deitz, February 2021

But PMS has a cruel cousin, PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder), which is a more intense syndrome that can cause damage to little things like your personal relationships and your work life. So we tapped Kecia Gaither, MD, MPH, FACOG, the director of perinatal services at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln, who is double board-certified in OB/GYN and maternal fetal medicine, for a little more info about the differences between PMS and PMDD—and how to find out what you have and what to do about it. “PMDD is a severe form of PMS which can potentially negatively impact a woman’s ability to function,” Gaither tells us. “The main distinguishing factor between PMS and PMDD is the dominance of specific emotional and behavioral symptoms.” While PMS certainly has emotional symptoms—anyone who’s spent a perfectly good Tuesday on a crying jag for no good reason the day before their period knows this all too well—PMDD carries with it more debilitating emotional and behavioral disturbances.

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