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Groundbreaking Study Exposes PMDD's True Reach


A woman wrapped in a blacket sits on a window sill and looks out contemplatively
While often underdiagnosed, PMDD affects millions globally

A groundbreaking review recently published in the Journal of Affective Disorders exposed that Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) is higher than what is currently diagnosed.


We could have told them that! Yet, this scientific validation brings a ray of hope.


For those unfamiliar, PMDD isn't your run-of-the-mill PMS; it's a mood disorder intricately tied to the menstrual cycle, wreaking havoc on daily life and relationships, often accompanied by distressing thoughts. And it's a debilitating condition.


This study casts a much-needed spotlight on PMDD, providing crucial awareness for healthcare professionals and individuals, and hints that this condition is even more widespread than once thought.


PMDD Study Findings


Let's dive into the study's findings. While some experts had previously predicted that 5-8% of those who menstruate have PMDD, this study, led by Dr. Thomas Reilly from the University of Oxford's Department of Psychiatry, provides evidence that at least 1.6% meet the strict diagnostic criteria globally, amounting to 31 million people. Further, 3.2%, have provisional diagnoses, hinting at a significant portion whose symptoms may not yet meet the diagnostic threshold.


So while the study's numbers are lower than other predictions, it does not suggest fewer people are affected. Rather it provides evidence that the condition affects menstruators globally and that many who have the condition are simply not being diagnosed. As Dr. Reilly emphasized, “Because diagnostic criteria is so strict, this is likely an underestimation of the lifetime prevalence of PMDD, and many more women and girls may be undiagnosed.


Raise PMDD Awareness


PMDD isn't just about cramps and mood swings; it's a complex interplay of emotional turmoil, physical discomfort, and cognitive challenges. From depression to joint pain to cognitive fog, the symptoms are as diverse as they are debilitating. However, despite its widespread impact, PMDD often flies under the radar, brushed aside, or misdiagnosed due to a glaring lack of awareness among healthcare providers.


As a menstruator, it's important to understand PMDD symptoms, how to get diagnosed and treatment options. And everyone can benefit from understanding


Dr. Reilly doesn't mince words: urgent action is needed. Bridging the chasm between gynecology and mental health services is imperative to ensure comprehensive care for those grappling with PMDD's devastating effects.


PMDD Misconceptions Challenged


This research shatters misconceptions about PMDD, dispelling notions that it's merely a medicalization of normal menstrual symptoms or limited to Western cultures, and highlights PMDD's global reach, underscoring the urgency for robust public health strategies and research initiatives.


Co-author Clare Knox, drawing from personal experience, echoes the call for improved diagnostics, effective treatments, and unwavering support systems for the millions worldwide navigating the tumult of PMDD.


In essence, this study is more than just statistics; it's a rallying cry for recognition, understanding, and action in the face of PMDD's silent suffering.


Can Menstrual Products Help PMDD


No, not directly.


The bodies of three diverse women in underwear hold joni organic period pads
Period products can't cure PMDD but finding care that feels good for your body can help reduce stress

PMDD is classified as a mental health diagnosis in the DSM-5, the go-to manual utilized by healthcare professionals globally for diagnosing mental disorders.


While there may be arguments surrounding the potential impact of chemicals found in various products on both mental and physical well-being, including those used in period care products, there's no evidence linking them to PMDD.


Yet when a person struggles physically or mentally, the threshold for discomfort is lowered, and discomfort can cause greater stress, further decreasing that threshold. This, in turn, can escalate stress levels, exacerbating their overall discomfort.


If you're navigating the complexities of PMDD or any other menstrual-related condition, selecting the right products can indeed make a world of difference. For some who struggle with vulva rashes and irritation, for example, the silky and soft texture of joni’s organic and toxin-free bamboo pads can provide relief.

Five start review from Jenny titled Relief Finally

For others, a menstrual cup that does not require to be changed for longer periods of time may reduce the stress of having to frequently change products when they struggle to leave bed. Yet others find cups too painful for their body to use. Every body is different, and you have to use the products that are right for you. It’s part of your bodily agency and advocacy process.



As a period care brand dedicated to empowering everyone who menstruates, we stand in solidarity with those affected by PMDD. We echo the call for greater awareness, education, and support to ensure that every woman receives the care and understanding she deserves. Together, let's break the stigma surrounding PMDD and prioritize the health and well-being of those who menstruate everywhere.


 

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