There are no laboratory tests that make PMS identification simple. Correct diagnosis of symptoms is an essential first step for successful therapy and treatment. You can make a successful diagnosis by keeping a 'symptoms diary' over a period of at least three months. A personal diary is a far more reliable method than trying to remember when your symptoms occurred. It provides written evidence of the precise date of menstruation and the symptoms you experienced.
Charts are available from the National Association for Premenstrual Syndrome (NAPS), together with a personal symptoms checklist:
- On a daily calendar, a symbol is used to identify the two or three worst symptoms, for example M for menstruation, H for headache, I for irritability, B for breast tenderness.
- The severity of each condition can be scored on a scale of 0 to 3.
A wide range of period tracking apps are now free to download: these include Clue, Glow, Pink Pad Period & Fertility Tracker Pro, GP Apps Period Tracker, and iPeriod Period Tracker.