A simple strategy to detect significant premenstrual changes

J H Schagen van Leeuwen, E R te Velde, W J Kop, H M van der Ploeg, A A Haspels
Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology 1993, 14 (3): 211-22
The prevalence of the ten most prominent premenstrual symptoms (top-ten) was calculated in Dutch women (n = 202), who considered themselves to suffer from complaints related to menstruation. Premenstrual syndrome was diagnosed where the scores of 5 or more of the top-ten symptoms showed an increase of at least 2 points (on a visual analog scale rated from 1 to 10) from day 12 to day 26 during two consecutive cycles. This diagnosis was confirmed in almost all subjects using a 'gold standard' criterion of an increase of at least 30% in complaints from the follicular phase to the luteal phase. In contrast to the latter strategy the 'top-ten' method successfully excluded women who felt free from premenstrual complaints. It is concluded that the 'top-ten' method is a simple and valid strategy to detect significant premenstrual changes.

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