First, the good news.

Researchers have found that there is no connection between PMS - or premenstrual syndrome - and subsequent hot flashes during menopause later in life.


But, don't celebrate too soon. There is also some bad news.

Researchers have also found that there is a link between PMS symptoms now and other symptoms commonly associated with menopause - such as memory and concentration problems - later in life.


The study was conducted by researchers at Helsinki University Central Hospital in Finland and published recently in the journal Menopause. For their research, the authors interviewed 120 post-menopausal women about the PMS symptoms they experienced when they had periods as well as the symptoms they experienced in menopause. None of the women in the study had taken hormone replacement therapy medications.

Researchers found that the women who had experienced PMS symptoms earlier in life were more likely to report problems with memory and concentration, depression, sleep problems and low self-esteem during menopause.

It's not known exactly how many women suffer from PMS symptoms such as mood changes, headache, breast tenderness, bloating, fatigue, sleep changes and food cravings, but experts at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have estimated that about 85 percent of women report at least one PMS symptom.

Researchers don't know if the link between PMS and menopause is related to genetics or if it's more along the lines of the women's ability to cope with pain and discomfort.

One good tidbit to come from all of this is that it gives women more of a heads up about what to expect when they do reach menopause. Chances are, if you had a lot of problems with PMS symptoms, you will also experience more intense symptoms during menopause. Knowing this ahead of time may give women more of an opportunity to make a plan of action with their health care providers to address symptoms.

And the other bit of good news is that the same strategies that women can use to improve PMS symptoms can also help alleviate the symptoms of menopause - getting regular exercise, eating lots of fruits and veggies, and getting plenty of sleep.

So there, it's not all bad. Guess we have to take what we can get, right?

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