Lifestyle change. Prioritizing exercise, sticking to a consistent sleep schedule, and reducing stress as much as possible in the weeks leading up to your period can also help, Dr. “I find these lifestyle changes, which take effort, can feel very good for women.”
As with CBT, lifestyle changes may only go so far in relieving severe cases of PMDD on their own, but they can complement other treatments.
Calcium. There is also limited evidence that taking certain supplements, especially calcium, which may reduce PMDD symptoms. While supplements may not work in severe cases, they may be worth a try. Dr. Schiller says of her PMDD patients: “If women don’t take a calcium multivitamin, I usually give them a start.
Injections. If none of these options ease your symptoms, your doctor may suggest that you consider an injectable medication called leuprolide acetate (Lupron General Warehouse), can be used off-label to treat PMDD. This medication, which can be used once a month or every three months, stops the ovaries from producing estrogen and progesterone, possibly eliminating monthly symptoms.
For some women, it can make “a huge difference in mood and ability to function,” says Dr. Cons: It might not be sustainable in the long run because it’s expensive — about $2,000 (or more) per injection, she says — and insurance often doesn’t cover it. It can also cause side effects such as headache, fever, and muscle aches.
Surgery. If you have exhausted all other treatments for PMDD, the last option is to have your ovaries removed. While extreme, Dr. Schiller said, many patients have had success with this surgery.
“The point is finding a provider that will work with you to find an effective treatment,” she adds.