Menstruation is a natural process that can often come with a degree of discomfort as the uterus prepares to shed. However, for some women, the effects can be horrendous. It’s estimated that around 5 to 8 percent of women experience moderate to severe symptoms that have a noticeably negative impact on their lives, mental health, and ability to function normally. These premenstrual disorders (PMDs) affect millions of women globally, yet shockingly little is still known about their long-term consequences.

A recent nationwide observational study in Sweden has shed light on a concerning finding – women with PMDs have an increased risk of suicide. The study revealed that women with PMDs are more than twice as likely to die by suicide compared to women without PMDs. This sobering figure emphasizes the urgent need for more research and understanding to help those who suffer from PMDs.

The study conducted by women’s mental health epidemiologist Marion Opatowski and her team at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden followed 67,748 women diagnosed with PMDs between 2001 and 2018. They found that while women with PMDs did not have a higher overall risk of mortality, they did have a significantly higher risk of death by non-natural causes, particularly suicide. This highlights the importance of careful follow-up and the development of suicide prevention strategies for women with PMDs, especially young patients.

Despite previous research indicating that PMDs are highly comorbid with psychiatric disorders, the elevated risk of suicide among women with PMDs remained even after accounting for this factor. The study did not delve into the reasons for this link, but it established that a connection exists. Interestingly, women with PMDs were found to have a lower risk of death associated with cardiovascular causes, potentially due to closer contact with health providers and certain medications prescribed for PMDs.

While the study provides valuable insights into the link between PMDs and suicide risk among women, further investigation is needed to understand the underlying mechanisms and develop effective prevention strategies. By addressing the mental health implications of PMDs and providing comprehensive support and treatment options, we can work towards reducing the risk of suicide and improving the overall well-being of women affected by these disorders. It is clear that more work needs to be done to support women with PMDs and prevent the tragic consequences associated with these conditions.

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