PMS: Loads of women have it. For some, it’s a mild annoyance, but for others, it can be totally disabling.
Considering how many women it effects, one would assume that the medical world is racing to find a cure for it so that we can all live happier, more productive, pain-free lives.
Alas - this isn’t so, and rather than a logical explanation for this, it sounds like lots of researchers just can’t be bothered.
Yup. Just to twist the knife, according to ResearchGate, there are five times more studies done on erectile dysfunction than on premenstrual syndrome. Considering that erectile dysfunction affects 19% of men, while PMS affects 90% of women, that seems outrageously unfair.
The problem all stems from researchers disagreeing on how to define PMS, because it’s hard to determine which symptoms are actually related to the period and which aren’t. It’s also complicated, as symptoms and severity differ from woman to woman. And for each woman, symptoms can vary from month to month.
As a result, it’s tricky to study, so there hasn’t been much research into it. But in turn this also means there’s less funding going towards new studies, leading to a vicious cycle.
And since when did we stop studying illnesses just because they’re complicated?
The worst thing of all is that some scientists have even claimed that the condition doesn’t even exist. Kathleen Lustyk, a psychologist from the University of Washington, told ResearchGate that she had had grant reviews rejected on these grounds and that reviewers suggested it was ‘merely a product of our society or culture that has painted a natural process in a negative light and that, given its monthly predictability, leads to suffering through anticipation.’
“I suspect that this is a fancy way of saying it’s really just in a woman’s head,” Lustyk concluded.
Makes your head want to explode, no? Because of course it exists - it doesn’t exactly take long to find a woman suffering from it.
Thankfully, there is something you can do to turn the tables. The International Society for Premenstrual Disorders recommends women keep a diary or use a period tracking app like Clue to give medical professionals valuable information for research.
Come on folks - let’s change things for the better.
What do you think of such attitudes to PMS in research? Tweet us at @YahooStyleUK.