The answer is: it entirely depends on the knowledge of the professional you see. You may find a GP with excellent knowledge or you may find specialists such as gynecologists, endocrinologists, or psychiatrists who have no knowledge of PMDD.
With this in mind we have created a directory of providers across the world who have been recommended by other patients with PMDD. These providers are either recommended to this directory by other patients with PMDD or are providers who have made the commitment to properly diagnose and treat PMDD patients. Please note that not all providers listed are aware that another patient has recommended them. When contacting the practice do inquire about their experience of treating people with PMDD and ensure you are comfortable with their level of knowledge and what they can offer.
It can be very challenging to find a health care provider who is well informed on symptoms, diagnosis and treatment options for PMDD. It is not uncommon for those with PMDD to meet with several doctors before finding a provider that is right for them - Do not give up though. We strongly advise you to keep trying until you find the right person to help you. You may need to self advocate - but we are here to help!
It is important to prepare for any appointments by making sure you have clear tracking of your symptoms - preferably printed out to take with you. It is also helpful to write down any medications you have tried previously and how you have reacted to them.
In answer to the initial question - your GP can help you with the first line treatments (SSRIs and/or recommended Birth-control pills). At a later stage of treatment, gynecologists, endocrinologists, or psychiatrists (especially those with an interest in reproductive mental health) can help treat you.
You can find a clinical care help sheet here to help you track down the right person. This document will help you (1) find a clinician to best diagnose and treat you (2) start the conversation with your doctor on PMDD and (3) provide your doctor with the information needed to make an informed diagnosis and treatment plan.
Some things to consider:
- It can be helpful to see a skilled psychiatrist if you are unsure if you have PMDD and/or PME so they can help make a differential diagnosis.
- If you have gynaecological symptoms in addition, a gynaecologist may be a better fit so they can ensure you are receiving the correct treatment for multiple conditions.
- Ensure that your provider has good knowledge of PMDD - if they speak about treating a ‘hormone imbalance’ to treat PMDD, then their knowledge is not up to date.
- IAPMD is currently building accredited provider training so that doctors around the globe can (and will!) be educated on PMDD and how to diagnose, respond and treat it appropriately.