DAN Medical Frequently Asked Questions

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Premenstrual Syndrome

What are the affects PMS will have on me when I dive?

Premenstrual Syndrome, or PMS, is a group of poorly understood and poorly defined psychophysiological symptoms experienced by many women (25-50 percent of women) at the end of the menstrual cycle, just prior to the menstrual flow.
PMS symptoms include mood swings, irritability, decreased mental alertness, tension, fatigue, depression, headaches, bloating, swelling, breast tenderness, joint pain and food cravings. Severe premenstrual syndrome has been found to exacerbate underlying emotional disorders. Although progesterone is used in some cases, no consistent, simple treatments are available.

Fitness and Diving Issues
Research has shown that accidents in general are more common among women during PMS. If women suffer from premenstrual syndrome, it may be wise to dive conservatively during this time. There is no scientific evidence, however, that they are more susceptible to decompression illness or dive injuries/accidents.
Also, individuals with evidence of depression or antisocial tendencies should be evaluated for their fitness to participate in diving: they may pose a risk to themselves or a dive buddy.