Premenstrual syndrome is less severe in women who live in areas with a lot of greenspace, according to new study

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According to a team of international researchers, women who live in an area with a lot of green space are less likely to suffer from premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a disorder that affects a woman’s emotions, physical health, and behavior on particular days of the menstrual cycle, often immediately before her menses. The group recounts their investigation, which entailed surveying women in Norway and Sweden, and what they learned from analyzing the responses, in an article published in Environment International.

The research team surveyed over 1000 women between the ages of 18 and 49 in Norway and Sweden. During the surveys, women were quizzed on various topics, including their daily routines, health habits, geographic location, and PMS symptoms.

PMS is a psychological and physical ailment that many women suffer in the days leading up to their menstruation. In the past, previous research has revealed that it is linked to changes in hormone levels, which may cause symptoms such as tenderness in the breasts and bloating and mood swings, changes in libido, and sleep issues.

Prior studies have indicated that stress reduction may assist with PMS symptoms, so the researchers in this current study wondered whether the environment a woman lives in would influence the severity of PMS symptoms she experiences. They also point out that living near green places, such as extensive yards, gardens, or parks, has been demonstrated to reduce stress levels in previous research.

Study participants who lived most of their lives in green areas reported lower PMS symptoms, such as less despair and anxiety, more minor sleep issues, less breast tenderness, and less abdominal bloating than those who lived in cities.

Women who lived near green areas for most of their lives were more likely to benefit from the environment than those who lived there for a short time. The researchers could not discover anything in their data to explain the advantages they saw. Still, given that most of the gains were psychological, they are most likely attributable to stress reductions associated with living in such regions.

Reference:

Heinrich, Francisco Gómez Real, Payam Dadvand, Lifelong exposure to residential green space and the premenstrual syndrome: A population-based study of Northern European women, Environment International, Volume 158, 2022, 106975, ISSN 0160-4120, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2021.106975.

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