Why this investigation?
For many women with PMS there is no satisfying conventional treatment
There is no satisfying conventional treatment for women with PMS as yet. In the past, hormones were prescribed. At present, the usual conventional therapy for severe PMS or PMDD is the use of Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), a type of antidepressant, or a Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill (COCP). These therapies are evidence-based and diminishing of symptoms is reported, but side effects can occur. Moreover, many woman would rather not use those medicines. Homeopathy could offer a safe alternative and this needs to be further investigated.
A homeopathic PMS questionnaire proved to be useful
For the targeted individualised homeopathic treatment we developed a questionnaire and treatment schedule. They help the homeopathic doctor/homeopath to select the most appropriate medicine for each women. In previous research we evaluated the practical use of this questionnaire and proved its worth. With it, we hope to improve the effectiveness of homeopathic management of women with PMS/PMDD/premenstrual symptoms.
We would like to evaluate the value and position of this homeopathic treatment in Dutch, Swedish and German health care. Therefore, we organise this pilot study to evaluate the feasibility of a larger international study. In 3 countries we will compare the usual care for PMS by the family physician or medical specialist with additional homeopathic treatment. We will measure differences in treatment results between the two groups, by calculating changes in premenstrual symptom scores. We also investigate the kind of conventional treatment that is advised in the 3 countries.
Preferences and expectations
We think it is important to know if women will have a preference for a certain treatment for premenstrual symptoms and also what is their main concern, what it is they want to be helped with. After the study, we will ask if women are satisfied about the treatment they have had and about the changes they have observed. We will investigate this in 38 women with premenstrual symptoms in each country: the Netherlands, Germany and Sweden.