PMDD Research

UNC Center for Women’s Mood Disorders has research studies available for women struggling with severe premenstrual symptoms. These studies offer free diagnostic evaluation and, for those who qualify, free study-related treatment and/or monetary compensation. All studies are intended to investigate the causes of PMDD and will help guide the development of future treatment interventions.

Get involved in PMDD Research!

Read about new findings by UNC experts:

News Article: Oral Contraceptives May Ease Suffering of Women with Severe PMS
News Article: Researchers at UNC find hereditary link to PMDD
News Article: Abused women appear to suffer cyclic disorder differently

Current Research Studies at UNC

Menstrually-Related Mood Disorders Screening

If you suffer during the week before menstruation from depression, irritability, anxiety or mood swings, and these symptoms interfere with normal functioning or interpersonal relationships, then you may have a menstrually=related mood disorder such as premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). You may receive diagnostic feedback on your symptoms and study-related medical evaluations in this study.

For women who think they may have PMDD and wish to be evaluated for it.

You may qualify if you:
1) have mood symptoms only premenstrually and not after the onset of menstruation pmdd 2
2) are medically healthy and not currently suffering from some other chronic psychiatric condition
3) are 18 – 50 years of age with regular menstrual cycles
4) are not taking any medications, including antidepressants and birth control pills

Women diagnosed in this study with PMS or PMDD may then be eligible to participate in other research studies designed to give treatment and/or monetary compensation.

Watch this video
Please call (919) 966-2547 or email for more information.

Continuous OC Treatment in PMDD: Steroid Hormone Mechanisms

Women with severe PMS or PMDD may be more sensitive to the normal hormonal fluctuations associated with their menstrual cycle. This study is designed to examine whether suppression of hormonal fluctuations with a continuous low-dose oral contraceptive will alleviate the cyclical fluctuations in mood symptoms that are triggered by increasing hormones in the premenstrual week. Women enrolled in this study will receive one of three interventions for three months: 1) continuous low dose oral contraceptive; 2) intermittent low dose oral contraceptive (three weeks of active pills and one week of inactive pills); or 3) placebo (all inactive pills). Women will have equal odds of being assigned to one of these three treatments. This study involves multiple study visits lasting 15 – 45 minutes. These visits may occur at UNC or at the participant’s home.

You may qualify if:
1) you have severe PMS or PMDD as determined in the Screening Study described above
2) you are not taking any prescription medication including hormonal agents or antidepressants
3) you are 18 – 50 years of age, medically healthy, and not obese
4) you do not smoke cigarettes
5) you have no history of blood clots and no history of breast cancer
Women will receive up to $520 in compensation.


News article about this research sudy: Trial: Oral Contraceptives May Ease Suffering of Women with Severe PMS


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