While most women experience symptoms of PMS every month, currently, the only things that are commonly used to treat it are birth control pills, diuretics and antidepressants.
A recent story reported by The Cut, however, explores a new option: Serenol, a non-prescription supplement that contains bee pollen. A similar supplement called Femal has been available in Sweden for years and is marketed as an anti-PMS product.
“A 2002 randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study of 29 women on Femal showed that it improved PMS symptoms like irritability and bloating,” reported The Cut.
However, in the same study, the researchers noted that with treatments like Femal, the incidence level for the placebo effect is high. Women who were not receiving the supplement noted an improvement in their PMS symptoms.
On the other hand, Miriam Greene, an ob-gyn at the NYU Lagone Medical Center, told The Cut that she has been giving her patients Serenol for the past year with good results.
“A small amount of patients might have a placebo effect, but I don’t think it would be long lasting,” she said. “I had a patient today who said, ‘This saved my life.’ How long can a placebo do something like that?”
The website for Serenol states that the supplement is “theorized to have a mild serotonergic effect on the hypothalamus,” which means that it is theorized to make you feel good.
Before you start self-medicating with bee pollen, it’s probably best to speak with your doctor to figure out the best way to lessen your PMS symptoms.