Did PMS Evolve In Order To Split Up Infertile Couples?

Did PMS Evolve In Order To Split Up Infertile Couples?

Premenstrual syndrome (or PMS as it is more commonly known) is a catchall term for any unpleasant physical and psychological symptoms a woman might experience just prior to getting her period. Research suggests that as many as 80% of women experience PMS; however, the nature and severity of the symptoms varies dramatically across individuals [1]. On the surface, PMS might not appear to be an adaptive trait, especially considering that, at least for a very small percentage of women, the symptoms are so severe as to become debilitating (in which case it may be referred to as premenstrual dysphoric disorder, or PMDD). But if PMS is so widespread, is it possible that perhaps it came to exist for some evolutionary reason? That’s what Dr. Michael Gillings argues in a controversial new paper just published in Evolutionary Applications [2].

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