PMS (premenstrual syndrome) can cause swollen ankles.

Sometimes this is merely a cosmetic issue, appearing unsightly.

But other times, the swollen ankles caused by PMS can be very tender to the touch, even somewhat painful.

Getting swollen ankles from PMS is nothing to worry about, other than the inconvenience.

It certainly doesn’t mean that anything is wrong with your body. There are over 150 symptoms associated with PMS, and swollen ankles is certainly one of them.

I asked Randy Fink, MD, Director of the Center of Excellence for Obstetrics & Gynecology in Miami, FL, why the swelling results from premenstrual syndrome.

Dr. Fink explaines: “Bloating and water retention are common symptoms ascribed to PMS.

“The exact mechanisms of PMS are unfortunately not known; if we knew, we could much more effectively treat and prevent it.

“PMS certainly has a hormonal connection, as by definition it occurs during a particular time of the cycle.

“‘Retaining water’ tends to cause excess fluid to accumulate in the lowest, most gravity-dependent areas, i.e., the feet (and ankles) from standing, the finger tips, or even in the lower back or coccyx bone in those who sit or lie down for extended periods.”

Is there anything a woman can do to treat the pain in the ankles/feet that may accompany this swelling? (Other than take a pill).

Dr. Fink says, “A natural diuretic may help. Make a tea from apple cider vinegar, or make some homemade lemonade (squeeze a lemon into water – especially warm water. Do NOT over-sweeten. Use minimal sugar or honey).

“This may help mobilize some excess fluid and take the pain/pressure off swelling.”

Having swollen ankles from PMS is no reason to cease exercising.

You can continue exercising as you normally do, though the tighter fit in your footwear may be uncomfortable.

But all exercise is a go, including step aerobics, running and kickboxing.


Don’t be alarmed if your ankles are tender or sore to the touch; this comes along with the phenomenon.

The swelling in the ankles from PMS will not necessarily disappear overnight.

The condition may persist for up to two weeks, and you may never even get it ever again.

The infrequency of swollen ankles caused by PMS is no cause for alarm, nor is any frequency of it.

Continue treating your body right as usual: exercising every day, drinking plenty of water, restricting processed foods and eating several servings a day of both fruits and vegetables.

Creating an environment where the very best of medicine and gentle gynecology are practiced and where patients come first has always been Dr. Fink’s goal.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.  


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