This week’s VetChat episode is part of our series on supporting and empowering women in veterinary, hosted by Kathryn Bell. Joining Kathryn is Katie Ford: Speaker, Coach & Locum Vet. On this episode Kathryn and Katie discuss the topic of Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). PMDD is a very severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), that causes a range of emotional and physical symptoms every month during the week or two before your menstrual cycle. Katie shares her very honest discovery and challenges of dealing with PMDD, including explaining the symptoms and offering advise on how to be diagnosed. They discuss how Katie balances her work life with her personal life, and how to deal with PMDD for those that work in practice.

All resources mentioned are linked at the end of this post. 

Check out the preview below, or listen to the episode here.

Kathryn: Hello everybody, thank you so much for joining us for today’s episode of VETchat. Today, we are delighted to be joined by Katie Ford. Katie graduated with distinction from the university of Liverpool in 2012. Since then she’s continued to work in small animal first opinion practice, gaining her  RCVS certificate in internal medicine in 2017. Realising the power of preventative mindset strategies through her career and journey , she trained as a coach and now teaches other professionals how to use these techniques to thrive in the veterinary world. She regularly helps individuals and companies on topics such as gratitude, self-worth, and dealing with imposter syndrome. So welcome Katie, thanks so much for joining us today. 

Katie: Thank you so much for having me again. 


Kathryn: So today we thought we would have a little chat around hormone battles and  particularly shining the light on PMDD.  I must admit  until we decided that we were going to do this podcast I’d never heard of PMDD or what it was. I asked the webinar team this morning in our stand up, if they were aware of it, and 94% of people said that they weren’t. So maybe Katie if you could start just by explaining to us what PMDD is, please.

Katie: Of course I can, and thank you so much for giving the platform to raise awareness for this really important topic. It’s quite different from what I normally talk about, and this is something I’ve experienced personally over the last year or so, and it will have been present before then. So PMDD stands for premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and essentially it’s a cyclical hormone-based mood disorder, that’s got symptoms that arise in the last couple of weeks of the menstrual cycle. So it’s normally a week before a period’s due, or two weeks before then. But the really staggering thing is whilst you say only 94% of your team aren’t aware of it, we think that as many as sort of five and a half percent of women, or those that are assigned female at birth are actually affected by it, which is 1 in 20.

Listen to the episode here.

Resources Mentioned:

The International Association for Premenstrual Disorders is a lifeline of support, information, and resources for women and AFAB individuals with Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) and Premenstrual Exacerbation (PME). View their information on PMDD here.

The mental health charity MIND offer information on PMDD here. 

Read a VetTimes article on hormone in practice here. 

If you are struggling and need someone to visit to, VetLife are and independent and confidential team who offer free help for everyone in the veterinary community. Including veterinary nurses, students and non-clinical staff. View the VetLife site here.