updated 9/26/2004 10:28:07 PM ET 2004-09-27T02:28:07

Dr. Katharina Dalton, a gynecologist who did pioneering research on premenstrual syndrome and was said to have coined the term, has died. She was 87.

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Dalton died Sept. 17 in Poole, Dorset, her family said. The family did not specify the cause of death.

Born Katharina Kuipers in London to Dutch parents, she aspired to be a doctor but instead became a chiropodist first, trained to treat foot ailments.

After her first husband, Wilfred Thompson, died in World War II, leaving her with a son, she went to medical school and eventually became a general practitioner before specializing in gynecology, The Independent newspaper reported in an obituary.

Later, she began a research career, publishing pioneering studies on PMS. She introduced the idea of treating PMS with the hormone progesterone, which she found alleviated many symptoms.

Dalton also believed the hormone might be useful in treating postnatal depression.

Dalton ran the PMS clinic at London’s University College Hospital, among the first of its kind in the world.

Many of her books posted big sales internationally, including “Once a Month: The Original Premenstrual Syndrome Handbook” (1978) and “Depression after Childbirth: How to Recognize, Treat, and Prevent Postnatal Depression.”

Dalton, who remarried after her first husband’s death, is survived by four children and five grandchildren.

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