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Are you tired of feeling like your emotions during your menstrual cycle are out of control? Are you wondering what causes these intense mood swings? Do you find yourself asking, “why am I so emotional during my period?” It’s not just you! Hormonal changes can leave you feeling like you’re on an emotional rollercoaster.
But don’t worry, knowledge is power! Understanding how hormones impact your mood throughout your cycle can be a game-changer!
Keep reading this blog post to discover more about the link between your hormones and emotions during the menstrual cycle.
How does your period affect your mood?
Many women experience a range of emotional symptoms in the days leading up to their period, including anxiety, depression, and irritability. These symptoms are often referred to as premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and occur because, during our period, our hormones fluctuate.
The responsible for these hormonal mood swings is estrogen. Estrogen plays a crucial role in regulating serotonin levels in your body. Serotonin is one of our happy hormones, which leads to feelings of contentment. So when its levels rise and fall, it can lead to sadness and depression.
Anger is another common symptom of PMS, and it’s often caused by the hormonal fluctuations that occur during this time. As estrogen levels drop, the stress hormone cortisol rises, triggering feelings of irritability and frustration.
Estrogen is the hormone responsible for regulating various bodily functions, including mood, and changes in its levels can significantly impact how we feel.
Does ovulation affect your mood?
Every woman’s menstrual cycle is unique, but it typically lasts between 21 and 35 days and is divided into four distinct stages. These stages are the menstrual phase, follicular phase, ovulation phase, and luteal phase. Each stage is associated with different hormonal changes in the body, which can significantly impact mood and emotional well-being.
Understanding these stages and their impact on hormones and mood can help you better manage your menstrual cycle and improve your overall health and well-being. So, let’s take a closer look at each stage and what you can expect.
The follicular phase
This phase, which lasts around 16 days, is associated with positive mood changes. This is because, during this phase, both estrogen and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels increase.
The heightened levels of estrogen can potentially counteract the effects of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, leading to a happier mood.
The ovulation phase
During the ovulation phase of your menstrual cycle, estrogen levels rise to support the production of a hormone called luteinizing hormone (LH), which is needed to support pregnancy.
As estrogen levels peak during ovulation, you may experience mood swings, feeling happy and energetic one moment and sad or irritable the next. The surge in estrogen can also increase testosterone, one of the main hormones to impact sex drive.
The luteal phase
During the luteal phase of your menstrual cycle, the corpus luteum forms. The corpus luteum releases high amounts of progesterone, which is used to thicken the uterus lining in preparation for a fertilized egg.
Progesterone assists the body in making cortisol, which can make you feel irritable and experience mood swings if your stress levels are already high due to other situations in life. You are likely to suffer from PMS symptoms toward the end of the luteal phase.
How the menstrual cycle affects women’s libido?
The menstrual cycle affects the levels of estrogen and testosterone, which are the main sex hormones in women.
The cycle begins on day one of your period and ends when you begin ovulating again (usually 14 days later). During this time, estrogen levels rise steadily until they peak just before ovulation occurs. When estrogen levels are high, you may experience an increase in sexual desire.
Through the interaction of estrogen and testosterone hormones, it is very likely that you will feel an increased libido during the ovulation phase of your menstrual cycle.
After ovulation, progesterone levels rise dramatically for about 12-14 days until they peak around day 21-22 of your cycle (just before your next period). Progesterone is known for causing fatigue, bloating, and irritability, making it common to feel a decrease in libido during the days leading up to your period.
After you ovulate, progesterone levels rise dramatically. Progesterone makes you feel tired, bloated, and irritable–all symptoms that can reduce your sex drive.
The menstrual cycle can significantly impact your mood. However, using birth control can also affect your emotions because birth control options contain hormones such as estrogen and progestin, which are released into the body and can impact the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which are responsible for regulating mood and emotions.
It is important to note that the emotional effects of birth control can vary from woman to woman. Factors such as age, health, and lifestyle can all play a role in how you react to birth control.
Understanding the hormonal changes that occur during this time can help you manage your symptoms and feel more in control of your emotional well-being.
More about Menstrual Cycle, PMS and PMDD:
- Natural and Medical Treatments for PMDD
- What is PMDD? Causes and Symptoms
- How to support your body throughout your menstrual cycle
- What your menstrual cycle can tell you about your health
- What are the Stages of the Menstrual Cycle?
- PMS: causes, symptoms and treatments
- PMS and the Stages of the Menstrual Cycle
- What is PMS?
- How your menstrual cycle impacts your immune health
- Natural tips to get your period back
- Have you stopped getting your periods recently? This might be why
- Calcium supplements to stabilize your PMS mood swings
- Ovulation pain: What it is and when to be concerned
- Natural ways to reduce PMS symptoms
- PMS vs. PMDD: The critical difference
- Turmeric as a Treatment for PMS
- Signs and Symptoms of PMS
- Using your menstrual Cycle as your Fitness Guide – Africa Rubio Pastor
- PMS – Tips and Natural Remedies to Keep a Healthy Menstrual Cycle
- Hamilton College 2002 – 2006 (B.A., Chemistry Major and Psychology Major)
- Cornell University 2006 – 2008 (M.S., Food Science)
- Cornell University 2009 – 2012 (Ph.D., Food Science)
Anne is an Angel investor & advisor. She is the author of “The Juicy Bite”, a successful CPG and Tech newsletter. Venture technology and startup scout, with over seven years of global CPG experience. Her background in holistic product design, sustainability, trends & technology identification, and consumer insights enables her to identify white space opportunities and areas for investment. With a Ph.D. in Food Science she brings great expertise and value to the Hormone University community.
“Anne is a real up-and-coming talent with world class training in the chemical senses, demonstrating in her burgeoning career an ability to translate fundamental scientific phenomena into pragmatic commercial relevance with impeccable collegiality to boot.”