Do you experience a range of emotions during your menstrual cycle, or even maybe moodiness? Our hormones are constantly fluctuating throughout the menstrual cycle and this impacts what we may be feeling. So how your menstrual cycle affect our mood? What emotions can we expect to feel at which stages of our menstrual cycle?
Knowing how our hormones can have an impact on our mood can help us to better understand how we are feeling and help us to manage our emotions in the best way possible. Keep reading this blog post to find out more!
Premenstrual syndrome and menstruation
In the time leading up to your period, approximately 1-2 weeks, you’re hormone levels are fluctuating and right before your period begins, the levels of the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone drop rapidly in the body. When this happens, some women may experience premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
During PMS, you can experience mood swings, irritability, depression and anxiety. It is not exactly known what causes PMS, but both estrogen and progesterone levels influence the levels of serotonin in your body. Serotonin is one of our happy hormones which leads to feelings of contentment. Low levels of serotonin can lead to sadness and irritability.
The follicular phase
Your mood is likely to be positive throughout the follicular phase of your menstrual cycle, which lasts approximately 16 days. During this time, both estrogen and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels increase. The increased levels of estrogen in the body can potentially mitigate the effects that hormones like cortisol, the stress hormone, and adrenaline can have. This can help us to maintain a happier mood.
The ovulation phase
During the ovulation phase of your menstrual cycle, you are able to get pregnant. The ovaries release a mature egg into the fallopian tube to get fertilized by a sperm and estrogen levels are high. The high levels of estrogen can influence other hormones and ultimately increase your libido (sex drive). Another hormone, called luteinizing hormone (LH), is also increasing during the ovulation phase of your menstrual cycle.
Estrogen promotes the action of the hormone insulin and in turn, insulin promotes the action of testosterone. The sex hormone testosterone is one of the main hormones to impact sex drive. Through the interaction of all of these hormones, it is very likely that during the ovulation phase of your menstrual cycle, you will be feeling an increased libido.
The luteal phase
At the beginning of the luteal phase, the corpus luteum forms which is a structure that releases high amounts of the hormone progesterone. This progesterone is used to thicken the lining of the uterus in preparation for the implantation of a fertilised egg.
Progesterone assists the body in making the stress hormone cortisol. If cortisol levels are already high due to other stressful situations in life, this promotion of its action by progesterone can make you feel irritable and experience mood swings. Towards the end of the luteal phase is when you are likely to suffer from PMS symptoms.