Hormonal Interplay of Menstrual Mood Issues
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Hormonal Interplay of Menstrual Mood Issues

Menstruation, a natural process that occurs in the female body, brings about various physical and emotional changes. Among the emotional fluctuations experienced during this time, many individuals encounter shifts in mood that can range from irritability and sadness to anxiety and mood swings. These menstrual mood issues can significantly impact daily life and well-being. In this article, we will delve into the causes of menstrual mood issues and explore the intricate relationship between these symptoms and hormonal fluctuations.

Causes of Menstrual Mood Issues – Hormones Come into the Picture

Hormonal fluctuation is a major driving force of menstrual mood issues.Hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle play a central role in triggering mood issues. Among many relevant hormones, estrogen and progesterone, the primary hormones involved in menstruation, undergo fluctuations that can affect neurotransmitters and receptors in the brain, impacting mood regulation. Estrogen is believed to influence mood regulation by modulating the production and activity of various neurotransmitters in the brain, including serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Fluctuations in estrogen levels can disrupt the delicate balance of these neurotransmitters, leading to mood swings, irritability, and emotional disturbances during the menstrual cycle.

Progesterone, known for its calming and sedative effects, can influence mood during the menstrual cycle. While progesterone can promote a sense of relaxation, its fluctuations can also contribute to mood swings and emotional sensitivity.

It has been well-documented that the stress hormone level should affect mood valence in different ways. The common stress hormones include epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol. A substantial literature has identified increased stress hormone levels in populations reporting high levels of distress and other mood disorders. Furthermore, researchers are claiming that these hormones may affect the mood depending on menstrual cycle phase and stress. For instance, a high stress hormone level coupled, with one or several other arousal-related factors (e.g., with higher estradiol during the luteal phase and/or stress), should determine high negative mood states.

Serotonin is another hormone to play a role in mood issues. Serotonin, a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating mood, is affected by hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle. As estrogen levels decrease, serotonin levels may also decline, leading to changes in mood and an increased vulnerability to mood swings and emotional instability.

Last but not the least, it should also be noted that there might be many other factors contributing to menstrual mood issues, such as social life, occupation and so on. For example, there are researchers taking women’s stress in occupation into account when investigating the menstrual mood fluctuations.


In conclusion, menstrual mood issues are a common experience for many individuals during their menstrual cycle. The causes of these mood issues can be attributed to hormonal fluctuations, particularly changes in estrogen, progesterone, serotonin imbalance, and many other hormones.

Gaining a comprehensive understanding of the intricate connection between hormonal fluctuations and menstrual mood issues can offer valuable insights for implementing effective management strategies. Prioritizing self-care, adopting stress reduction techniques, embracing a balanced lifestyle, and seeking guidance from healthcare professionals are essential steps to empower individuals in navigating their menstrual cycles with improved emotional well-being. By acknowledging and actively addressing the profound hormonal influence on mood, individuals can cultivate resilience and discover personalized strategies to minimize the impact of menstrual mood issues on their day-to-day lives.

  • Douma, S. L., et al. "Estrogen-related mood disorders: reproductive life cycle factors." Advances in Nursing Science 28.4 (2005): 364-375.
  • Rapkin, Andrea J. "Progesterone, GABA and mood disorders in women." Archives of Women's Mental Health 2 (1999): 97-105.
  • Standeven LR, McEvoy KO, Osborne LM. Progesterone, reproduction, and psychiatric illness. Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2020 Nov;69:108-126.
  • Davydov, Dmitry M., et al. "Moods in everyday situations: effects of menstrual cycle, work, and stress hormones." Journal of Psychosomatic Research 58.4 (2005): 343-349.
  • Rubinow, David R., Peter J. Schmidt, and Catherine A. Roca. "Estrogen–serotonin interactions: implications for affective regulation." Biological psychiatry 44.9 (1998): 839-850.
1.Causes of Menstrual Mood Issues – Hormones Come into the Picture