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How Your Menstrual Cycle Affects Your Mood All Month (Even After Your Period!)

PMS — people love to joke about it, and you’ve probably experienced it in some form or another. But did you know that there’s more to the “syndrome” than those few grumpy, chocolate-craving days before your period? Turns out, your menstrual cycle affects your body and spirit all month long.[#image: /photos/57d8d943f71ce8751f6b698d]||||||

“Estrogen and progesterone do a very complicated dance throughout your cycle,” Dr. Suzanne Gilberg-Lenz, an ob-gyn in Beverly Hills, Calif., tells HealthySELF. “It’s not merely the estrogen, but the balance between the two hormones, as well as other factors such as lifestyle, diet, stress, habits, other medical conditions and culture that affect us and make us who we are during our fertile and menstruating years.”As you may know, your monthly cycle is divided into four phases. Here’s what’s going on during each one, how it can affect you and what you can do to ease any symptoms:

Menstruation – The good news is, as the days go on, your mood lifts, and as your PMS hunger and cravings dissipate, you lose the bloat. “For many, this is when relief of PMS starts,” says Gilberg-Lenz, “for others it’s when the pain begins.” Cramps, heavy bleeding and fatigue can be a problem; Gilberg-Lenz recommends rest, fluids and mild exercise. Heating pads, hot water bottles and old fashioned castor oil packs applied to the belly are also very soothing — for both your mind and body.

Follicular Phase – Whether or not you’re trying to get pregnant, the follicular phase is all about fertilization; estrogen levels are on the rise as your body works to select the perfect egg. Some weight gain can happen during this time (think one-quarter to one-half pound), but Gilberg-Lenz says during this phase of the cycle, most women are emotionally symptom-free. “As the brain starts to ‘tell’ the ovary to get ready to ovulate, estrogen slowly rises and a feeling of well-being and calm prevail,” she explains.

Ovulation – “Time to make a baby!” says Gilberg-Lenz. “Vaginal juices are flowing, blood flow increases and cervical mucous is ready to catch a swimmer. ” During this phase, she says, many women feel more easily aroused, interested in sex and just plain sexy, so enjoy it … responsibly!

Luteal Phase – Progesterone peaks after ovulation in anticipation of a possible pregnancy and falls off if one is not achieved, explains Gilberg-Lenz. “Some women notice a dip in mood, bloating and breast tenderness as they approach their period.” In other words: PMS. “Regular habits like a healthy whole foods diet, lots of water, exercise and good sleep really can aid in regularizing this time of the month,” Gilberg-Lenz. “Yoga, stretching and meditation also can help to balance body, mind and spirit, and maintain your mood and perspective.”

Finally, keep in mind that Gilberg-Lenz says there is no such thing as “normal” when it comes to how your cycle affects you. “We are all unique within the confines of a broad outline or pattern,” she explains. But if a symptom is disrupting your life and making it difficult or impossible to maintain relationships, go to school or work, then it’s time to seek medical advice.

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Map Your Menstrual Cycle Day-by-Day

There’s more to your menstrual cycle than just your period. It’s actually a month-long roller-coaster ride with lots of ups and downs. But as the lovely Dr. Melissa Lem explains, there is a science to this seeming madness. Herein, she breaks down the good, the bad and the ugly of that time of the month.

Note: We’re using a 28-day calendar, but it’s completely normal for your menstrual cycle to last anywhere from 21 to 35 days.

Day 1 of your period marks the first day of your menstrual cycle. Many women believe their cycle starts at the end of their period, but this is not the case. On Day 1 of your cycle, estrogen levels are at an all-time low. Estrogen is a good thing; it’s associated with increased activity of serotonin, a feel-good chemical in the brain.

The average period lasts about five days — although anywhere from two to seven days is considered normal — and yields about 35 millilitres or just over an ounce of liquid.

As your estrogen levels slowly increase, you may feel more relaxed than you have over the last few days when PMS symptoms may have been wreaking havoc with your emotions.

By Day 7, your period is probably gone, and your mood should have returned to normal. In fact, you may be feeling a surge of energy as your ovaries release more and more estrogen. Higher levels of estrogen also make you feel more sociable, optimistic and motivated.

Estrogen levels will continue to rise from Days 8-11, and by Days 12-13, they’re at an all-time high. These high levels of estrogen give you more confidence, make your skin glow, and probably make you feel flirtier. It isn’t a coincidence: These high estrogen levels set off a surge of hormones that result in ovulation on Day 14.

The egg’s only goal is to get fertilized, so all kinds of things are happening with your mind and body around ovulation. Keep in mind that your libido is extra high, and you’re more adventurous and impulsive as your hormone levels max out and you start to search for a mate.

Research actually shows that women are attracted to men with more masculine facial features at this time in their cycle as they are subconsciously seeking a virile partner. Men also find women more attractive when they are ovulating.

But unless you’re trying for a baby, be sure to use contraception as you are highly susceptible to pregnancy. In fact, you’re most fertile one to two days before ovulation, so be sure you’re covered then as well. There’s a sudden drop in estrogen immediately after ovulation, which can make you feel irritable or emotional for a couple of days until estrogen and progesterone levels start to rise again.

The main purpose of progesterone at this point in your cycle is to help make your uterus a nice, comfortable place for an egg to implant. The combination of increased estrogen and progesterone levels often leads to breast tenderness.

If the egg hasn’t been fertilized, your ovaries will slowly stop producing estrogen and progesterone near the end of Week 3.

As progesterone and estrogen levels drop, some women experience symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, which can include irritability, anger or sadness. Some women experience mild PMS, others severe and some not at all.

Your body may be more susceptible to pain, so you’d be wise to avoid waxing, tweezing or getting tattooed at this time.

Hungry? At this point in your cycle, your estrogen — and therefore serotonin — levels are bottoming out. That means you’re craving carbohydrates, which increase serotonin. Luckily, your metabolism is working a little faster leading up to your period, which means you may consume 100 to 200 more calories guilt-free — but don’t overdo it.

Ouch! Many women experience menstrual cramps a day or two before their period begins. Your body has begun producing prostaglandins, which help your uterus contract. Over-the-counter meds like ibuprofen can really help as can heating pads and hot water bottles.



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Periods and mood swings – why are you so emotional?

An introduction to periods and mood swings

Many of us admit we get a little more, let’s say, unstable, at a certain time of the month. It is common knowledge that we can become a little more temperamental and, to some extent, it’s expected and we get away with it. But it isn’t nice – one minute you feel fine, quite happy, optimistic and the next minute, something minor leaves you feeling way too oversensitive, irritable, angry and sad; it might be just one of these emotions taking over or a delightful combination! Then let’s not forget the feelings of anxiety or even depression that some women have to endure, it just isn’t fair.

Your mood is critical to what you do and how you do it. It can affect everything from what you choose to eat for breakfast to how you interact with your partner.

So, why do your emotions run wild as a result of your menstrual cycle? I explore the possible mechanisms for mood swings around the time of your period and how home, herbal and conventional remedies can help.

How can your period cause mood swings?

It isn’t exactly clear what causes mood swings around the time of you period, although it is widely accepted that hormones have an important part to play. However, which hormones are involved and what effects they are having on other hormones and systems, isn’t well understood.

What we do know is that both oestrogen and progesterone hit rock bottom in the few days prior to each menstrual period. This is thought to be significant but there’s more to it than that.

Oestrogen is prone to fluctuating; around day 14 of the menstrual cycle oestrogen peaks in order to initiate ovulation. This is interesting in itself, as we believe this important hormone is somewhat responsible for regulating our mood, so it makes sense to have optimal amounts around the time of ovulation – this is when we should be at our happiest and ensure relationships are going well if we want any chance of becoming pregnant!

However, after ovulation, oestrogen starts to decline. It isn’t plain sailing though and over the next two weeks it fluctuates, until it eventually decreases enough to initiate menstruation. These fluctuations are thought to be critical – not only are the levels of oestrogen important but also the ratio of oestrogen to progesterone at any one time. If this ratio changes, it can result in one hormone becoming dominant over the other.

Oestrogen dominance is thought to be associated with mood swings involving more irritability and anger whilst progesterone dominance is more commonly associated with feelings of low mood, weepiness, anxiety and low self-confidence.

However, the interaction and metabolism of other hormones around this time is also important, although again, not completely understood. Serotonin is an example of this. A drop in serotonin is also thought to give rise to mood swings and is another important implication.

Diet and lifestyle factors

By implementing some dietary and lifestyle changes you can begin to take control of the mood swings; I explain how.

  • Eat well – A healthy, varied diet will help you in more ways than you think. Eating little and often (3 meals a day and healthy snacks in between) will help to keep your blood sugar more stable. Wobbly blood sugar can make you feel more irritable so avoid this as much as possible. Ensure you incorporate healthy sources of protein such as lean meats, eggs, fish, beans and lentils as well as healthy fats as these are vital for the production of sex hormones and neurotransmitters, serotonin is a good example. Finally, if you eat well, you’ll feel much better in yourself. Gorging on junk food can make you feel guilty and all sorts of other negative feelings can crop up. Avoid it and you’ll feel better for it!
  • Exercise – Taking part in regular exercise will benefit both body and mind! Yoga is particularly beneficial as it is known to exert positive effects on mood. Exercise causes the release of feel-good chemicals called endorphins which can help to give your mood a boost
  • Sleep – Aim to get 8 hours of sleep on average a night in order to support your mood. A lack of sleep can make you feel anxious, demotivated and irritable at the best of times, never mind around the time of your period when you are in the middle of hormonal turmoil as it is!
  • Caffeine – The effects of caffeine are underestimated and excess caffeine around the time of your period can push you to your limit. Caffeine stimulates the sympathetic nervous system and initiates the release of adrenaline. Over-consumption can make you feel nervous, jittery and anxious and can put pressure on your adrenal glands
  • Manage your stress – Stress can have a whole-body effect and it definitely won’t be helping those mood swings. Attempt to manage your stress and feel the benefits

Herbal remedies to help

So, you have tried to implement some positive dietary and lifestyle interventions but feel you still need a little extra help. Herbal remedies could be the answer.

Agnus castus is useful for helping to relieve symptoms of PMS, for example, irritability, mood swings, water retention, sore breasts and painful periods.

Agnus castus gently supports your progesterone levels which in many cases are overshadowed by oestrogen.

At the other end of the spectrum, if oestrogen is low, (symptoms can include suffering from low mood, low self confidence, and having light infrequent periods) fermented soy isoflavones can be effective in gently correcting this imbalance.

Please note, if you are taking hormonal contraceptives such as the pill, hormone-balancing herbal remedies may not be suitable for you.

Finally, if stress is an issue and isn’t helping your mood swings, try our Stress Relief Daytime Drops. This a fresh herbal tincture containing organic Valerian and Hops. The combination of these herbs is useful for helping to reduce symptoms of stress and mild anxiety. 

How can my doctor help?

If you are worried about your mood swings or they are affecting your work or personal relationships, it might be worth paying a visit to your doctor.

If hormones are to blame you may be offered a hormonal contraceptive in an attempt help to balance your hormones, although beware of any side effects.

If stress, anxiety or feelings of low mood are an issue, your doctor can explain some of the treatment options they have available such as anti-anxiety or anti-depressant medication.

Effects of the menstrual cycle and neuroticism on women’s sadness emotion and physiological responses based on an emotion-inducing experiment



To investigate the diversity of experiences of sadness emotion and physiological responses among female college students with high neuroticism (HN) and low neuroticism (LN) during the late luteal phase (LLP) and early follicular phase (EFP).


Forty-two participants were classified as the HN group and 41 as the LN group based on their neuroticism score (Eysenck Personality Questionnaire Short Scale for Chinese). Participants watched sadness-inducing experimental films during the LLP and EFP.


The HN group showed similar sadness intensities in both phases. The LN group showed higher sadness intensity in the LLP than the EFP. The LN group’s sadness scale assessments were lower than the HN group in both phases. The blood volume pulse in the HN group fell in both the LLP and EFP (both P < .001). The root mean square standard deviation of NN intervals rose in the EFP in the HN group before and after watching experimental films (P = .027), but fell in the LN group (P > .05). Between-group comparisons showed heart rate was significantly lower in the HN group than the LN group during EFP (P = .009), but there were no statistically significant differences in subjective experience and physiological data during LLP. The HN group had stronger sadness feelings and greater sadness arousal than the LN group during EFP. There were significant associations between menstrual cycle-related changes in sadness ratings and changes in physiological outcomes.


Women with HN have less fluctuation in sadness than those with LN during the menstrual cycle, but experience strong sadness feelings in the LLP. Women with HN show stronger physiological responses in the EFP than those with LN, and have the highest responses in the LLP.





Emotional responses

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Positive symptoms of PMS

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Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and premenstrual dysphoria (PMDD) are two controversial concepts because they may be more cultural than medical. Most PMS and PMDD might simply be variations in human reproductive patterns instead of pathologies (1). 

Historically, there’s been a tendency to label any deviations from an idealized normal as malfunctions, especially when it comes to the bodies of people who menstruate (2). Because PMS and PMDD have negative connotations culturally, people are more likely to track negative symptoms they might have before their periods (3). People might also be concerned about “losing control over their emotions” during the time before menses when there is no real biological basis for this fear (4). Really, a lot of talk about PMS and emotions is rooted in sexism and gender norms and not biologic fact. 

PMS isn’t all about negative moods. Social constructs of PMS typically emphasize the bad, making it hard to recognize positive emotions that can come before menstruation. The best way to know how PMS impacts your mood and body is to track how you feel (the good, the bad, and the in-between) using Clue, in the days leading up to your period.  

Track your period, PMS, cravings, and more in the Clue app.


2M+ ratings

Together with Dr. Alexandra Alvergne, our research collaborator from the University of Oxford, we asked our community for some of their positive premenstrual experiences, and received hundreds of responses. Here are just a few:

“Increased perception of surroundings; more sensitive to the needs of people
around me; sharpened senses and more intense experience of activities.” -Nantke

“Chocolate addiction.” -Michelle

“Increased creativity, increased spiritual feelings/thoughts, increased
awareness of the world around me — feeling in tune with myself and with the
world in a way that isn’t really there the other weeks of the month (both good
awareness and bad awareness). Bad awareness tends to motivate change because of
how deep the feelings are during this time.” -Jaleesa

“Smells, especially food smells, get so incredibly vivid. Sometimes I can
imagine the smell of a food I want and it’s so real. I also have vivid
daydreams… some of which are about food.” -Karen

“Higher libido. Fuller breasts. Great confidence!” -Jimena

“Increased motivation to take care of myself.” -Ali

“For me, premenstrual symptoms are a pain in the butt but I’ve noticed my libido
would literally skyrocket before my period.” -Marion

“Stronger orgasms, more creative, motivated, stronger connection to my body,
more flexibility during yoga classes.” -Cass

“Increased sex drive and increased enjoyment from it, feeling assertive or more
powerful and driven, sometimes more energetic or better performing at sports.”

“Definitely feel like writing or making things more. I have great dreams and
the energy and motivation to do it all for a few days.” -Anne

“Way better when it comes to coping with pain. I’m tougher in general.” -Kim

“Deeper emotional connection (with myself). Assertiveness increased. Allowing
myself to eat more and more diverse.” -Nanouk

Track your period, PMS, cravings, and more in the Clue app.


2M+ ratings

“Euphoria, being very affectionate, patient, loving and forgiving, feeling
especially connected to small children.” -Olga

“Being really productive, having more emotional insights, being really
creative and inspired, and increased sex drive.” -Karissa

“More affection, higher sex drive, more compassion and willingness to give
(i.e., donate to more new non-profits).” -Rebecca

“It’s the only time during the month I dream.” -Uxue

“Heightened sensibility to art and appreciation of artistic manifestations.”

“I can taste the flavors of food more intensely and I enjoy eating a more. I
can prioritize tasks better and feel very comfortable saying ‘no.’ I am less
inclined to avoid conflict. I can be very productive at that time. ” -Julia

“Higher confidence, assertiveness, mental clarity, creativity, and motivation.
I’ve made some of my best personal strides while PMSing.” -Jessica

“PMS makes me feel more connected to myself, bolder and braver. I made some
important life decisions during times of PMS!” -Tamires

“A deeper understanding of who I am. An urge to be alone. A sense of peace.
Physical acceptance. Ability to let go.” -Chelsea

Start tracking your premenstrual symptoms in Clue today to find out if your experience leans more positively than you expected.

why women get PMS and why some are more affected

Women have been menstruating throughout history. So it’s curious the earliest documented record of what we now know to be premenstrual syndrome (PMS) appeared pretty late in the game. In 1931, psychoanalyst Karen Horney described increased tension, irritability, depression and anxiety in the week preceding menstruation in one of her patients.

Now it’s generally accepted up to 80% of women in their reproductive years experience some PMS. The condition includes symptoms such as fatigue, poor coordination, feeling out of control, feeling worthless and guilty, headache, anxiety, tension, aches, irritability, mood swings, weight gain, food cravings, no interest in usual activities, cramps, feeling sad or depressed, breast tenderness, sleep problems, and difficulty concentrating.

Premenstrual syndrome is different to premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), which is rarer (only 3-5% of women of reproductive age experience it) and is listed in the diagnostic manual of mental disorders. People who experience PMDD have severe depression which is often accompanied by suicidal thoughts. Their onset and offset usually coincide with the premenstrual cycle. Unlike PMS, the severely depressed mood of PMDD usually comes on suddenly.

Reproductive hormones – oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone – are also potent brain hormones. They influence the brain chemicals responsible for our thoughts, behaviours and emotions. Their amounts fluctuate throughout the menstrual cycle, so the connection between them and mental health is clear. And we are learning more about why some women may be more affected than others.

Read more:
Chemical messengers: how hormones affect our mood

Brain chemicals and PMS

There is no single clear theory yet to explain exactly which hormones trigger particular chemicals or why only some women experience PMDD or PMS.

But we know some women are susceptible to mood changes due to small fluctuations in reproductive hormones. In these vulnerable women, small changes in oestrogen and progesterone levels lead to shifts in central brain chemicals (GABA, serotonin and dopamine) that then affects mood and behaviour.

At the same time, many of the physical PMS symptoms such as breast tenderness, bloating, headaches and constipation are a direct effect of reproductive hormones. So both mind and body are affected.

Hormonal changes before menstruation affect both the body and mind.
from shutterstock.com

Oestrogen appears to be a “protective” hormone, which can improve psychotic symptoms (such as those common in schizophrenia) as well as depression. Oestrogen directly influences the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine to achieve this positive effect.

So depression and other adverse mental symptoms can appear or worsen during phases when oestrogen is low. This happens during the four to seven days before menstruation, and during the transition into menopause.

Read more:
Menopausal mood swings can signal more serious mental illness

Progesterones can have the opposite effect. Many women who take a progesterone-only contraceptive pill (the mini-pill) experience depression. There are certain types of progesterone in the combined oral contraceptive pill that can be very depressive.

What about the more severe symptoms?

Recent work suggests PMDD is the result of brain neurochemicals responding in unusual ways to fluctuations in brain oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone, as well as the hormones released by the pituitary gland that determine the levels and fluctuations of these reproductive hormones.

Other studies about the cause of PMDD reveal that a breakdown product of progesterone – called allopregnanolone (ALLO) – is a critical stimulator of a receptor on a part of the GABA transmitter. When stimulated, the GABA system can alleviate anxiety. Benzodiazepine drugs like diazepam (Valium) stimulate the GABA system and help to calm down agitation.

Read more:
Weekly Dose: Valium, the ‘safer choice’ that led to dependence and addiction

In this way, ALLO works as an “anti-anxiety” hormone. Just like oestrogen, progesterone levels (and its metabolite ALLO levels) fall in the premenstrual phase.

Women who have PMDD are often agitated, anxious and depressed during the premenstrual phase. A newer theory is that their brain chemistry isn’t reacting normally to ALLO, so they become anxious. This is important to explore further and already new drugs that impact ALLO are being developed and tested.

PMDD is complex, like many mental health conditions, and there is an interplay between psychological and social issues as well as hormonal and neurochemical factors. Tertiary education, supportive relationships, fewer socioeconomic struggles and good physical health appear to be helpful, but do not mitigate PMDD completely. Overall, PMDD appears to be biologically driven.

How can we treat it?

Understanding the body-mind connections in both PMS and PMDD is critical for developing effective management strategies for the many women who suffer from significant depression and other issues every month.

Management options need to consider all aspects of the woman’s life including her work, relationships, past traumas, current physical health and daily demands. Many women experiencing PMDD require hormone treatment and other strategies such as antidepressant medication to help them improve their quality of life.

Read more:
Biology is partly to blame for high rates of mental illness in women – the rest is social

It’s a good idea for women experiencing PMDD or PMS to keep a diary of their cycles and moods. Women can be reassured their observations connecting hormones and moods are valid. It is important women with PMS/PMDD seek help from health professionals who will explore specific targeted treatments with them. Above all, it is important to recognise the links between hormones and mental health.

Emotional menstrual complaints – Nutri-Gyn

The role of hormones

During particular phases of your menstrual cycle, you may be bothered by psychological and emotional complaints such as mood swings, despondency or irritability. The fluctuations of the following hormones may play a role in this:

  • Estrogen gives a positive feeling. If your estrogen level increases, you feel better. You can feel optimistic and full of energy.
  • Progesterone can make you feel calm, even sleepy.

This is how hormones influence your emotions during the menstrual cycle:

  • You get your period in the first week of your menstrual cycle. You may be bothered by menstrual complaints before your period starts and for the first day or so of your period. Once your estrogen levels begin to increase, you start feeling better.
  • In the second week, your estrogen level increases and you feel your best.
  • At the end of the second week, your testosterone level increases briefly: you may feel like having sex more frequently.
  • In the third week, your estrogen level decreases dramatically. At exactly the same time, progesterone production increases. Your mood changes and you may suffer from binge or comfort eating and despondency.
  • In the fourth week, estrogen and progesterone decrease to the minimum levels. Your mood may reach a low point. During this week, some women suffer from pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS).

Every woman responds differently to hormonal fluctuations, so see how your menstrual cycle feels. Your eating pattern, stress, general health, exercise, work, family and social life can also affect how you feel. One thing is certain: many women think that their psychological and emotional complaints are not understood. And that’s no surprise – we live in a society that does not take the menstrual cycle into account. Attitudes are,beginning to change, but there is a long way to go. Meantime, listen to your body, share your experiences with like-minded women and look after yourself.

90,000 Nasty hormones – hormones during menstruation

Hormones are chemicals produced by glands in our body. They play an important role in activating processes such as puberty and the menstrual cycle, that is, they are beneficial. They ensure the development and proper functioning of the body. But there is also a downside.

Changes in mood, irritability, sadness – all this can be attributed to nasty hormonal changes. This is due to the fact that during a short period of your life hormones and substances in the brain do not work synchronously, so you experience increased emotionality and mood swings.Hormonal changes can also cause undesirable effects such as acne, increased body hair, and increased odor. Therefore, they are called “nasty”: they help you to grow up, and bring significant changes, moreover, they make emotions uncontrollable, and the body alien and unusual.

Hormones also play an important role in the menstrual cycle. They take part in every stage of it. During a cycle, the pituitary gland (a pea-sized gland at the base of the brain) produces follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH).These hormones stimulate ovulation (when the ovaries release a mature egg) and stimulate the ovaries to produce more hormones, especially estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen and progesterone help the uterus prepare for a possible pregnancy, but they can also affect external signs.

For example, due to the increase in estrogen levels during ovulation, you become more energetic and more active. And the increase in progesterone levels during the luteal phase (after ovulation and before menses) can cause anxiety and sugar cravings.The transition between these two phases of the cycle, when estrogen levels begin to decline and progesterone levels begin to rise, causes PMS (premenstrual syndrome), which typically brings with it anxiety, mood swings, and pain. “Nasty” is the most appropriate word.

If you are tired of emotional changes, do not worry – they are absolutely normal, and you are not alone.

How the brain changes during the menstrual cycle

The menstrual cycle is usually associated only with the possibility of conception, but hormonal changes also affect other bodily functions, including memory, emotion and learning.

All these changes are due to fluctuations in hormone levels during the cycle. In the first days – during menstruation and before ovulation – the level of estrogen and progesterone is low. In the middle of the cycle, in the ovulation phase, estrogen increases, and after ovulation ends, in the luteal phase, both estrogen and progesterone increase.

These hormonal fluctuations make a woman think, feel and act differently.

Below we will analyze what changes during the cycle.

Conscious and unconscious memory

With an increase in the amount of estrogen in women, implicit (procedural) memory improves. This is a type of memory in which you take actions based on past events, but are not aware of it. It helps you perform actions automatically.

In addition, female sex hormones affect the brain structures responsible for conscious memory: the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex. Estrogen increases the amount of gray matter in the hippocampal “memory store” and increases the activity of the prefrontal cortex , which is responsible for working memory – the ability to hold information in your mind while you work with it. In addition to working memory, the prefrontal cortex also affects the ability to control our emotions and overcome fear.

Ability to control emotions and cope with fear

At the beginning of the cycle, when the number of female sex hormones decreases, the amygdala , which is responsible for emotions, is less subordinate to the cerebral cortex. Therefore, before menstruation and before ovulation, it can be more difficult for a woman to control emotional manifestations.

In addition, estrogen helps to cope with fear.At a reduced level of this hormone, the expression of the HDAC4 gene, associated with learning, long-term memory, and behavior, increases. At the same time, the memory of fear lasts longer, so anxiety increases during the premenstrual and menstrual periods.

During and after ovulation, estrogen lowers HDAC4 gene expression, helping to quickly forget fear and cope with anxiety.

Moreover, estrogen increases the ability of to feel fear of others. This explains why women have more developed empathy.

Ability to view a problem from different angles

The human brain works asymmetrically: when performing some tasks, more activity is observed in one of the hemispheres. For example, in right-handers, the left is mainly responsible for speech, and the right for musical abilities. This functional asymmetry is called brain lateralization.

In men, lateralization is more pronounced, higher than interaction within the hemispheres, due to which the connection between perception and action is more developed.In women, however, the connection between the hemispheres is stronger and the interaction between analytical and intuitive perception is better.

But if in men the lateralization of the brain is always approximately the same, in women it depends on the phase of the cycle. With an increase in the level of sex hormones, the lateralization of the brain increases. Hormones activate the left hemisphere , and the work of the right hemisphere is inhibited.

During menstruation, when estrogen and progesterone levels are low, the right hemisphere takes over.

Therefore, if a woman has time to think about a problem for a month, she can look at her as two different people and most likely make the right decision.

The menstrual cycle can be problematic, but at the same time provides women with empathy and breadth of perception.

Read also

PMS and cycle phases. How do they affect us?

The monthly cycle is a complex process that requires a lot of effort from the body. Not surprisingly, it affects not only physical well-being, but also emotional mood.

The cycle directly affects our feelings and actions, our needs for food and drink, our activities and our inaction.

The first half of the cycle: a surge of strength and vivacity

In the period between menstruation and ovulation, that is, at least 12-14 days after the last period, the body does something great. The “burden” of the completed cycle leaves us with the blood. The uterus gets rid of unnecessary ballast, and with it the possibility of getting pregnant. As a rule, women feel at ease and confident during this period. Problems seem less dramatic, matters argue, we are more balanced and more energetic.It turns out that menstruation is like a strong storm: now it has passed – the air is transparent, clean and filled with energy.

Ovulation is OK, so everything is fine

After ovulation, we gain new strength, we have fresh ideas. The physical sensations also change. The liquid no longer lingers, the trousers fit right again. The abdomen is noticeably flatter than during or shortly before menstruation. Many women find that their skin is clearer and the pores are smaller. Even falling asleep and sleeping nonstop all night works better.Consequently, the perception of our body is more positive, we feel better and more confident in our own skin.

At this time, the uterus slowly but surely forms a new mucous membrane, renews itself in anticipation of the next egg. This is why many women are uplifted and zest for life these days.

This positive perception of one’s own body is transferred to other senses – vision is sharper, and we distinguish smells better, and this is more pronounced on days when ovulation is close.Perhaps such phenomena are intended to facilitate the search for a suitable candidate for fertilization.

During this period, energetic and cheerful, the egg prepares to move to the uterus. Ovulation comes, and with it there is an opportunity to conceive a child. Closer to ovulation, we gain new strength.

Second half of the cycle: the main thing is not to strain

During the second half of the cycle, due to the activity of the hormone progesterone, water in the tissues is retained more than usual.Many women have swollen legs, sometimes it can even cause pain. We feel constrained these days, physical activity requires a lot of effort. And then the phase comes when we become vulnerable. Many women get tired quickly, they begin to be burdened by everyday affairs. Often we feel defenseless and we want to withdraw into ourselves. During this period, you should listen to your own body more carefully and take time for yourself.

How will backfire, so will respond

Many women do not know how to pay attention to these signals of the body and consider their condition to be something wrong, like a manifestation of weakness.And the point is just the opposite. During the cycle, the female body does a great job, makes a lot of effort and leads a difficult struggle. And, in general, it goes without saying that he does not take into account our feelings.

And the fact that our mood periodically deteriorates and we are plagued by various ailments, it just says that the organs responsible for procreation in our body function remarkably well.

Stupid, fat and hungry

After ovulation, the sebaceous glands work at full speed, and this is quite normal. It happens that during this period more acne appears and the smell of sweat becomes more intense. Many women talk about feelings of uncontrollable hunger and sharp emotional outbursts. Laughter and tears replace each other due to the increased level of progesterone. Not necessarily every woman experiences this. But if he does, then this is absolutely normal. True, this knowledge, alas, does not increase self-esteem.

On the days before menstruation, a woman often feels not particularly desirable and all she wants is to hide in her burrow so that no one touches her.During this period, we tend to exaggerate any problems – the slightest flaws in appearance seem to us more terrible than they really are. The first couple of days of menstruation, the mood is pretty nasty. Stomach cramps, bloating, and back pain exacerbate our already poor sense of self.

We feel misunderstood, we cannot concentrate and sometimes we are in the most deplorable state. Most of all these days we would like to crawl into bed with a heating pad and seize our unhappy life with buns, then pancakes with blueberries and marmalades, and then pasta and salmon are just a stone’s throw away. And you never want to leave the house.

Before days and after days

Our body clearly makes us understand in what phase of the cycle we are. At the same time, the second half of the cycle is often not covered with roses … But, fortunately, better times are not far off. After menstruation, the psyche will quickly recover.

Causes and Symptoms

A huge range of possible physical and mental ailments during premenstrual syndrome manifests itself in different ways in all women.What exactly can be called the cause of PMS and why each woman in different periods of life manifests itself in different ways, and sometimes does not manifest itself at all, has not yet been sufficiently investigated. However, there is an assumption that the symptoms are caused by natural hormonal fluctuations during the cycle, and all women respond to these fluctuations with varying degrees of sensitivity.

The extent to which PMS manifests itself also depends on the woman’s lifestyle, so physical activity, stress, nutrition, and alcohol consumption play an important role. Premenstrual syndrome can be very annoying, and it will be easier to get through a difficult period if you respond correctly and adapt.

Treatment and opportunities

The symptoms of PMS are enormous, and there are at least as many possible therapies. The main thing here is to closely monitor the individual reactions of the body, as well as their mental states. After all, you can find a suitable remedy to cope with premenstrual ailments only if you have an idea of ​​what exactly causes pain or burdens during this period.The therapy is usually based on lifestyle changes.

A lot can be achieved with fairly simple things, such as getting sleep and getting enough sleep.

Either allow yourself frequent breaks from work to take a break, or treat yourself to an apple pie. Classical medicine suggests suppressing hormonal fluctuations with the help of analgesic and antispasmodic medications.

Contraceptive pills (COCs) can be a good way to smooth out hormonal fluctuations and remove negative manifestations of PMS. For their selection, you should contact your gynecologist. Hormonal gels for external use help from chest pains, and in extreme cases (when the mental manifestations of PMC cannot be otherwise endured), the doctor may prescribe antidepressants. In the arsenal of alternative medicine – naturopathy – there are many drugs that are suitable for women who do not want to take hormones.

Do not neglect the therapeutic approach of making conscious changes in your daily life. This includes, for example, relaxation techniques, exercise, getting adequate sleep and keeping a stable daily routine.

With regard to nutrition, avoiding caffeine, sugar and salt in the second half of the cycle will help. In addition, communication with “comrades-in-arms” will help, that is, with those who understand what kind of ailments they are and will be able to support. Communication with other empathetic, supportive people will also help. Or just being surrounded by those things or beings with whom you feel good. You can even allow yourself to be a cat that walks by itself, and not contact anyone at this time.


In the second half of the cycle, and especially a few days before menstruation, many women experience physical and mental illness.These “oohs” and “oohs” are a characteristic of the cycle, they are an expression of what is happening in our body. The uterus, as it were, gives us signs, and sometimes this is expressed in depressive moods, pains, cramps, lethargy, nausea and back pain.

All of this, along with many other manifestations, are symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, or PMS for short.

This chaos in feelings and physical condition is caused by the wild activity of hormones in the second half of the cycle. PMS usually occurs a week before your period starts and disappears when the bleeding begins.PMS is as individual as any other cycle-related symptom, and is different for all women. It’s actually quite normal – to be sometimes not at all normal.

Physical symptoms:

  • back pain and muscle clamps
  • pulling sensation in the lower abdomen, stomach cramps
  • pulling sensations in the mammary glands, pain and excessive sensitivity when touching the breast v feeling of irrepressible hunger or loss of appetite
  • digestive problems, bloating, constipation v weight gain
  • fluid retention

Mental symptoms:

  • Sleep disturbance, fatigue
  • concentration problems
  • depressive disorders
  • apathy, lethargy
  • alarms
  • overexertion syndrome
  • irritability
  • very emotional reactions

90,000 Myths and truths about the PMS

PMS is confused with menstruation, attributed to him all the changes in a woman’s mood, and then they believe that he turns a woman into an uncontrollable monster, then that he does not exist at all.Gazeta.Ru has dealt with popular myths about this condition.

PMS and menstruation are one and the same

PMS – premenstrual syndrome – occurs 2-10 days before menstruation. Perhaps those who confuse these terms do not know how the abbreviation stands. Be that as it may, women, showing a bad mood, often hear in response comments about the onset of menstruation.

Ancient physicians spoke about the “painful condition” of women before menstruation.

For the first time, the scientific basis for PMS was summed up in 1931 by gynecologist Robert Frank, who linked this condition with a decrease in progesterone levels.He, however, noticed the influence of the period before menstruation mainly on behavior – his patients at this time committed “stupid and reckless acts.” Only by the 1960-1970s, the British endocrinologist Katharina Dalton brought together not only behavioral, but also physical symptoms and found their possible cause – a change in the ratio of hormones in the body.

The widespread dissemination of information about PMS played a cruel joke – women during this period were almost demonized, considering them absolutely uncontrollable. For example, Dr. Edgar Berman, a member of the National Priorities Committee of the US Democratic Party, stated that women are unsuitable for management positions due to imbalances due to “uncontrolled hormones.”

PMS is when a woman becomes nervous before her period and cries a lot

PMS has more than 150 possible symptoms, and not all of them relate to mood. They also include changes in eating habits, swelling, bloating, clumsiness, headaches, nausea and vomiting, and even heart pain.Emotional symptoms come to the fore simply because they are visible to others.

PMS occurs due to fluctuations in hormones

The causes of PMS have not been finally established to this day. Hormonal theory is prevalent, but there are other options. So, PMS is associated with a deficiency of calcium and magnesium, a decrease in serotonin levels (by the way, depression is also associated with it), the body’s susceptibility to hormones (and not their concentration), a lack of vitamin B6, a genetic predisposition and even a woman’s allergic reaction to her own progesterone . ..

“It all depends on the mental state of the woman at one time or another. For example, when everything is calm at work and at home, then, of course, the PMS will not be so pronounced, ”obstetrician-gynecologist and surgeon Aigul Azimova told Gazeta.Ru. –

I think that it is stupid to blame everything on hormones. The level of hormones cannot so strongly affect the condition of a woman.

All changes that occur are absolutely functional monthly normal state. Therefore, it is necessary to take a broader look at this issue for both the woman and the doctor. “

In addition, in 2016, American experts suggested that the presence of PMS symptoms may be associated with an acute inflammatory process, the biomarker of which is C-reactive protein (CRP). After examining more than 3,000 women, they found that those who complained of sudden mood swings, colic and bloating, back pain, increased appetite and chest pain before menstruation, in most cases, CRP was increased.

“Most women experience some form of PMS symptoms.The recognition that PMS is associated with an underlying inflammatory process opens up new avenues for treatment and prevention, ”commented the study, editor of the Journal of Women’s Health, where it was published and published , Dr. Susan Korstein.

PMS is not normal, it needs to be treated

According to various sources, up to 90% of women experience various PMS symptoms. At the same time, they do not interfere with most of them to work, study, play sports – in a word, lead the same life as outside the PMS.After all, women experience periods, and therefore PMS, about 400-450 times in their lives, and over time, the vast majority find how to cope with irritability or pain.

However, 3-8% of women have premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and now it is already a serious problem.

During PMDD, a woman experiences the main symptoms of PMS related mainly to an emotional state (depressed mood, anxiety and tension, mood lability, irritability, decreased interest in daily activities, decreased concentration, fatigue and weakness, changes in appetite, sleep disturbance, impaired self-control , physical symptoms), but in an extremely pronounced form, which does not allow to lead a usual life. Five of them are enough to make a diagnosis.

Oral contraceptives and other hormonal drugs, antidepressants are used to combat PMDD.

If none of the therapy options helped, doctors have to resort to the most radical measure – removal of the uterus and ovaries.

Even with an acceptable emotional state, a woman can be seriously annoyed by physiological symptoms. In this case, you should not endure discomfort and you should just consult a doctor.

“Some changes in the premenstrual syndrome are considered abnormal – severe painful sensations in the lower abdomen, inability to live sexually, a very strong reaction of the chest before menstruation. In such cases, an analysis is made for hormonal status, and the gynecologist-endocrinologist selects therapy to minimize these manifestations, ”Azimova explains.

PMS does not exist, women simply justify their tantrums

PMS is included in the ICD, where it is described as premenstrual tension syndrome – a syndrome of premenstrual tension. At the same time, obviously, even researchers do not consider it too serious a problem – in the ResearchGate scientific articles database, there are five times fewer scientific articles devoted to PMS than to erectile dysfunction. However, the problem may not be so much with scientists as with donors.

For example, University of Washington psychologist Kathleen Lastik was denied funding by for a PMS study. The grantors responded that

PMS – “It’s just a product of our society and culture, the natural process is presented in a negative light, therefore, given the predictability of menstruation, women feel that they are suffering in front of them.”

Of course, it is impossible to exclude the influence of the “self-fulfilling prophecy” effect, when a woman really winds herself up, thereby intensifying her experiences. Back in the 1970s, researchers at found that if a woman was convinced that her period was approaching, she would be much more likely to report negative symptoms. However, further research is needed to distinguish between real and “contrived” symptoms.

However, even if you exclude the emotional sphere, imagining swelling, pain in the abdomen or lower back, engorgement of the mammary glands, flatulence and skin problems are quite problematic.

Due to hormones during PMS mood spoils, and on other days nothing happens

Scientists have long paid attention to the improvement of the cognitive abilities of women during and after ovulation. In 2014, a team of researchers from Austria and Sweden studied changes in the cognitive functions and emotional state of a woman depending on the phase of the menstrual cycle. It turned out that increased levels of estradiol are associated with improved verbal and spatial memory.High levels of estrogen and progesterone improve emotional memory and the accuracy of emotion recognition. Researchers have linked these changes to increased activity in the amygdala, the part of the brain that processes emotions.

Progesterone and estradiol levels rise until the middle of the luteal phase – the interval between ovulation and the onset of menstruation.

PMS occurs only in women

“Male PMS” is not considered today as a medical problem, but men also experience fluctuations in hormones that affect their well-being and mood.

In the West, there is even a name for this state – manstruation.

Scientists noticed the connection between male mood and hormonal changes back in the 1960s. In 2003, Peter Selec, a professor at Comenius University in Bratislava, published the results of several studies, where confirmed that emotional changes and the appearance of aggression in men are associated with a drop in testosterone levels. Selets found that the duration of the male hormonal cycle is 20-30 days.

Two years later, Jed Diamond, an American professor of psychology, philosophy, and medicine, published the book The Irritated Man Syndrome. In it, he described the symptoms of “male PMS”, and they are remarkably similar to women – emotional weakness, tearfulness, irritability, memory and concentration impairment, anxiety, decreased libido, unmotivated fatigue and a tendency to depression.

90,000 what affects our emotions and how to feel better – Knife

May there always be sunshine: emotions and weather

The connection between weather and feelings seems so obvious that it has long been entrenched even in the language: the mood can be “cloudless”, and the sky – “gloomy”.However, research shows that cloudy days don’t necessarily make us sadder.

Psychologists David Watson and Leigh Anna Clark began studying the factors that influence mood back in the 1980s. Both were convinced that emotions most often depend on the weather, but it turned out to be not so simple. The first doubts arose after three months of observation of students from Kyoto: a group of 18 boys and girls were asked to assess 57 indicators of their mood daily. Clarke and Watson compared these scores with events in the students’ lives, but just in case they checked for a connection between emotions and the weather.

Scientists did not find a statistically significant relationship between cloudy days and depressed mood, although they expected a completely different result.

From 1985 to 1993, psychologists conducted a series of 8 similar experiments at a university in Dallas. The experiments involved 478 students. The studies were carried out in the spring and fall to get roughly equal numbers of sunny and cloudy days. And again it turned out that the mood was practically independent of the weather! The authors of several later studies of this problem came to similar results: if rain did affect self-awareness, it was only slightly.

The results of the surveys by Watson and Clark surprised the respondents themselves: many participants in the experiments were sure that they consistently feel much better on sunny days.

In the book “Emotions and social behavior. Mood and temperament ”Watson notes that such an opinion is an example of an illusory correlation. This is how stereotypes are formed: a person overestimates the degree of connection between two phenomena, although there is no real reason for this.

An even more striking example is the tendency to attribute negative qualities to members of ethnic minorities.

Watson believes that the participants in his experiments initially believed that clear weather improves well-being, so they paid attention only to those moments when this idea was confirmed. Conversely, the rain could be an excuse for a bad mood, behind which there were deeper reasons.

What to do?

If endless rains and gray skies are getting on your nerves, listen to David Watson’s opinion that there may be more serious reasons for your depressed mood.Also, keep in mind that cloudy weather can be very beneficial.

In 2012, researchers from the Harvard Business School concluded that dark days improved productivity: in the rain, employees of a Tokyo bank processed loan applications faster. The authors of another study found that on average people spend more money in sunny weather, according to data on credit card transactions of 52,371 Americans. So rainy weather even helps to save money.

But if that’s not comforting, perhaps your life really lacks the sun. Throwing everything and going to warmer regions is not at all necessary, you can start with mini-walks at lunchtime: even a weak winter daylight is better than none at all.

Advanced method – phototherapy with a special lamp: unlike the sun, such devices do not emit ultraviolet light and do not harm the eyes or skin.

Of course, bad mood should not be confused with complex problems such as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a subtype of major depressive disorder.Symptoms include decreased mood, sleep disturbances, memory problems, changes in appetite, loss of interest in what was previously pleasing, and a feeling of complete hopelessness.

An episode of SAD, like other subtypes of depression, lasts at least two weeks, but often drags on for months. If you suspect that you yourself or someone from your loved ones have encountered this disorder, it is worth contacting a specialist – the doctor will assess your condition and, if necessary, select an appropriate treatment regimen.

“What, PMS?”: Menstrual cycle and emotional background

Emotional swings associated with the menstrual cycle still regularly become a reason for jokes both in life and in the mass media. It is not funny only for women themselves, who are unlucky enough to face severe forms of premenstrual syndrome up to PDD – premenstrual dysphoric disorder.

The “classic” PMS has many symptoms, and a large part of it concerns emotions: some women feel anxiety at this time, others complain of irritability, and still others complain of sudden mood swings.All these unpleasant phenomena are not whims, but a consequence of changes in the level of hormones that provide the menstrual cycle.

It is with hormonal fluctuations that the main theory today is connected, explaining the appearance of PMS.

During each cycle, the body prepares for a possible pregnancy by producing essential substances. In the period from the beginning of the cycle to ovulation, the level of the female sex hormone estradiol gradually increases. In the days between ovulation and the beginning of the next menstruation (the so-called luteal phase, or the phase of the corpus luteum), estradiol is produced less and less, and progesterone becomes the leader in the hormonal race.It helps prepare for conception – for example, it prevents the uterus from contracting too much.

If pregnancy occurs, the corpus luteum is taken to work. This temporary gland, which has developed throughout the cycle, will provide the body of the expectant mother with progesterone until the placenta takes over.

If conception did not occur, the corpus luteum decreases, degenerates into scar tissue and soon disappears without a trace. Progesterone levels drop dramatically, and this is where problems begin.The fact is that this hormone not only prepares the body for pregnancy, but also serves to produce one of the natural “sedatives” of our body – the neuroactive steroid allopregnanolone. Its balance is fundamentally important for the emotional state. Both excess and lack of this substance increase anxiety, depression, irritability and a tendency to sudden mood swings.

Meanwhile, the content of estrogens in the body also fluctuates, and these hormones affect the level of serotonin (“joyful” neurotransmitter) and the number of receptors to it.Thus, PMS attacks the emotional background on several fronts at once.

Fluctuations in hormone levels are considered the most likely cause of PMS today. But scientists identify others, including disruption of the work of important neurotransmitters (for example, dopamine and gamma-aminobutyric acid).

Despite the fact that PMS in one form or another is felt by three out of four women, serious research into this problem began only in the 1950s. Perhaps in the future we can learn much more about its causes.

What to do?

So now, “born a girl – be patient”? Not at all necessary. First, 20–25% of women most likely do not experience noticeable manifestations of PMS at all.

Only 3–8% of women suffer from severe forms of disorder – this is a lot, but still the probability of getting into this number is not so great.

If you are unlucky and the few days before your period seem really unbearable, you should consult with your gynecologist: severe PMS and menstrual pain can be signs of some diseases.In addition, if necessary, the doctor will help you choose the means to relieve PMS, sometimes oral contraceptives are used for this. In no case should you “prescribe” pills yourself: the specialist takes into account possible side effects, contraindications, interaction with other drugs and other factors. Ideally, a doctor’s consultation will not hurt when choosing pain relievers.

If PMS does not put your life on the brink of disaster, but just significantly spoils several days every month, there is also a way out.

According to the specialists of the US Department of Health and Human Services, can reduce the symptoms of PMS the same “boring” healthy lifestyle.

Experts advise to consume less caffeine, salt and sugar two weeks before the start of your period. Help – who would doubt it! – regular physical activity and sleep patterns. Sleep deprivation, like smoking, can exacerbate PMS symptoms.

That little old: how feelings and age are connected

Age is another factor thought to influence mood.Psychological research shows that age-related stereotypes, from teenage hormonal storms to grunting retirees, turn out to be true only occasionally. The reasons for this or that mood lie in physiology.

Researchers use a variety of tests and questionnaires to examine what personality traits are and how they are associated with age. One of the most popular methods is the so-called big five. According to this model, personality is largely determined by five independent traits:

  • extraversion (this concept combines energy, assertiveness and the desire for communication),
  • benevolence (compliance, the ability to compromise),
  • conscientiousness (conscientious attitude to business),
  • neuroticism (emotional instability),
  • openness to new things.

Scientists at Michigan State University have found that these traits do change frequently with age. Adolescents from 16 to 19 years old turned out to be the most extraverted and least accommodating, emotional stability and consciousness also grew with age. According to the authors of another work, based on the same “Big Five” method, late childhood and adolescence is a key period of personality development. At this time, the vectors of some personality traits are directed “perpendicularly” to the norm of adults, and this is completely normal.

Studies show that adolescents tend to dramatize for quite objective reasons: in adolescence, the limbic system of the brain is actively developing, where emotions “mature”.

The adult brain restrains emotional impulses with the help of the developed prefrontal cortex, but in adolescents this internal “controller” is not yet so strong, and emotions are overwhelming.

In old age, judging by the research of the Big Five, a person becomes calmer, so the stereotype of irritable old people should not be believed. Neuropsychologist André Aleman in his book “The Retired Brain” emphasizes: over the years, the level of neuroticism decreases, it is much more difficult to get an old person out of himself than a young one. Also, with age, a person becomes more benevolent and easier to compromise.

According to Aleman, there are several reasons for the emotional stability of the elderly, but perhaps the main one is life experience. Pensioners are better aware of what they want and what makes them happy, so they make more informed decisions. For example, in 2016, Cambridge scientists found that older people are less likely to regret purchases than younger people.

There is another explanation: perhaps old people are less demanding, because they get used to looking at things more realistically. Plus, older people who have strong social bonds are more emotionally resilient than those who are single. Finally, feelings of emotional stability may be associated with decreased cognitive performance.

Of course, at any stage of life, a person is not immune from negative emotions, and people of age have many reasons for sadness. In 70-year-olds, a surge of negative emotions is recorded, usually caused by illness and the loss of peer friends.

Sometimes the consequences can be more serious, up to depression, the first signs of which are the loss of interest in communication and affairs that pleased a person before. According to Aleman, major depression in old age is relatively rare and can be easily corrected if suspicious symptoms are detected in time.

What to do?

Changes in emotions with age are not empty whims, which means there must be methods that will help to find mutual understanding.Psychologist Lawrence Steinberg advises parents of adolescents to maintain a balance between affection and rigor: clearly formulate tasks and rules of behavior, but at the same time do not skimp on sincere manifestations of love for the child.

Trust and attachment to the family will allow the teenager to maintain at least a minimal sense of stability while an emotional storm is raging inside. Don’t forget about basic physiological needs, such as sleep quality.

Research shows that sleep deprivation pushes teenagers to take risky behavior and alcohol abuse.

For older people, it is fundamentally important to continue to communicate with loved ones and not give up their favorite activities. Japanese scientists have found that a hobby not only improves the emotional background of retirees, but also prolongs life. In addition, many diseases, such as atherosclerosis, can be hidden behind a persistent decrease in mood.

Grieving from mustard: how nutrition affects emotions

There are dozens of ways to deal with sudden sadness, but few things work as quickly and efficiently as a multi-storey burger or a slide of ice cream.Someone will say: “All this is terribly harmful to health, but it raises your spirits – which means that in some ways it is even useful. ” Alas, this is not the case.

The miraculous effects of pizza and donuts pass quickly, and in the long term, junk food can become one of the reasons for a persistent decrease in mood – at least so according to the authors of the recent meta-analysis , which included 41 studies.

Scientists selected studies on the relationship between eating habits and symptoms associated with depression, including depressed mood.In cross-sectional and cohort studies, data on the health of more than 50 thousand people were taken into account. It turned out that the risk of developing depression is the lowest among fans of the Mediterranean diet. Its basis is vegetables and legumes, they are complemented by small portions of fish or chicken, and as a dessert “Mediterranean” eat fruits and nuts. The risk of depression among supporters of such a diet was, on average, 33% lower than among lovers of sweet and fatty foods, as well as industrially processed foods such as canned food, sausages, or prepared sauces.

The authors of the meta-analysis believe that the whole thing is in the inflammatory processes that are triggered by an abundance of unhealthy foods, including sugar and saturated fat. Irritation of the intestines can, over time, lead to a systemic inflammatory response in the body. In this condition, heart rate and respiration become more frequent, the temperature exceeds 38 ° C or, conversely, falls below 36 ° C, and the number of leukocytes in the blood noticeably increases or decreases.

Researchers have found an association between elevated levels of inflammatory markers and long-term depression.

Another study drew attention to the second potential danger of junk food: the abundance of trans fats in food can increase the level of aggression. Scientists believe that these fats interfere with the processes in which polyunsaturated fatty acids, including the famous omega-3 acids, are involved. Whether this is really so, new research will show.

Another potential culprit for sadness is, of course, excess alcohol. As with sugar, the euphoria does not last long and comes with reckoning.

Especially if you are unlucky in the genetic lottery and you inherited certain types of enzymes involved in the breakdown and neutralization of alcohol. We will not even mention the connection between drinking and anger: you have probably seen examples with your own eyes.

What to do?

Of course, you should not abuse fatty, sweet and salty foods, but diet is also important for a good mood.

Medical recommendations agree that you need to eat first of all regularly , avoiding large jumps in blood glucose levels.A sharp surge of “sugar” energy will have to pay off with fatigue and despondency.

The question of whether diet can directly affect the emotional background remains open. However, doctors are sure that an abundance of unhealthy food harms many body systems. For example, consuming trans fats significantly increases the risk of heart disease, which is why the World Health Organization is suggesting that they be completely eliminated in food production.

90,000 Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) – causes of occurrence, under what diseases it occurs, diagnosis and treatment methods


The information in this section cannot be used for self-diagnosis and self-medication.In case of pain or other exacerbation of the disease, only the attending physician should prescribe diagnostic tests. For a diagnosis and correct treatment, you should contact your doctor.

Premenstrual syndrome: causes of appearance, in what diseases it occurs, diagnosis and methods of treatment.


Tearfulness, irritability, unreasonable anger (in the opinion of others), pain in the abdomen and lower back, feelings of melancholy and anxiety, headache, swelling – these and many other symptoms are associated with the development of premenstrual syndrome, or PMS. Is PMS the condition to be treated?

Premenstrual syndrome is a complex of pathological symptoms that includes a variety of psychoemotional, somatovegetative and metabolic endocrine manifestations that begin during the luteal phase of the cycle, which lasts about 14 days before the onset of menstruation, and disappear in its first days.

Thus, all the symptoms of PMS can appear both immediately after ovulation, and one to two days before the start of the next menstruation.

PMS varieties

Depending on what symptoms prevail in the manifestation of premenstrual syndrome, the following forms are distinguished:

  • edematous;
  • cephalgic;
  • crisis;
  • neuropsychiatric;
  • atypical.

The edematous form of PMS is characterized by swelling of the face, legs, fingers and associated weight gain. Possible manifestations such as engorgement of the mammary glands, sweating, skin itching and functional disorders of the intestine (constipation, diarrhea, increased gas production). All of these symptoms disappear at the beginning of menstruation and rarely require medical attention.

The cephalgic form of PMS is characterized by severe headaches, often one-sided, pulsating, aggravated by movement. Such pains are accompanied by irritability, increased sensitivity to odors, aggression, nausea, and pain in the region of the heart. The cephalgic form of PMS occurs in women who have suffered traumatic brain injury or neuroinfection, as well as those suffering from arterial hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases.The pain disappears at the end of the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle.

The crisis form of PMS is characterized by the predominance of sympathoadrenal crises (something similar to panic attacks), accompanied by an increase in blood pressure, increased heart rate, pain in the heart area without changes in the ECG. Such attacks can end with increased urination.

The neuropsychiatric form of PMS includes a number of symptoms that a woman usually does not pay attention to. They appear regularly before the onset of menstruation and are the reason for consulting a doctor: irritability, tearfulness, insomnia, aggression, depression, fatigue, sexual dysfunction, suicidal thoughts and various hallucinations.

The neuropsychiatric form is often combined with other forms, especially in severe cases of PMS.

The atypical form of PMS is rare, passes under the guise of other diseases – bronchial asthma, ulcerative gingivitis or stomatitis, iridocyclitis, myocardiopathy.

According to the severity of the course, a mild form of PMS is distinguished – 2-10 days before menstruation, up to four symptoms appear, while up to two symptoms are expressed to a large extent.

In severe PMS, more than five symptoms appear 3-14 days before the onset of menstruation, and of these, many are severe.

Possible reasons for the development of premenstrual syndrome

The incidence of PMS depends on the woman’s age.If before the age of 30, PMS symptoms occur in only 20% of women, then after 30 years, PMS occurs in almost every second woman.

Emotionally labile women, asthenic physique, often with underweight, are predisposed to the development of premenstrual syndrome.

Also, risk factors for the development of PMS include:

  • frequent stressful situations at home and at work;
  • complicated labor;
  • history of abortion;
  • surgical interventions;
  • neuroinfections;
  • frequent change of climatic zones;
  • the presence of chronic gynecological diseases.

According to modern data, a change in sensitivity to the hormone progesterone is of decisive importance in the development of negative symptoms. The role of the trigger mechanism in the onset of PMS is played by the normal change in the level of sex hormones during the menstrual cycle. In the second half of the cycle (luteal phase), progesterone has the main effect on the woman’s body.

Progesterone indirectly affects the dynamic change in the level of serotonin secretion.It is this system that ensures the regulation of mood at the neuronal level.

It is believed that in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle there is a lengthening of the processing time for negative emotions in the structures of the brain and a decrease in control over the level of expression of emotions.

Another mechanism affecting the change in the level of serotonin in the brain is constant stress, prolonged experience of unresolved conflict situations, fear, expectation of real or imaginary events.Anxiety in most cases increases appetite, and “bad mood seizing” leads to the development of flatulence and other dyspeptic disorders (constipation and diarrhea), which contributes to the course of premenstrual syndrome.

A hereditary predisposition plays a huge role in the development of PMS.

Which doctors should I contact with PMS

If the manifestations of PMS interfere with a full social and personal life, you should contact

It is important to exclude the presence of other somatic pathology, which may worsen the course of the second phase of the menstrual cycle. To do this, you need to contact
therapist. If necessary, the doctor will send narrow specialists to the necessary laboratory and instrumental examinations and consultations.

If an organic cause of the disease is not found, it is necessary to seek the advice of a psychiatrist to determine the tactics for overcoming anxiety and other stressful conditions.

Diagnostics and examinations for PMS

In the diagnosis of premenstrual syndrome, an important role is given to the patient’s diary keeping for several cycles.

It shows all the symptoms of PMS, their severity in points from 0 to 10.
In the course of excluding somatic and neuroendocrine pathology, a complex of laboratory and instrumental diagnostics is performed depending on the symptomatic picture.

  • Hormonal blood test: follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), prolactin, testosterone, estradiol, adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), thyroxine (T4), triiodothyronine (T3), thyroid stimulating hormone (thyroid stimulating hormone).

obstetrician-gynecologist, doctor of the highest category Starostina Antonina Viktorovna.

13 November 2019

Family Health Magazine

The problem of contraception sooner or later confronts every person who is sexually active and thinks about his future.Contraception is more than just protection against unwanted pregnancies. This is the preservation of your health and the way to have a healthy baby when you want it.

  • Physiological method of contraception.

Many people use the so-called physiological method. It is based on the fact that a woman can become pregnant only on the days of the cycle close to ovulation – the release of an egg ready for fertilization from the ovary. With an average 28-day cycle, “dangerous” days for conception will be from 10 to 17 days of the cycle.Days 1 through 9 and 18 through 28 are considered “safe”. This method can only be used with a regular menstrual cycle. If the duration of the cycle is different, the correction of dangerous days is made taking into account the fact that for any length of the cycle, ovulation occurs approximately 2 weeks before menstruation (and not in the middle of the cycle!). “Dangerous” will be 4-5 days in both directions from the expected ovulation. Before applying the method, it is recommended to take into account the average cycle time for the last six months. However, in this form, the physiological method is not reliable enough and, therefore, it must be supplemented with more accurate data on the timing of ovulation.Convenient and inexpensive home tests are now commercially available to determine the day of ovulation by measuring the rise in luteinizing hormone levels in a woman’s urine.

  • Interrupted intercourse.

This method of preventing pregnancy is based on the man’s ability to feel the moment of ejaculation. Feeling the approach of orgasm, the partner removes the penis from the vagina so that no sperm gets there. Many consider interrupted intercourse to be the most “simple and natural” way of protection.However, this is not quite true. The main disadvantage of this method is its low efficiency – only 40-50%. Pregnancy can occur for the following reasons: firstly, in many men, sperm production begins long before the final ejaculation, this process cannot be felt and, therefore, cannot be controlled. Considering that the first semen portions contain the highest sperm count, the unreliability of interrupted intercourse becomes obvious and understandable. Secondly, even experienced partners do not always manage to avoid getting sperm on a woman’s genitals, in this way semen can easily enter the vagina.Interrupted intercourse is associated with a certain psychological stress and dissatisfaction: a man has to control his feelings all the time, a woman is worried whether her partner can stop in time – such emotions cannot be considered “natural”. Prolonged use of interrupted intercourse can cause a man’s weakening of erection, premature ejaculation and even impotence. In women, various psychological disorders occur, in some cases anorgasmia (inability to achieve orgasm) is observed.Therefore, interrupted intercourse cannot be considered a method of contraception.

  • Male condom.

The advantages of this method are that it protects against HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, and is easy to use.

What is the disadvantage?

1. It can tear.

2. The need to put it on is not the most suitable time for extraneous manipulations.

The effectiveness of a condom is 98-99%, but in practice these figures are much lower – about 90%.The reliability of this method depends on its correct application. Many people think that it is enough to put on a condom just before ejaculation. This is wrong, because in more than half of men, semen begins to be secreted long before the onset of “final ejaculation.”

  • Chemical contraceptives: suppositories, ointments, creams

These drugs are injected into the vagina 10-15 minutes before intercourse and they should not be washed off with detergents for two hours after.With each subsequent intercourse, a new dose of the drug is used.

  • Intrauterine contraceptives.

Intrauterine devices (IUDs). They come in various shapes and sizes, and may contain various chemical elements: copper, silver, gold, hormones. The IUD is inserted on the 3-4th day of menstruation. before insertion, you need to take a smear and blood for HIV, syphilis, hepatitis. The IUD can remain in the uterine cavity for up to 5 years. There are clear contraindications for the IUD. The gynecologists of the center will help you to determine whether the IUD is right for you or not, as well as to install it in the uterine cavity.

  • Hormonal contraception.

The most popular method of contraception all over the world is hormonal. When taken correctly, oral contraceptives are nearly 100% reliable. The most popular of the hormonal contraceptives are COCs containing progestogens and estrogens. Women who regularly take hormonal contraceptives are less likely to develop inflammatory diseases of the uterus and appendages, as well as endometrial cancer, ovarian cancer and mastopathy. When taking COCs, the menstrual cycle normalizes (the female reproductive cycle increases by 28 days).The role of hormonal contraceptives in the treatment and prevention of various diseases is also well known, including infertility and miscarriage, excessive hair growth and acne, endometriosis and other diseases. Many women still fear taking birth control pills for fear of being overweight. Modern drugs contain minimal amounts of hormones, so they very rarely give complications and can be used without interruption for years, of course, with appropriate medical supervision.

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