Menstrual cycle mood: The request could not be satisfied
Why it happens, and what to do
Feeling depressed before and during a menstrual period is common. Experts believe that these emotional changes occur as a result of fluctuating hormone levels.
Most people who menstruate will experience some symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), including moodiness and headaches.
However, some individuals can develop more severe symptoms, such as depression and anger. Hormones can also cause people to feel nauseated during their period.
Severe PMS symptoms may indicate another condition, which is called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). Additionally, existing mental health conditions may temporarily worsen during a menstrual period.
In this article, we explore why some people feel depressed during a period. We also list home remedies and treatment options.
Hormonal changes during the second half of the menstrual cycle, called the luteal phase, may cause a low mood and irritability in some people.
After ovulation, which occurs midcycle, the levels of the female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone begin to fall.
Rising and falling levels of these hormones can affect brain chemicals called neurotransmitters.
Examples of these neurotransmitters are serotonin and dopamine, which are both chemicals that influence mood, sleep, and motivation.
Low levels of serotonin and dopamine can cause:
- sleep problems
- food cravings
All of these are common symptoms of PMS and PMDD.
When the levels of estrogen and progesterone begin to rise again a few days after the onset of a period, these symptoms often go away.
Despite the connection between neurotransmitters and sex hormones, it is still unclear why some people develop PMS or PMDD when others do not.
Research indicates that the levels of progesterone and estrogen are similar between people who develop a premenstrual disorder and those who do not.
Therefore, experts speculate that genetic differences may make some people more sensitive than others to changing hormone levels and the influence of these hormones on the brain.
PMS and PMDD are types of menstrual-related mood disorders. A period can also cause an existing mental health condition to worsen temporarily.
PMS causes both physical and emotional symptoms. These symptoms can begin at any stage between the end of ovulation and the beginning of the menstrual period.
Experts estimate that up to 75% of menstruating women experience some form of PMS.
The symptoms of PMS can vary greatly. Some people may have very mild symptoms, while those that others experience are debilitating.
PMS can cause:
- aches and pains
- bouts of crying
- breast tenderness
- changes in appetite
- constipation or diarrhea
- depressed mood
- irritability and anger
- lack of concentration
- sleep difficulties
PMDD is a more severe form of PMS. PMDD may affect 3–8% of people with menstrual cycles.
The symptoms are so severe that they affect the person’s daily activities and, sometimes, their relationships with others.
Symptoms of PMDD include:
- severe depression, anxiety, and irritability
- panic attacks
- severe mood swings
- frequent episodes of crying
- loss of interest in activities and other people
Suicidal ideation or attempts are a possible symptom of PMDD. According to the International Association for Premenstrual Disorders (IAPMD), an estimated 15% of women with PMDD will attempt suicide in their lifetime. Transgender people have an even higher risk.
PMDD also shares many symptoms with PMS, including:
- aches and pains
- breast tenderness
- constipation or diarrhea
- food cravings
- lack of concentration
- sleep difficulties
Hormonal changes before a period can make the symptoms of an existing mental health condition worse. This effect is known as premenstrual exacerbation.
Common disorders that may co-occur with PMS include:
- bipolar disorder
- persistent depressive disorder (dysthymic disorder)
- generalized anxiety disorder
- panic disorder
Research suggests that depression tends to be more prevalent among those with PMS than in those without this condition.
Individuals who experience depression during their period should speak to their doctor.
Various treatments are available for depression, PMS, and PMDD. The options range from home remedies to medication.
It can be useful to track symptoms before and during a menstrual period to help a doctor confirm a diagnosis and create a treatment plan.
People can keep a journal of their moods and their cycle, or they can use a period tracking app.
Learn about 10 of the best period tracking apps in this article.
Dietary and lifestyle changes may help in cases of mild PMS.
In more severe cases, or for PMDD, home remedies alone are unlikely to make a significant difference. However, they may help when individuals combine them with other treatments.
Potentially remedies include:
- eating a balanced diet and limiting the intake of sugar, fat, salt, refined carbohydrates, and alcohol
- exercising regularly
- getting enough sleep and keeping a regular sleep schedule
- reducing stress by eliminating sources of stress where possible and practicing yoga and mindfulness
Supplements may also help. Research suggests that a calcium supplement may reduce PMS-related symptoms, including depression, fatigue, and appetite changes.
It is important to speak to a doctor before taking supplements to treat PMS or any other condition.
A doctor may suggest using hormonal birth control to manage PMS symptoms. Sometimes, they may prescribe an antidepressant. Finding the right treatment can require a trial-and-error approach.
Hormonal birth control options include the pill or the patch. These may alleviate depression and other emotional and physical symptoms. In some cases, however, birth control can make depression worse.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the first-line treatment for PMDD.
People may take SSRIs throughout their menstrual cycle or during the luteal phase only. They may also be helpful for more severe cases of PMS.
Research indicates that 60–70% of women with PMDD respond to SSRIs. This rate of effectiveness is similar to that in those with major depression.
If SSRIs do not work, or if they cause undesirable side effects, a doctor may prescribe another type of antidepressant.
Individuals who experience depression regularly before or during their period may wish to speak to a doctor. Treatment is available for people with PMS, PMDD, or co-occurring mental health conditions.
If someone is at immediate risk of suicide or serious self-harm, seek emergency help by calling 911 or the local emergency number.
Anyone with suicidal thoughts can access help from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
Experiencing low mood, anxiety, or irritability during a period is common. These symptoms should resolve a few days after the onset of the menstrual period. In mild cases, lifestyle and dietary changes may be beneficial.
If these mood changes occur regularly, persist all month, or have a significant effect on a person’s life or relationships, they may require other treatment.
Many people can get relief from PMS or PMDD with appropriate treatment.
More support and information are available through the IAPMD.
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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Understanding PMS and Your Cycle
PMS (premenstrual syndrome) is a medical condition caused by the body’s response to a normal menstrual cycle. The menstrual cycle is brought on by changing levels of hormones (chemical messengers) in the body. In some women, normal hormone changes are linked to decreases in serotonin. This is a brain chemical that improves mood. These changes lead to PMS symptoms each month.
The menstrual cycle
During the menstrual cycle, a series of hormone changes prepare a woman’s body for pregnancy. The ovaries make hormones, which include estrogen and progesterone. During the cycle, these hormone levels change. This causes the uterus lining to thicken. Hormone changes also lead to the release of an egg (ovulation). If a woman doesn’t become pregnant, her body sheds the thickened lining and the egg during the menstrual period. For many women, the menstrual cycle lasts 4 weeks (28 days). Some women have shorter cycles. Others have longer ones. No matter how many days your cycle is, you can have PMS only if you ovulate.
The PMS cycle
No one knows why some women have PMS and others don’t. But PMS symptoms are closely linked to changing levels of estrogen, serotonin, and progesterone:
Estrogen rises during the first half of the menstrual cycle and drops during the second half. In some women, serotonin levels stay mostly steady. But in women with PMS, serotonin drops as estrogen drops. This means serotonin is lowest in the 2 weeks before the period. Women with low serotonin levels are likely to have PMS symptoms.
Progesterone can have a calming effect on the body. This can ease physical symptoms caused by the body’s monthly changes. In women with PMS, progesterone may not have this calming effect. This may make symptoms more severe.
Common symptoms of PMS
You may have some or all of the following:
You may have some or all of the following:
How Your Energy Levels Change on Your Menstrual Cycle
Mood changes and discomfort are common before and during a person’s menstrual cycle. You’ve likely learned what to expect from your body during menstruation, but hormonal fluctuations affect your body throughout the entire month.
Your mood and energy levels consistently change due to hormonal shifts during your cycle. This is why you may find you’re more productive during certain weeks than others.
Let’s explore the sequence of events your body goes through each month and learn more about identifying these changes so you can maximize your mood and productivity during different points in your cycle.
What Is Menstruation?
Menstruation occurs when the body is not pregnant and not preparing for a potential pregnancy. The lining flows from the uterus through the cervix before it is eventually expelled from the vagina. Menstrual blood is a combination of blood and tissue from the uterus.
The first day of your period is considered day one of your menstrual cycle. The menses phase typically lasts between 3 and 7 days. You’re likely to find you feel less productive and more sluggish during this phase of your cycle, which is perfectly normal. The bleeding and cramping aren’t solely to blame—your hormone levels are also low during the menses phase.
During your period, your estrogen levels rise slightly, and your progesterone levels dip. If you feel like laying low during this phase, don’t fight the urge. It’s essential to listen to your body and practice self-care, even if it means not checking off every item on your task list.
How to Maximize Your Time During This Phase
- Say no to making plans, or reschedule existing commitments
- Reprioritize work tasks, if possible, to have a lighter schedule
- Go to bed earlier or sleep in if your body is craving extra rest
The Follicular Phase
This phase of your cycle begins on day one of your cycle, or the first day of your period. During the follicular phase, your body begins to develop follicles on the ovaries. A mature ovum, or egg, will develop within one of the follicles between cycle days 10 and 14.
Estrogen and progesterone levels rise during the follicular phase. This promotes follicle development and helps the uterus lining grow and thicken to support a potential pregnancy.
What Does This Mean For You?
A lot is going on in your body during this point of your cycle, but you’re probably feeling pretty good despite it. Rising estrogen levels can cause a spike in energy for many, so if you’re looking for a time to increase productivity, this is your week.
How to Maximize Your Time During This Phase
- Complete any tasks you had pushed aside
- Focus on more complex projects
- Tackle your to-do list
- Ramp up your exercise routine
- Socialize with family and friends
The Ovulation Phase
Ovulation occurs around day 14 of a typical 28-day cycle. This is the point during your cycle when the mature egg is released from the ovary. If intercourse is timed properly, conception may take place during the ovulation phase.
In the days leading up to ovulation, your body experiences a surge in the luteinizing hormone (LH), which gives the ovary the go-ahead to release the egg. Estrogen and testosterone levels also peak during ovulation, so you may notice your body feels a bit different around ovulation day.
The ovulation process typically lasts for about 24 hours, but high hormone levels can last for about three to four days on either end from when the egg is released. The peak of estrogen may mean you feel more energetic than usual, while elevated testosterone levels can cause an increase in extroversion.
How to Maximize Your Time During This Phase
- Have intercourse if you and your partner are trying to conceive
- Engage in challenging conversations you’ve been hesitant to have
- Complete any team-related work tasks or projects
- Spend time in groups or attend events
The Luteal Phase
This phase refers to the time between ovulation and menstruation; the luteal phase is also known as the second half of the menstrual cycle. It most commonly occurs between days 15 and 28 of your cycle.
Once the egg has been released during ovulation, the follicle itself begins to change. The empty sac from which the egg erupts is referred to as the corpus luteum. This new structure produces progesterone to thicken the uterine lining in the event a fertilized egg implants, as well as some estrogen.
If pregnancy occurs, your body will begin producing human gonadotropin (hCG) to support the corpus luteum. Progesterone levels will also continue to rise. However, if the egg has not been fertilized, progesterone and estrogen levels will drop in preparation for your body to shed the thickened uterine lining during your next period.
What Does This Mean For You?
How your body reacts during the luteal phase depends on whether or not pregnancy has occurred. If you have not conceived, the rapid decrease in progesterone levels can leave you feeling slugging—physically and mentally.
Those pesky PMS symptoms may also begin popping up, making you feel more inclined to curl up on the couch than hit the ground running.
How to Maximize Your Time During This Phase
- Prioritize self-care, like an at-home facial or manicure
- Focus on more mundane tasks that don’t require deep thinking
- Curl up with a book or binge-watch a new series
- Treat yourself: it’s OK to give in to the occasional craving!
Understanding Your Cycle
Each individual’s body is unique, and understanding your individual cycle is crucial for nurturing your physical and mental health.
Some people prefer to track their cycles the old-fashioned way on a calendar. Still, if you’re more tech-savvy, multiple fertility apps are available to provide insight into what’s happening with your body throughout the month.
Many apps allow you to jot down notes about how you’re feeling each day, which can help you become aware of patterns that occur during your cycle. This is also beneficial for tracking any changes that may need to be brought to your doctor’s attention.
A Word From Verywell
Your menstrual cycle is more than just your period—it’s the sequence of events that occurs in your body each month. Recognizing how your body responds to each phase of your cycle can help you identify physical and behavioral patterns that occur throughout the month, allowing you to reach peak productivity while maximizing self-care.
When we listen to our bodies, it allows us to respond accordingly to its signals, bettering our overall health. If you have questions or concerns about your menstrual cycle, contact your health provider for an evaluation.
Premenstrual syndrome | You and Your Hormones from the Society for Endocrinology
Alternative names for premenstrual syndrome
PMS; premenstrual tension; PMT; premenstrual dysphoric disorder (severe PMS)
What is premenstrual syndrome?
Woman pressing her abdomen to relieve cramps due to premenstrual syndrome.
Most women experience some symptoms in the days leading up to their monthly period (i.e. during the second half of the menstrual cycle). Each woman’s symptoms are different and can vary month to month. If these symptoms, which can manifest as physical, behavioural and psychological, recur and are severe enough to impact on the woman’s daily life they are defined as premenstrual syndrome. Symptoms usually disappear or significantly decrease by the end of menstruation. More severe PMS is known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
The first day of the menstrual cycle is defined as the first day of a monthly period. Around mid-cycle – approximately day 14 if cycles are regular – ovulation occurs. The empty follicle that has nurtured the egg forms a corpus luteum, which produces high levels of progesterone and lower levels of oestradiol to prepare the womb for pregnancy if conception has occurred. If the egg is not fertilised then the corpus luteum begins to break down and the production of progesterone and oestradiol begins to fall. This starts about a week before the next period.
What causes premenstrual syndrome?
The exact cause of premenstrual syndrome is not known however hormonal changes are thought to trigger the symptoms. After ovulation, when the corpus luteum begins to break down, the decline in progesterone levels towards the end of the menstrual cycle affects various chemicals in the brain (such as serotonin). Women with premenstrual syndrome do not have abnormal levels of hormones but they appear to be more sensitive to the effects of progesterone and oestrogen.
The degree to which these processes affect a woman will be influenced by her psychological and social wellbeing at that particular time in her life.
What are the signs and symptoms of premenstrual syndrome?
Up to 150 symptoms have been identified as part of premenstrual syndrome. The most common physical symptoms include breast tenderness, feeling bloated, headaches, acne, abdominal pain and fatigue. The most commonly experienced psychological symptoms include mood swings, irritability, anxiety, depression, feeling tearful, upset/emotional and difficulty in concentrating.
How common is premenstrual syndrome?
It is difficult to estimate how many women are affected. Up to 80% of women are thought to experience premenstrual symptoms while premenstrual syndrome itself is believed to affect between 5% and 25% of women in the reproductive age group. An estimated 5% to 8% of women suffer from severe premenstrual syndrome also known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder.
Is premenstrual syndrome inherited?
Early research has suggested that there may be a genetic-predisposition to developing premenstrual syndrome; however, this has not been proven. More research is needed to clarify whether premenstrual syndrome runs in families.
How is premenstrual syndrome diagnosed?
Diagnosis of premenstrual syndrome is based on the symptoms experienced by the patient and the point during the menstrual cycle at which the symptoms are experienced. In order to make a diagnosis, women are encouraged to keep a diary of their symptoms over the course of at least two consecutive months.
How is premenstrual syndrome treated?
Because the exact cause of premenstrual syndrome is not yet understood treatment is focused on providing relief from symptoms. Management of premenstrual syndrome follows a tiered approach and each treatment option may take up to three months to make a noticeable difference. Initial management involves encouraging a woman to lead a healthy lifestyle, in terms of a balanced diet, regular exercise and minimising stress, as well as avoiding salt, caffeine and alcohol.
There are a number of herbal and vitamin supplements that are suggested for treatment of premenstrual syndrome. Some small studies have suggested that a good intake of the B vitamins thiamine and riboflavin as well as calcium and vitamin D may reduce the risk of premenstrual syndrome. Chasteberry (Vitex agnus castus) supplements are also supported by small studies. Further research is required to clarify the benefits of all of these. A woman should consult her doctor or dietician to discuss a regime that would be appropriate for her.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (a specific type of talking therapy) has also been shown to be of benefit in the management of premenstrual syndrome.
Medical treatments fall into two main groups: hormonal treatments and selective serotonin receptor inhibitors (or SSRIs).
Hormonal treatments – premenstrual syndrome can be alleviated in a proportion of women by using hormonal contraceptives that suppress ovulation. There are a number of ways to do this. The woman may be given oestrogen patches with progestogen (progesterone) in the form of tablets or a steroid-impregnated intrauterine device, called Mirena. Sometimes the combined oral contraceptive pill may be used. If a woman’s symptoms are very severe, she may be referred to a gynaecologist and be given another hormone treatment called a gonadotrophin-releasing hormone analogue. Since the hormonal methods used to ameliorate symptoms of premenstrual syndrome are also contraceptive, they are not appropriate if the woman is planning a pregnancy.
Selective serotonin receptor inhibitors – these are a group of medications that are used to treat depression (by elevating levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin) and have also been found to be very effective in the treatment of premenstrual syndrome. Unlike in depression, it is possible to take the medication just when experiencing symptoms, i.e. just in the second half of the menstrual cycle. This group of antidepressants may be harmful in pregnancy, so women that are planning a pregnancy should seek advice on treatment options from their doctor.
Are there any side-effects to the treatment?
Vitamin supplements and complementary therapies to relieve the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome can cause side-effects; for example, calcium supplements can cause indigestion.
With hormonal treatments, sometimes a woman can be sensitive to the hormone and experience side-effects such as nausea or breast tenderness.
Some women feel nauseated or drowsy when they first take selective serotonin receptor inhibitors but these side-effects usually settle. This medication can also affect libido (sexual drive).
Women should discuss any concerns about the treatment options or side-effects mentioned with their doctor.
What are the longer-term implications of premenstrual syndrome?
The frequency and severity of premenstrual syndrome varies from woman to woman and in each individual woman from month to month.
The greatest prevalence appears to be among women aged 30 to 50 but women can also experience a worsening of their symptoms around the time of their menopause (attributed to the erratic fluctuations in hormone levels at this time). Also it is a common time for a woman to experience stress in her life, for example as children leave home and ageing parents become more dependent. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can be used to treat symptoms due to the menopause and has a variable effect on symptoms experienced as part of premenstrual syndrome, which can occur during the perimenopausal period.
Premenstrual syndrome should resolve when the woman has passed her menopause as the woman no longer has a menstrual cycle with the associated cyclic release of steroid hormones from the ovary. Likewise, during pregnancy there will be no cyclical symptoms. However, women may experience similar symptoms such as abdominal bloating, breast tenderness and mood swings during pregnancy as levels of progesterone are high.
Are there patient support groups for people with premenstrual syndrome?
The National Association for Premenstrual Syndrome (NAPS) may be able to provide advice and support to patients and their families.
Last reviewed: Apr 2019
Menstrual Cycles & Mental Health
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is something that most people who have periods will experience. Hormones are powerful, and when they’re fluctuating (as they do before your period) they can make us feel pretty physically and emotionally out of kilter. Sometimes, the symptoms of PMS can go beyond just discomfort, manifesting as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) – a severe form of PMS.
Unfortunately, PMS is common. From bloating and headaches to bad skin and sensitive moods, a whopping 90% of us will experience at least one PMS symptom before our period.
If that wasn’t enough, before our period, hormones can also amplify things like anxiety, depression and other mental health conditions we may already be trying to manage. Thanks, hormones!
In this guide, Yoppie explores PMS, PMDD, uncovering the unique relationship between your period and your mental health to help you get on top of PMS for good!
Why understanding mental health & menstrual cycles is important
Because hormones have a hand in almost everything going on in our bodies, they also affect our brains and therefore, emotions. This is why hormones can directly influence our mental health, even if that change is just periodic and linked to our monthly cycle.
Learning about what your hormones are up to during your cycle can help you understand why you might be feeling a certain way. And although it won’t give you the power to suddenly control how you’re feeling all of the time, it can help you make sense of it.
It also acts as a reminder to stop our inner voice giving us such a hard time, and to be kind to ourselves instead. With the right knowledge and self-care, we can turn meltdowns and angst into understanding and compassion.
Many people will also experience a mental health condition at some point in our lives, whether that’s just briefly or something that has to be managed long term. Understanding how our hormones interplay with existing mental health conditions can help to avoid misdiagnosing PMS or PMDD. We’ll go into more detail about this a bit later in the guide.
Hormonal changes and how they affect your mood
What may look like on the surface to be uncontrolled anger, destruction and rage may actually be truth, justice and love. – Layla Saad
In the days leading up to your period, you might notice a subtle emotional shift, or it could feel more like dropping off the side of a cliff.
As well as physical symptoms like cramps and headaches, PMS can include emotional symptoms like:
- Tiredness and fatigue
- Teariness and emotional vulnerability
- Heightened anxiety
- Feeling generally unsettled
All this can mean that we’re:
- Not feeling very sexy (our libido and lubrication goes AWOL)
- More sensitive to criticism (from ourselves and others)
- Reacting more strongly to triggers
- Wanting to withdraw and spend some time alone
We’ve all heard PMS being dismissed with shallow quips when emotional reactions are judged to be out of place (usually by people who don’t have periods). The mindless comment “are you on your period or something?” is poised to instil rage rather than bestow any gems of insight.
We’re not immune to occasionally having a good laugh at ourselves when we do indulge in a bit of PMS fuelled behaviour, but generally, PMS just makes us more sensitive to things that would probably already bother us. The rose-tinted spectacles we wore during ovulation have come off and tolerance levels can drop.
What causes PMS?
As with many issues around women’s health, due to a lack of scientific research, it’s not known for sure exactly what causes PMS. But, there is a strong theory.
During ovulation, the female sex hormones oestrogen and progesterone peak. During the luteal phase (the phase in your cycle after ovulation) both these hormones begin to fall. Then there’s a second smaller peak as progesterone rises, peaks then drops again.The rapid rise and fall of these hormones can affect chemicals called neurotransmitters in our brains, namely:
Both of these neurotransmitters influence mood, sleep and energy levels, with low levels sometimes causing:
- Sleep problems
- Food cravings
All symptoms of PMS and PMDD
But it seems not everyone is affected in the same way. Some experts believe genetic differences mean some people are more sensitive than others to changing hormones and the influence these have on the brain. This is because research suggests that women who develop PMS or PMDD actually have similar levels of progesterone and oestrogen to those who don’t.
What are “normal” PMS symptoms?
Everyone is different, so putting a label on what’s normal isn’t really possible. The best thing to do is to work out what’s normal for you, and if your normal is ok with you!
Generally, PMS symptoms last for a few days to a week before the start of a period and – although pretty dang unpleasant – shouldn’t have a significant impact on your overall well being. But, this isn’t the case for everyone.
Common PMS symptoms
Not everyone experiences all PMS symptoms, but some of the most common are:
Withdrawing and detachment
It’s not unusual to start feeling a little detached in the days before your period. Social gatherings and parties suddenly seem less than appealing and your motivation is at a monthly low.
Low sex drive
Oestrogen takes a nosedive in this part of the cycle and takes vaginal lubrication along with it. Although you might be feeling a little needier and happy to give and receive physical affection, sex is probably not high on your priority list.
Change in appetite
You could be craving more of certain foods around this time, or, your appetite could disappear. It’s common to feel like eating sweet, carb heavy ‘comfort food’ – but that doesn’t mean it’s good for your PMS.
Feeling anxious, irritable or sensitive
You might find yourself getting teary, feeling extra stressed or just unwilling to let go of an injustice you’d normally gloss over. Feelings of anxiety can also bubble up around now and you might find yourself feeling insecure or questioning your job or relationships. You may also find that you’re being self critical about your choices and feelings.
Feeling tired but finding it hard to sleep
Despite feeling fatigued and lethargic, you might find it hard to fall asleep at night. Experts believe it’s not uncommon to experience weird nightmares or daydreams.
The NHS outlines some more symptoms here.
If you believe PMS symptoms are having a recurring, lasting and significant negative effect on your wellbeing, it may be worth exploring the possibility of PMDD, and/or your overall emotional and mental health.
Around 20 and 40% of women experience moderate to severe premenstrual symptoms (PMS). But between 3 and 8% of women experience symptoms that prevent them from functioning in normal daily life. This is premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
What to look out for:
- If your relationships at home and work are suffering – for example, do you find yourself breaking up with your boyfriend at the same time every month, or feel like quitting your job despite enjoying it most of the time?
- If your inner critic becomes overwhelming and starts tipping into self loathing.
- If you find yourself having suicidal thoughts or urges to self harm.
- If you feel unable to cope with everyday events or responsibilities like working, cooking, going to appointments or even leaving the house.
- If you’re finding it impossible to concentrate or constantly forgetting things.
- If you’re experiencing heart palpitations or anxiety attacks.
There can often be a relationship between PMDD and other mental health conditions. In fact, PMDD and PMS can mimic the symptoms of other conditions and vice versa, leading to misdiagnosis. This is why if you think you may have PMDD, it’s important to speak to an understanding GP.
What can get misdiagnosed as PMDD or PMS?
To make things even more confusing, there are several conditions that can imitate or overlap with PMS and PMDD symptoms. Things like:
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Thyroid disease
The emotional symptoms of depression and anxiety can be really similar to PMS. It’s thought that around half of women seeking treatment for PMS also have one of these conditions. Depression and anxiety can be around for the entire month – but still, unfortunately, get worse before or during periods.
Handling and adapting to your cycles and mood
One of the best ways to make the most of your cycles and mood is to start tracking your cycle. Once you start figuring out a pattern, not only will you be able to predict more accurately when you’re about to start your period, but you may start noticing a significant pattern to your emotions each month.
There are loads of apps around that can help you track your cycle, but it may take some trial and error to find one you like best. You could even just use a notebook or paper diary.
Harnessing hormonal ebbs and flows
We can’t all feel at our best all of the time. A bit of self reflection and down time can be the perfect antidote to a hectic month. If you’re naturally a little introverted, having a great excuse to slow things down can be a welcome relief. It can be the perfect time to give yourself some much-needed space for self-reflection and a little extra TLC.
Understanding your own personal cycle gives you the opportunity to make plans knowing in advance how you might feel. PMS week may not be the best to try out that new dancing spot, instead, schedule some one-on-one time with a close friend, a night in with some good food or even just a bath or hitting the sack early.
If you’re feeling emotional or teary, it can be exhausting trying to bottle your emotions up. Allow yourself to cry if that’s how you feel. Finding an outlet like watching a weepy film or listening to music in a space of your own, on your own terms, can be cathartic.
Coping with PMS
As well as tracking your cycle and slowing things down just before your period, here’s some general self care and coping tips to help kick PMS to the curb.
The food we eat helps us regulate our bodily functions, and one of those functions is the transport of certain hormones. Eating well throughout the month is one of the best and healthiest ways to curb PMS symptoms.
Deficiencies in certain vitamins and minerals such as B vitamins like Vitamin B6, Iron, Magnesium can affect hormones and make symptoms associated with PMS, worse. Likewise, although you might find yourself craving those sweet, carby meals and snacks – but overloading on sugar can also worsen PMS symptoms.
Exercise can help alleviate PMS symptoms. Especially aerobic exercise. If you’re not an avid exerciser, don’t be put off – you don’t have to join a gym or take up running. Exercise should be available in some form to everyone. Experiment to find one that works for you.
From walking, jogging, skipping (jump rope) and swimming to local classes like yoga, pilates and spinning – there’s lots to choose from. Even just switching up your route to work to incorporate 30 minutes walking each day could make a noticeable difference.
PMS can affect our body clocks, making it more difficult to sleep even if we’re feeling lethargic. To try and counter this, tune out for as long as possible before bedtime. Try putting your phone away (staring at your phone before bed can make it harder to fall asleep), dimming the lights and doing something you find relaxing before shutting your eyes for the night.
Ensure the room you’re sleeping in is ventilated (opening the window for a short period of time each day can help to increase oxygen levels in the room) and make your bed as comfortable as possible.
Essential oils like lavender can also help aid sleep, so popping a few drops on your pillowcase might help you drift off.
Stress has a habit of making any symptom worse, including those of PMS. Some people find that massage, yoga and meditation really help.
Don’t feel guilty about saying “no”. Although it’s a good time to take stock, It might help to try and avoid having any big or important discussions around this time.
Studies have shown smoking can make PMS symptoms worse, so, apart from the fact it can cause cancer – another pretty good reason to stop!
If your PMS really has you at the end of your tether, you might want to speak to a healthcare professional to see if specific treatments are worth looking into. As well as lifestyle and habit changes your doctor can suggest things such as hormonal medicines, cognitive behavioural therapy or antidepressants to help beat those monthly blues.
For more in depth info on tackling PMS, PMDD and mental health – stay tuned. We’re on a mission to arm you with the facts you need to feel on top of your menstrual health for your whole cycle, every cycle.
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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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 the only one.
90,000 Female hormones, their effect on appearance, health and mood.
Hormones! Throughout life – from puberty to menopause, as well as before and after – they affect a woman’s mood, appearance, weight, sex drive, and more.If the effects of female hormones are, for some reason, inconsistent and complicating life, you can influence a more balanced hormone distribution by changing your lifestyle. Sometimes hormone therapy is required. Explains Gita Erta, endocrinologist of “Veselības center 4”.
HOW DO FEMALE HORMONES AFFECT WELL-BEING DURING A CYCLE?
During the cycle, hormones are involved that produce the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland – these endocrine organs are located in the brain, so we can say that to a large extent the woman’s menstrual cycle regulates what happens in the head, as well as the ovaries.
ESTROGENS AND PROGESTERONE
These are the most well-known female hormones, which are mainly produced by the ovaries and which directly affect a woman’s sexual and reproductive health. These hormones provide femininity, but their main physiological task is to ensure the possibility of fertilization of the egg and its attachment in the uterus.
In the first part of the menstrual cycle , estrogens dominate, making a woman more sexually attractive.Estrogens stimulate the sympathetic nervous system, so a woman is more active, easier to have a relationship. The skin becomes rosier (blood flow in the skin improves) and healthier. Breasts enlarge under the influence of estrogens, as estrogens have little effect on fluid retention. If all other hormones work in a balanced way, the woman has a great mood, increased libido, especially before ovulation.
In the second phase of the cycle progesterone dominates. Due to the activation of the parasympathetic nervous system, a woman becomes more active, passive – the goal of nature is to preserve a possible pregnancy.Progesterone reduces edema, has a slight diuretic effect, and reduces estrogen receptors in both the breast and uterus.
At the end of cycle there is a sharp drop in estrogen levels, which causes a new period. Nature has provided for women of reproductive age the opportunity to become pregnant every month. Therefore, the woman’s body is like a plant for the production of hormones, where during this period of time everything is subordinated to the creation of children.
FEMALE HORMONE IMBALANCE
An imbalance in female hormones usually manifests itself as menstrual irregularities, there may be increased bloating, unpleasant breast tenderness, irregular bleeding, mood changes, weight gain, etc.
If the body produces too much estrogen or there is a deficiency of progesterone , causing a relative excess of estrogen, a woman may become unproductively hyperactive and nervous. An imbalance in hormones can cause severe premenstrual syndrome, which is characterized by painful and swollen breasts, bloating, low pain threshold, and increased menstrual bleeding.
If estrogen is low , fatigue is often observed, depression may begin, even cognitive impairment (memory impairment), libido decreases.Clinical symptoms: hot flashes with increased sweating – especially at night, as during menopause, sagging breasts, changes in the menstrual cycle, skin and mucous membranes become dry, etc. mood changes and unpleasant physical sensations – headache, indomitable appetite and the like – should not be taken as normal before menstruation, these are PMS symptoms.If PMS regularly bothers you, you need to see a doctor.
WHEN TO TAKE HORMONE TESTS?
They should be taken if there are complaints.
- In the case of pronounced PMS in the second phase of the cycle, the level of estrogen and progesterone is determined, sometimes hormone control is required both in the first and in the second phase of the cycle. The doctor assesses not only the rate of the level of each specific hormone in accordance with a certain age and day of the cycle, but also the general picture.
- If a woman fails to become pregnant , the level of so-called male hormones is determined and other specific tests are done, for example, the level of anti-Müllerian hormone, which shows ovarian reserves or the woman’s reproductive potential. It happens that already at the age of 30, the level of this hormone is lower than at the norm at the age of 70. If in such a situation a woman wants a child, she needs a donor egg, because, most likely, genetics and lifestyle have led to the inability to conceive a child naturally.
- A relatively common diagnosis in our time is polycystic ovary syndrome . It is characterized by an increased concentration of male hormones – testosterone and androstenedione in the blood, as well as an increased level of LH (luteinizing hormone). The higher the LH level, the greater the risk of infertility.
THE IMPORTANCE OF LIFESTYLE IN THE BALANCE OF HORMONES
For hormones to function according to their function, both heredity and lifestyle are equally important.
- Smoking poses great risks to a woman’s health, especially with regard to reproductive health, and is incompatible with planning pregnancy.
- Being physically active and getting enough sleep not only ensures a normal metabolism, but also contributes to resistance to excessive stress. PMS and other cycle disorders can occur due to overload, lack of sleep, insufficient physical activity, or insufficient, unbalanced diet.Intense emotional stress decreases the synthesis of estrogen and progesterone.
- Nutrition is also of great importance. A diet with enough protein and healthy fatty acids promotes the synthesis of estrogen and progesterone, and sugar and other fast carbohydrates understand it. The optimal diet for the synthesis of female hormones would be a paleo diet containing sufficient amounts of meat and fish, which provide the body with a large number of amino acids, which is rich in fresh vegetables and fruits.
- Excessive weight loss can lead to the cessation of menstruation, as there is a deficiency of female hormones. Women with anorexia are not only unhealthy thin, but also pale skin, brittle hair and nails, they change the shape of their breasts, because the level of estrogen is low, like in menopause. If there is obesity, there are too many estrogens, so a woman can become nervous, overly anxious, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus, various cancers (breast, ovarian, endometrial cancer), etc., increases significantly.
OTHER HORMONES ENSURING WELL-BEING AND HEALTH
In a woman’s body, the endocrine glands secrete not only hormones necessary for reproductive function, but many others. Let’s talk only about some of the most important ones.
Every woman needs a certain amount of testosterone, which is known as the male hormone. It promotes sexuality, activity, muscle and bone strength, poise, and cognitive function.If too much of this hormone is released, there is the appearance of increased hairiness on the face and body, but at the same time hair loss, problems with the skin of the face may arise – acne may appear, the tone of the voice may change. Then it is clear that hormone imbalance is to blame, which needs to be treated.
It is a hormone that has a great impact on overall health. Oxytocin is mainly released during pleasant sensations, so this needs to be taken care of.If you like water procedures, you need to accept them, if you like good books, you need to read them. Touching almost everyone causes pleasant sensations, therefore, massage is recommended especially in times of bad mood. The release of oxytocin leads to vasodilation, including coronary or heart vessels, lowering blood pressure, increasing libido, accelerating orgasm, and also promotes wound healing, reduces pain, helps muscles relax, and stimulates anabolism.
An important hormone produced by the pancreas.If you are overweight, so-called insulin resistance develops. In this situation, the cells become less sensitive to insulin, so the pancreas has to produce much more hormone. For a while, the pancreas can do this, but then the exhaustion phase begins, when an increased level of glucose is detected in the laboratory. Fortunately, insulin levels during pre-diabetes can be regulated by lifestyle changes – choosing a diet plan that reduces excess weight, ensuring enough physical activity to burn excess calories from carbohydrates.At the same time, lifestyle changes will also balance female hormones.
A hormone that the body produces too much in situations of prolonged stress. This leads to cravings for sweets and changes the metabolism, which contributes to obesity. To keep this hormone from being released too much, you need to balance your lifestyle. You need to get enough sleep regularly (you need to sleep about eight hours every night), exercise (in moderation at least five times a week), eat healthy, sufficient food, but not too much.This all trains resistance to excessive stress or distress.
We and hormones: how do they affect us?
The first day of the cycle is usually considered the day of the onset of menstrual bleeding. Against the background of a decrease in the concentration of the main “female” hormones (progesterone and estrogen), rejection of the endometrium begins – a thick layer of the uterine mucosa, “feather bed”, prepared by the body in case of a possible pregnancy.
Increases the concentration of prostaglandins – mediators of pain, stimulants of uterine contractility. Good for the body – the uterus contracts, throwing out the old endometrium and constricting the bleeding vessels. And for us – one disorder: pain and heaviness in the lower abdomen.
Antispasmodics will help relieve discomfort: No-shpa, Belastezin, Papaverin, Buscopan. But “Aspirin” is desirable not to take, as it can increase blood loss.
In the ovaries, the most “advanced” follicle, which bears the egg, begins to develop. Sometimes there are more than one “advanced”, and then, after successful fertilization, several babies may appear at once.
I really want to be beautiful, but today hormones are working against us. As a result of low estrogen production, the activity of the sweat and sebaceous glands increases. You have to spend half a day in the shower, devote more time to your face and correct your makeup more often.
Hair changes its chemical structure and is less amenable to styling. Perms done during your period last less, so do not plan to visit your hairdresser on these days.
Pain sensitivity is still high. In order to avoid “thrills” it is better to postpone the visit to the dentist, epilation and other unpleasant manipulations for 4-5 days.
30-50 g of mulled wine made from good red wine will help relieve stress and possible painful sensations in the lower abdomen.However, more alcohol on these days is contraindicated: it can lengthen menstruation and increase blood loss.
The phrase “Cleanliness is the guarantee of health” is especially relevant! In the uterus, after mucosal rejection, a wound surface is formed. And the cervix these days is as open as possible, and therefore is the entrance gate for infection.
It is advisable to abstain from sex. However, if “you can’t, but you really want to”, then be sure to use barrier contraception. Remember that a condom will reduce the likelihood of infections and also prevent pregnancy, which is possible even on these days.
Critical days are coming to an end. The mood improves, and we feel a surge of strength and energy. However, do not overestimate yourself.
At this time, sports feats, repair work, rearrangement of furniture and other activities associated with heavy physical exertion are contraindicated. But morning exercises will help reduce the duration of menstruation and the amount of blood loss.
The healing process in the uterus ends. During normal menstruation, a woman usually loses about 100 ml of blood. Such blood loss stimulates the body’s defenses, activates metabolism, while being the most common cause of iron deficiency anemia in women from 13 to 50 years old.
Therefore, it will be useful to include iron-containing products in the diet – beef, liver, seafood, buckwheat, pomegranates, apples, dried apricots.And also foods rich in vitamin C: meat, leafy greens, currants, gooseberries, apples, citrus fruits, rosehip broth, juices, etc.
If you want to lose weight, improve your figure or to achieve sports victories, start doing it today.
In the renewed body after menstruation, the metabolism is accelerated, which means that excess calories are burned faster, fat is broken down, protein for muscles is more actively synthesized, the general tone of the body, strength and endurance increase.
The “advanced” follicle in the ovaries, which increases every day, produces more and more estrogens. At the same time, the level of testosterone begins to rise, which in the female body is responsible for the qualities usually attributed to men: high performance, sharp mind, broad outlook, excellent memory and ability to concentrate.
Therefore this day was simply created for study and career growth. Estrogen and testosterone together drive away habitual drowsiness, give vigor and freshness of thoughts better than the most expensive coffee.It’s like an extra 25th hour appears in the day – use it!
How the menstrual cycle affects your well-being: how to plan your days | Vogue Ukraine
Thousands of women share on social media stories of how they plan everything from sports to sex life according to their menstrual cycle. Why it is useful to compare your plans with the phases of the cycle is described in the material.
Photo: Getty Images
At 20, Alice Vitti had health problems.She studied to be an obstetrician-gynecologist, but her own reproductive system proved to be more complex than what she read about in medical textbooks. She had only a few periods in her life and struggled with acne, severe mood swings and rapid weight gain. When the girl was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome, she was told that she was unlikely to be able to influence the course of her symptoms, but Vitti believed that by putting her medical knowledge into practice, she would find a solution.
“I started researching how I can use nutrition and exercise to naturally support endocrine function,” she says. “Many women struggle with menstrual irregularities, and traditional medicine has nothing to offer but contraception. It might be a great option, but I wanted to find other ways to help women maintain their hormonal systems and have more leeway with regard to the quality of their hormonal health. ”
Read More Vitti founded FloLiving, an educational medical platform on how to support your body during your menstrual cycle. Vitti is part of an ever-evolving female community that believes that you can improve your overall health by listening to your body, harmoniously adjusting your diet and exercise program throughout the cycle.
It is nothing new to blame the menstrual cycle for the desire to eat something sweet or in a bad mood.I definitely blame menstruation for everything from bloating to unpleasant dialogue with my boyfriend. Although I have long suspected hormones in my mental and physical complaints, I usually set aside just one night to feel sorry for myself. Cycle sync is a concept that allows you to achieve more – to dramatically improve your quality of life by paying attention to the behavior of hormones throughout your cycle.
Vitti is not the only one who believes cycle tracking can have a significant impact on quality of life.The idea of changing lifestyles to match the menstrual cycle is becoming increasingly popular in wellness communities. Their followers argue that this approach can help relieve everything from low energy levels during menstruation to perimenopausal symptoms. The US women’s soccer team even makes a training schedule based on which period of the cycle the athletes’ bodies are most prepared for physical activity.
A quick analysis of social media also shows that cycle tracking is well established on the Internet – thousands of women share stories of how they plan everything from sports to sex life according to their menstrual cycle.On TikTok, the hashtag #cyclesyncing has 4.6 million views, and content creators are in awe of how much their life changed when they ate sunflower seeds a week before their period or focused on creativity while bleeding. Some even specifically make dates during periods of high energy (just after menstruation) or plan a break from social activity when they are more likely to want to be alone (during premenstrual periods).
Adjusting your personal life or sports to the phases of your menstrual cycle may seem like overly obsessive and pseudoscience.But this trend has real evidence. “During the first fourteen days of a cycle, hormone levels are fairly low,” says Dr. Samantha Wild, Women’s Clinical Leader and Primary Care Physician at Bupa Health Clinics. “Research shows that strength training during this phase increases muscle mass compared to training later in the cycle … By listening to your body, you can also choose foods that will avoid energy depletion.A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains can help balance your hormones, while red meat, dairy and alcohol can increase PMS symptoms such as mood swings, fatigue and bloating. ”
In general, there are claims that previously made assumptions about our bodies are based on erroneous and incomplete data. “They say, for example, that we need the same amount of calories every day, because historically, research has always been done on men, and it has been suggested that women are just smaller versions of men with a slightly slower metabolism.” explains Vitti.“But in fact, in the second half of your cycle, your metabolism picks up and you need more calories to comfortably cope with this shift. We rely on beliefs that are not only wrong, but also cause many hormonal disruptions. ”
Over the past few years, photos of women like Kiran Gandhi running the London marathon with blood on her clothes, and Rupi Kaur’s viral Instagram post with her bed soiled on her menstrual period have sparked talk about how women cope with menstruation.The growing interest in synchronizing the lifestyle with the cycle seems to be part of this trend, and the popularity of this idea is only growing. So what do you need to consider if you want to try this?
Laina Brayboy is the head physician in the Clue Women’s Health App. She believes that focusing on changes in your body is best in tracking your cycle, as this information can be helpful in keeping your hunger and mood swings in check. For example, by looking at previous cycles, you can predict the appearance of breakouts and schedule body treatments, drink more water, and get more rest.But the doctor also warns against the use of unscrupulous resources, the purpose of which is to make money quickly.
“Look for cycle tracking apps that provide scientific evidence to help the user better understand reproductive health in the context of their own cycle,” she says. “Choose resources with strong privacy policies that allow you to choose how your personal information will be used.”
After she turned twenty, Vitti was able to bring her symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome under control.She attributes this to the increased attention to her body, which Vitti has learned by adjusting her lifestyle to the phases of the cycle. She hopes that cultural perceptions are changing and women are beginning to understand their bodies better and feel more comfortable discussing menstruation.
“The idea of synchronizing the cycle with a lifestyle can help optimize our health, but it is also an opportunity to listen to our body and follow its needs instead of trying to force the body to do what it was not meant to do,” says Vitti.”This is a very good trend indeed.”
Text: Katie Bishop
Based on materials from vogue.co.uk
How menses affect mood, appearance and physical condition ⋆ Bombshell.today
The process of menstruation and the menstrual cycle of every woman who has reached puberty has its own characteristics. It is impossible to create a single universal description of each day of the cycle for all women. But the mechanism itself is common to everyone.
If you know about him, you can explain a particular state of your body or mood, which makes life much easier, writes Bit.
Let’s try to consider the individual stages of the cycle. Each woman has a different cycle duration, but the norm is considered to be from 21 to 35 days. The duration also depends on the woman’s age: in adolescence, the cycle is usually longer and then gradually decreases.
Generally considered the phase of the cycle with the most discomfort.
So, in the first days there are often unpleasant sensations, the body loses a large amount of blood (the largest for the entire period of the cycle). Blood loss occurs due to the release of hormones prostaglandins, it is they that cause contractions of the uterus.
This process takes place in order for the old endometrium to fall off. Since all the forces of the body are directed specifically at the release of one hormone, there are still not enough others. Therefore, abdominal pain occurs, there may be diarrhea, nausea, headache and even fever.Also, the general condition of the skin may worsen (it may be pale) and the work of the sebaceous glands may increase.
At the same time, another important hormone, estrogen, is hardly secreted. At first, all forces are spent on the healing process.
Unpleasant sensations and a bad emotional state arise from many factors: stress , unhealthy diet, taking medications. Therefore, each woman feels differently at this time.
For someone, the first two days of the cycle are a real test, severe pain, bad mood.This is a fairly normal body reaction. But if your first and or second day is almost no different from others, this is just a feature of the body.
The main thing is to monitor the amount of secretions – they should not be more than the norm. If the need to change personal hygiene items arises every hour, it can be called profuse monthly . But in general, the amount of blood that is lost in one cycle should be approximately 2-3 tablespoons (30-60 ml).
Now is the best time for any procedure that requires healing (e.g. facials, peels, dental procedures, hair removal, etc.)etc.). The body is still spending all its energy on healing, so it responds more easily to pain.
General mood improves. Other hormones begin to be released – estrogen, oxytocin. They all work on vasoconstriction. The blood is getting smaller.
Migraines, headaches, high blood pressure may occur. At this time, it becomes more difficult to endure travel, any pressure drops can cause discomfort and weakness.
Now is the best time to pay attention to your emotional state and to protect yourself from stress.At this time, the body begins to prepare for ovulation. Therefore, if you are planning a pregnancy , avoid what may be stressful for you.
Since before that you lost a certain amount of blood, it will be good to restore the balance of iron in the body (you can add beef, buckwheat, red peppers, tomatoes, liver and other foods high in iron to the diet).
During this period, there is a general rise in strength, mood and energy.This period (4-5 days before ovulation) is the best time to solve as many important matters as possible and implement many plans. You feel energized, energized and eager to try something new.
Testosterone and estrogen begin to be secreted in the body in large quantities. This is how the body prepares for ovulation, whether you plan to become pregnant or not. The high level of these hormones is the reason for the excellent appearance, the condition of the skin improves, the general lightness in the body can be felt, as if you have lost weight.This is because the fluid that accumulates during menstruation and causes swelling is gradually released.
These days are the best time to visit a gynecologist. During ovulation, the discharge changes and may differ from the usual state, so it is better to see a doctor before or after ovulation.
This is the fertile phase – the period when you are most likely to get pregnant.
The body prepares for ovulation, the amount of secretions increases significantly, in particular, this can be observed during sex – more natural lubrication is released.
These days there is a mood to communicate with people: you are more open to new acquaintances, confident in yourself. This is due to the fact that the number of hormones that are responsible for libido is constantly increasing. You may want new acquaintances or even experiments (for example, with appearance or sexually).
Every woman has her own day when ovulation begins. But usually it is the 14th day that is considered to be the time when the probability of getting pregnant is maximum. But even a few days before that, it is worth remembering about contraception (as in any other, if you do not use other methods with a partner).If the sperm enters the uterus a few days before ovulation, it may still be active for 72 hours. Therefore, the fertilization process can take place.
Calendar method of contraception, that is, the calculation of the days of the cycle, among the least effective. Remember this
On the day of ovulation, a follicle bursts in the ovary. This process can cause pain in the lower abdomen, bloating. In addition, the protective layer covering the uterus liquefies, so at this time the body is especially susceptible to sexually transmitted infections – special attention should be paid to contraception.
The fertility phase is gradually ending. Emotions are changed by prudent actions. This is due to hormones, estrogen is not already released in such an amount. At the same time, progesterone is actively released. Bloating may occur, digestion becomes slower, and acne may develop.
By this time, the emotional outburst has passed, you become more reasonable, you can better recognize 90,023 emotions of 90,024 other people.
Regardless of whether fertilization occurred during ovulation or not, the body begins to behave as if the pregnancy took place. Therefore, relaxin is released, which is responsible for the elasticity of the joints during childbirth. If you play sports, you should use braces.
22-28th and following days
Preparation of the body for the next period begins.
At this time, it is especially important to monitor the diet. Reduce the amount of sweets, salty foods, coffee, and other bloating foods.Milk in coffee and salty foods retain fluid in the body. Now the intestines work a little slower, so acne or swelling is possible. You can replace coffee with tea, and use vegetable milk instead of cow’s milk.
However, you know your body and its reactions to various foods better than others. If you know what period of your cycle is now, you can understand why the digestion process is slowed down or why a certain reaction of the body to a certain product has arisen.
If fluid accumulates in the body, it may appear that the body weight has increased.But in reality this will pass as soon as the new cycle and renewal process begins.
The size of the breasts may increase, and discomfort may also appear, which will intensify when touched. During this time, sex can feel differently: the body will react differently to touching, which usually caused pleasure.
Composure and organization may deteriorate slightly, so if you find yourself feeling confused it is better to use notes or some other way to remember important points.
If in the last days of the cycle there is a depressed state, a bad mood, a decrease in sexual desire (or, conversely, it increases sharply), this is quite normal. Everything can be explained by the level of hormones: during ovulation, the hormones responsible for our libido and the feeling of joy and well-being were at their maximum, and these days they stop being released in such quantities.
Treat your body and well-being with understanding. If you feel that your condition may affect communication with others or with loved ones, just warn them about it.Ask them for support, spend time together.
But remember, every woman goes through this period differently. If you feel great, are ready for achievements and are full of energy, then it is unlikely that you should succumb to negative emotions just because you know what day of your cycle is.
This knowledge should be used to understand why we may feel one way or another at different times, and to make sure that this is not surprising. The main thing is attention and love to yourself, your body, emotions and feelings.And this applies not only to certain days of the cycle, but to each of them.
Read on: why puberty in girls is faster.
How a woman’s mood depends on the action of hormones (according to the phases of the menstrual cycle) | Healthy lifestyle and Jackdaw
Hello, dear readers!
Recently my son, as if by chance, let slip that all the men at their work know when one of their boss has PMS (premenstrual syndrome) and when “these days”.It turns out that she behaves differently at different periods of the menstrual cycle, and this difference in behavior is so obvious that even men noticed her.
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Now, some employees have learned to use these mood swings for the boss to resolve their issues, that is, they know which days to see her on any goat you will not drive up, but in which – you are always welcome and for any question.
Indeed, such a relationship exists, it depends on which hormones “run the show” in a certain phase of a woman’s menstrual cycle. In this publication I will tell you about this, so this information will be useful to you if your woman boss or wife is “out of sorts.”
What is the menstrual cycle?
This is the period from 1 day of the next menstruation to 1 day of the next menstruation. The cycle lasts an average of 28 days.
The menstrual cycle is divided into certain phases, in each of which certain hormones play a leading role, which are not only responsible for the processes occurring in the woman’s reproductive system, but also have a strong influence on her mood, behavior, even on the manner of communication, speech, humor, a choice of clothes and makeup.
Phases of the menstrual cycle and the activity of hormones in each phase
Phases of the menstrual cycle and the activity of hormones in each phase
External signs of the onset of menstruation
The menstrual cycle begins with bleeding, which lasts 4-7 days.
This period is characterized by such physiological and behavioral signs as spasm in the lower abdomen; nervousness; painful sensations of a pulling character in the lower back; frequent mood swings; feeling of nausea and vomiting; migraine.
A woman on such days is usually uncommunicative, non-conflicting, absent-minded, thoughtful, as she is more focused on her unpleasant sensations than on those around her.
The main causes of malaise on such days may be an excess of prostaglandins in the blood.
From the third day of the menstrual cycle, the woman’s well-being gradually returns to normal, the pain decreases; and already from 6 to 11 days of the cycle, an emotional uplift is observed due to an increase in the amount of estrogen .
During this period, a woman “flutters like a butterfly”, she wants to please everyone, she attracts attention with the help of brighter makeup, beautiful light clothes, high heels and cropped skirts.
She laughs cheerfully, communicates easily and naturally, flirts, is friendly and sweet with everyone.
This phase of the menstrual cycle lasts about 24-36 hours. At this time, the level of estrogen reaches its maximum value.During ovulation, an increase in the amount of luteinizing hormone (LH) is observed in the blood, but the concentration of FSH decreases.
Sexual performance and desire are at their peak. In this short period of time, a woman can become pregnant, so her entire body works to make this fact happen.
It was during this period of time that any woman “is a miracle how good”, Nature made sure that the miracle of fertilization took place. Thanks to the action of hormones in this wonderful segment of the menstrual cycle, a woman, like a magnet, attracts male attention to herself.
It is possible to determine that this phase of the menstrual cycle has come with the help of ultrasound , at basal temperature , and also through the use of special pharmacy tests .
After the egg leaves the ovary, the corpus luteum grows at the site of its rupture, the function of which is synthesis of androgens, estrogens and progesterone . These hormones work hard to get the female uterus to meet the fertilized egg.
In the behavior of a woman, this is expressed in the manifestation of care, participation, a desire to help, protect, calm, and caress. Light casual clothes are replaced by more classic ones, heels sometimes give way to comfortable shoes with medium heels, and a woman’s thoughts are more focused on such household chores as cleaning, repairing, caring for close relatives.
If fertilization did not occur and the woman did not become pregnant during this month, the production of hormones by the corpus luteum stops and menstruation comes.But about two to three days before menstruation, the state of the woman’s body changes. She may develop PMS syndrome , in which performance decreases, mood swings appear, and excessive anxiety is present.
According to my son, on such days their boss “tears and flies”, behaves like an angry tigress, with whom it is better not to get involved.
Perhaps this is how the body reacts to another wasted egg and wasted work of female hormones….
And then the cycle repeats and everything starts all over again.
That is why, probably, from the point of view of men, women are fickle, capricious, changeable. Or maybe the reason for this is female hormones and the phases of the menstrual cycle?
P.S. The female states and sensations described in the article are largely subjective, so the opinion of the author in this case may not coincide with the opinion of the readers. The opinions of our readers will seem even more interesting!
Do you agree, dear readers, with the opinion of the author? Do you experience the same sensations at different points in your menstrual cycle? Does this cycle affect your behavior, mood, performance?
Share your opinion in the comments!
How does the menstrual cycle affect a woman’s mood?
The first phase of the menstrual cycle
Is there enough strength for everything and everyone, and you even want to perform a feat? No wonder: such a surge of strength and energy is characteristic of the first phase of the menstrual cycle, which begins 2-5 days after the onset of menstruation and lasts 10-14 days (until the final maturation of the egg and its release – ovulation).And the explanation is very simple: the level of estrogen (the guarantee of our femininity and beauty, and as it turned out, also good health!) Is constantly increasing, writes Zdravoe.com.
But that’s not all! Have you noticed that it is on these days of the cycle that you like your image in the mirror more than usual ?! Exactly! And all because the effect of estrogens is not limited to work capacity. They are literally felt by the skin: its elasticity these days is maximum, the content of hyaluronic acid, thanks to which small wrinkles are hidden, too.The sebaceous glands work at the smallest “speed”, and at the same time the skin is maximally protected from infection. Moreover, both the one that tries to attack us from the outside, and the one that lurks inside the sebaceous ducts. That is, the likelihood of a pimple is reduced, if not to zero, then to a minimum. By the way, it is this time that is recommended to be chosen for radical changes in the image: your hair has the maximum degree of stability, and your head of hair has the minimum risk of thinning.
And finally, one last thing: resistance to temperature extremes.It is also maximum. Of course, this is not about the fact that you will run in a mini-skirt and without a coat and nothing will happen to you. But you will definitely experience the feeling of chills less often.
Ovulation in our body lasts only a day. This period is marked by the release of the egg from the ovary and its solemn procession into the uterine cavity. There she is conveniently located in anticipation of the gentleman – the sperm. But this is physiology. This period is reflected in our well-being by only one parameter: an increase in libido.American researchers have long ago determined that the maximum number of adultery falls on this significant day.
Since continuous pregnancy is not included in the plans of a modern woman, then one way or another the next stage begins: from ovulation to the onset of menstruation. Not very funny – literally and figuratively. And the reason for this, as you understand, is hormonal: the amount of estrogen decreases, and the amount of progesterone increases. This hormone is responsible for your midnight vigils in front of the refrigerator (increased appetite), and for muscle relaxation (decreased endurance), and fluid retention in the body (slight swelling).
Well, for the mood. It also leaves much to be desired. The peak of the negative occurs 2-5 days before the onset of menstruation – the same notorious premenstrual syndrome. As you guessed correctly, the skin also feels the effect of this hormone. Her blood supply is gradually increasing, the sensitivity to the male spectrum of the hormonal gamut increases, however, to microbes too. So the risk of developing acne is also growing at an arithmetic progression. The statistics are inexorable: up to 70% of women note the appearance of pimples in the second half of the cycle.
Hormones and mood
Progesterone is a very specific hormone, because the body’s response to it often depends on a variety of factors. For example, slender ladies most often feel depression and changes in mood.