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Mood Swings on Your Period? Here's The Science Behind It

By Expert HERWriter
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Why Do You Get Mood Swings on Your Period? The Science Behind It vonaua/Fotolia

Are you more emotional during your period? Many women (and men) attribute this to hormonal symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, also known as PMS.

During your menstrual cycle you have a symphony of hormones circulating through our bodies. They are being released to different parts of our bodies, from our brains to our ovaries. Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), progesterone and estrogens are major players in your menstrual cycle.

They circulate through your bloodstream and can act on multiple body parts including your nervous system. Your nervous system is where you feel your emotions.

Progesterone is highest during the last two weeks of the menstrual cycle, and drops to low levels once your period begins, on day 1 of your menstrual cycle.

High progesterone, in conjunction with drops in estrogen and testosterone, can have a very calming effect on your system. It's also a time when you might want to take more rest or stay closer to home. Cravings may increase more around this time, too.

When you have high levels of progesterone running through your system, it may inhibit your ability to read the facial expressions and the emotional intelligence of others, according to OB/GYN Suzanne Gilberg-Lenz, MD. By day five or six you should be able to reconnect with others and be more able to read others. (2)

When the ovary is ready to release the egg in the middle of the cycle between days five and 13, expect to feel sexy. It makes sense that women are more likely to feel more sensual, confident and feminine — it's time to attract partners to fertilize the egg.

Estrogen is the hormone that creates these good feelings.

A new study conducted at the University College London has found that women can have more intrusive thoughts and memories about stressful events in the middle of the cycle. The intrusive thoughts generally happen after ovulation between days 16 and 20 of the menstrual cycle.

1) How Your Cycle Can Affect Your Mood New research sheds more light on how hormones can toy with your emotions (and it goes way beyond PMS).  Womenshealthmag.com. June 7, 2016.

2) Menstruation and the menstrual cycle fact sheet. Womenshealth.gov. June 7, 2016.

3) Normal Menstrual Cycle - Topic Overview. Webmd.com. June 7, 2016.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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