Emotions during menstruation

Les montagnes russes des émotions pendant les règles
Having your period : an experience lived and felt very differently depending on menstruating people . Psychologically , some people don't notice any change in their mood or behavior during menstruation . This is often the case for those who take hormonal contraception. On the other hand, others experience a profound heightening and fluctuation of their emotions during their period . A real roller coaster ! But what feelings are we talking about exactly? How does the menstrual cycle affect this psychological component ? And how can we mitigate its effects?

Emotions during periods: what are we talking about?

“Ahhhh the rules!” This period where I become Mister Hyde. Sometimes I want to cry and 30 seconds later I want to dance and laugh out loud, a little thing irritates me and makes me angry! ".
“There I have my period and I go through 50 emotions during the day.”
“Once my period arrives I am in a very depressed and anxious mood.”
“Every month during my period I am much more sensitive. I lose my temper, I start to cry, I see everything in darkness, I have a big surge of anxiety and stress that is much greater than in normal times.”
“Hell for me and those around me.”
Here are different testimonials that we can read on discussion forums addressing the subject of emotions during periods.

In all these women, we find constants regarding the impressions and mental sensations experienced during their menstrual period. Compared to usual, they generally feel much more:
  • tired,
  • slow,
  • irritated,
  • annoyed,
  • susceptible,
  • on edge,
  • grumble,
  • complainers,
  • nervous,
  • explosives,
  • painful,
  • anxious,
  • sad,
  • depressed.
They are therefore seen:
  • lack motivation and patience;
  • cry at the slightest annoyance;
  • needing rest, calm and (re)comfort;
  • wanting to not move and staying in bed or lying on the sofa;
  • take with a pinch of salt;
  • as a source of tension and conflict in their relationship.

Why do we feel these emotions during our periods?

Although we do not yet know how to clearly explain the link between menstrual cycle and mood , it is commonly accepted that hormonal variations play a role in the fluctuation of emotional feelings. “Moving evidence indicates that ovarian hormones affect the brain structure, chemistry and function of women of reproductive age, potentially shaping their behavior and mental health. Throughout the reproductive years, estrogen and progesterone levels fluctuate throughout the menstrual cycle and can modulate neural circuits involved in affective and cognitive processes. »*

Indeed, the levels of female sex hormones, which are estrogens and progesterone, increase and decrease more or less slowly or suddenly during the same cycle. During the first phase (the follicular phase), the amount of estrogen gradually increases until ovulation so that the uterine lining thickens to accommodate a possible egg, while the progesterone level remains low and stable. After ovulation and during the second phase (the luteal phase), the production of progesterone increases rapidly to allow possible implantation, then falls in the event of non-fertilization, while the concentration of estrogens also decreases sharply. The simultaneous drop in estrogen and progesterone levels at the end of the cycle causes menstruation, or the elimination of the uterine lining which is then useless in the absence of pregnancy. It is this hormonal drop that is responsible for the contrasting emotions felt just before and during menstruation. Recurrent and significantly affecting normal life, these psychological symptoms can be similar to PMS or PMDD.

How to manage your emotions during your period?

If you yourself are subject to these intense and changing emotions during your period, here are some tips to try to experience them better.

To know itself

To be able to act, you must first of all clearly identify the problem(s). To do this, it is interesting to calculate your menstrual cycle . This allows you to better understand how your own body works and to get an idea of ​​how the different phases of your own cycle unfold. In addition, you can note down the sensations felt during several consecutive cycles daily. It will then be easier for you to precisely identify the nature of the emotions that are going through you during this period. If these are not too disabling, you will also be able to accept them more easily.

Talk to those around you

To avoid conflicts with your partner or family and friend crises, it is wise to discuss with your loved ones what you feel during your menstrual period. Better prepared and more aware of your situation, they will be able to show more understanding and empathy towards you.

Take care of yourself

Paying attention to your emotional well-being during your period can take different forms. Depending on your own needs and desires, these may include:

To consult

And if the symptoms seem too intense to you, it is essential to seek the advice of a health professional who can help you diagnose and treat your ailments.

To extend reading:

Written by cd

* Manon Dubol, C. Neill Epperson, Julia Sacher, Belinda Pletzer, Birgit Derntl, Rupert Lanzenberger, Inger Sundström-Poromaa, Erika Comasco. Neuroimaging of the menstrual cycle: a multimodal systematic review . Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology, Volume 60, January 2021, 100878, ISSN 0091-3022.