Have you ever been extremely emotional and then your period comes and you’re like oh… that makes sense. But do you know why that makes sense? Let’s dive into it.

Let’s take a look at the cycle that causes all these emotions, shall we? Although a cycle is continuous, you’ll find that we often start the menstrual cycle with the (drum roll please) menstrual phase a.k.a. Your period. Your uterus sheds its lining, making way for a fresh start. Next up, your body gears up for potential baby-making during the follicular phase, with your ovaries releasing an egg and oestrogen levels rising. During this phase ovulation happens, it's a short window where it’s prime time for conception due to the egg being ready to be fertilised. After ovulation, we get into the luteal phase and if pregnancy doesn't happen, we get into the premenstrual phase, where the term ‘PMS’ comes from. And that’s the menstrual cycle in a nutshell, a little dance our bodies keep doing to keep the reproductive system in check.

So what’s the deal with our emotions during our menstrual cycle? The answer is hormones. There are two prominent hormones involved in the menstrual cycle: oestrogen and progesterone. These hormones rise and fall so quickly that of course, our bodies respond so drastically. Let’s break it down like this: do you find yourself feeling a lot more social after your period? Ta-da, it’s oestrogen. Feeling calm and assured for seemingly no reason? That’s progesterone. Suddenly getting a higher sex drive when you know you’re ovulating? That’s testosterone. Mood swings before your period? That’s actually because both your oestrogen and progesterone levels fall like crazy! Of course, all hormones affect us differently - some have major swings in emotions while others breeze through the menstrual cycle just fine.

Let’s get a bit more in-depth, shall we? Oestrogen’s fluctuations essentially can be boiled down to keeping your menstrual cycle in check. Higher oestrogen levels in the body leave you feeling a bit more social and motivated; during the follicular phase (right after your period), you may notice these effects as oestrogen is at an all-time high. During the luteal phase, your progesterone levels rise as it's the hormone that gets your body all ready for pregnancy, it thickens the uterine lining but also comes with neat side effects like its anti-anxiety properties. Both hormones are predominantly there to thicken the uterine lining which is why they drop off during the premenstrual phase when pregnancy doesn’t happen which often results in the sudden shift in emotions you feel.

So, what can we do to navigate this emotional rollercoaster of our menstrual cycle? It's important to stay well-rested as always but especially during that premenstrual phase, prioritise rest! You’ve heard it all before but exercise truly does help; if cardio and weight lifting isn’t your thing, try some gentle yoga at home along with some meditation. It’s also important to notice while your hormones are heavily affecting your emotions, even the daily stresses of everyday life can impact your menstrual cycle and how these hormones affect you, so don’t forget to take some deep breaths okay? But all in all, don’t dismiss your emotions. Are you feeling a little more sensitive than usual? That's okay! Remember, it's perfectly normal to experience fluctuations in mood throughout the month, we’re all human after all. Cut yourself some slack, and remember that tomorrow is a new day.

Back to blog