Nothing we didn’t know – ask any woman whether her monthly cycle affects her mood through the month – but now you have a scientific reason to back it up.
A study from University College London has found that women at a particular stage in their monthly menstrual cycle may be more vulnerable to some of the psychological side-effects associated with stressful experiences.
That is the phase we would more easily recognise as when you weep for no reason, lose your temper and generally act like a woman on the edge. Hormone levels provide the key to understanding ‘psychological disorders’ (the researchers phrase not mine) in women, and that is why hormone balance is so important.
Ovulation Is High Risk Time
This is a small scale study of 41 women between 18 and 35 who had regular menstrual cycles and not using the Pill. The results suggest a potential link between psychological vulnerability (mood swings to you and I) and the timing of ovulation.
The ‘psychological disorders’ the researchers identified in the monthly cycle are the common symptom of mood and anxiety issues. This often is seen as a tendency to experience repetitive and unwanted thoughts and usually occur in the days and weeks after a stressful experience.
This means that women in the ‘early luteal’ phase, which falls roughly 16 to 20 days after the start of their period, had more than three times as many such repetitive thoughts as those who experienced stress in other phases of their menstrual cycle. This seems to indicate that there is a fairly narrow window within the menstrual cycle when women may be particularly vulnerable to experiencing distressing symptoms after a stressful event.
In other words if you can schedule your stressful events around that window they will not impact your mood as much and certainly for women who regularly do experience extreme anxiety around their period it could mean taking positive preventive action at that time.
What can you do?
The first step is to identify whether you regularly are experiencing greater anxiety around 2-3 weeks after the start of your period. If you know you are vulnerable then there are simple steps that can help:
- Identify stress triggers and try to minimise them
- Rescue Remedy and St John’s Wort can help reduce symptoms
- Enjoyable exercise can lift mood, even if you don’t feel like it
- Ensure hormone balance to reduce mood swings
- Reduce stress triggers like alcohol, caffeine and sugar
PMS responds well to rebalancing hormones with bioidentical natural progesterone as it is a natural mood enhancer as well as helping stabilise the menstrual cycle and reducing PMS symptoms.
The ongoing stresses of life tend to reduce progesterone levels, maintaining/worsening PMS, and giving rise to other problems, and possibly adrenal fatigue is also gradually developing.
Dr. Joel T. Hargrove of Vanderbilt University Medical Center USA has seen a 90% success rate in treating PMS with natural progesterone and an even higher rate of success was reported by Dr. John R. Lee, M. D., using Transdermal Natural Progesterone Cream in his practice for more than 17 years.
A helpful e-book by AnnA Rushton for those dealing with stress is ‘Too Stressed to cope and details are at