How your menstrual cycle impacts your mood
When you understand how your menstrual cycle may affect your mood, new opportunities open up! It may change the way you adjust your routines and go about your daily life.
by Benedicte Nellemann Dittmer
Sometimes it can be hard to understand why we’re experiencing certain feelings. And this is not a simple question. The environments we face, our experiences, and our personalities all contribute to how we feel inside. But sometimes biology also has a say in the puzzle - which is evident when it comes to the menstrual cycle.
When you understand your menstrual cycle and how the following hormonal changes may affect your mood, new opportunities open up. It may change the way you adjust your routines and optimize your daily life.
The menstrual cycle prepares your body for pregnancy. It starts on the first day of your period and ends the day before the following period begins. The length of the average menstrual cycle is about 28 days, but this can vary a lot. The four phases of the menstrual cycle are menstruation, the follicular phase, ovulation, and the luteal phase. These phases have particular hormonal blueprints, all of which we will dive further into in this post.
Menstruation begins when an egg from the previous cycle hasn’t become fertilized. The body responds by shedding the lining of the uterus, and the phase lasts from 3 to 7 days on average.
During this phase, progesterone and estrogen levels start to decrease. Common symptoms are cramps, fatigue, headaches, mood swings, and lower back pain. It’s normal to feel uncomfortable, tired, and irritable. It’s time to engage in self-care and find ways to boost your energy, such as light exercise.
The follicular phase
In the follicular phase, your body is preparing for ovulation. The follicular phase starts on the first day of your period and ends when the ovulation begins, and it lasts for 16 days on average.
During this phase, estrogen and testosterone increase, while progesterone decreases. Many people experience improved mood, better skin, increased energy, and confidence in the follicular phase. Wondered when it would be a good time to start a new project, build new habits or finally go to that job interview? This might be it.
During ovulation, an egg waits to be fertilized in a uterine tube. Ovulation happens right in the middle of your cycle and lasts for about 24 hours. This phase is generally not associated with any mood-related symptoms.
The luteal phase
After ovulation, preparations start for the implementation of a fertilized egg. This last phase lasts for 14 days on average.
During the luteal phase, a lot of hormonal fluctuations occur. It’s normal to feel off, and the onset of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) may happen. Intense emotions, acne, cravings, sore skin and breasts, fatigue, and oily hair are not uncommon in the luteal phase. It’s a good time to do what makes you feel good and remember that all of your feelings are valuable.
How your mood may get affected by your menstrual cycle can be very valuable knowledge. And if you wanna learn more about this, we recommend you check out this video by Glamour. However, it’s important to remember that is highly individual how these hormonal changes may be expressed. Are you curious to get to know yourself better? Then download the Nuna app to track your moods and see if you can spot whether your moods may be associated with your hormonal cycle.