Mood swings can be responsible for altering a woman's normal disposition. They can strike for a variety of reasons but are most often associated with the menopause transition. While menopause technically occurs when a woman had been period-free for one year, symptoms may begin much earlier, sometimes up to ten years before menopause. This transition is better known as perimenopause. To learn more about mood swings in perimenopause, continue reading down the page.
What Happens during Perimenopause?
Perimenopause is the time leading up to menopause. The symptoms that are typically associated with menopause, such as hot flashes and mood swings, actually occur during perimenopause. During this stage of the transition, a woman's body decreases production in estrogen, which regulates mood. Mood swings then occur, as a result. By the time a woman reaches menopause, she is generally accustomed to her new levels of estrogen or has sought treatment and symptoms begin to subside.
When Does Perimenopause End?
Perimenopause ends when menopause begins. Before perimenopause a woman is in a period of her life known as premenopause, and after menopause, she is said to be postmenopausal. Though most women see the end of symptoms around the time of menopause, some will experience the side effects into their 70s. Some other symptoms that commonly occur alongside mood swings are:
- Lack of motivation
Are Treatments for Mood Swings in Perimenopause and Menopause the Same?
Perimenopause treatments are generally the same as for menopause. However, it is worth noting that women who use hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for prolonged periods of times are at a higher risk for developing breast cancer. There are safer alternatives to consider before resorting to HRT.
Making healthy lifestyle choices is one of the easiest, cheapest, and most effective ways to balance hormones (the chief source of perimenopausal mood swings). Also, all other treatments are more effective when paired with a healthier lifestyle. Eating a varied diet, staying hydrated, and getting regular exercise are all examples of smart choices.
Perimenopause and menopause are both confusing times for women. Mood swings are particularly difficult for the people who love their perimenopausal women. To learn about how to manage mood swings effectively, follow the links below.
- Amin, Zenab, Turhan Canli, and C. Neill Epperson. "Effects of Estrogen-Serotonin Interactions on Mood and Cognition." Behav Cogn Neurosci Rev 2005; 4; 43.
- Dr. Love, Susan, and Karen Lindsey. Dr. Susan Love's Menopause and Hormone Book. New York_ Three Rivers Press, 2003.
- Molecular Psychiatry. (n.d)."Estrogen Promotes Gender Difference in Brain's Response to Stress."Retrieved from www.psycheducation.org.
- The Health Center.(n.d)."Adult Mood Swings." Retreived from www.thehealthcenter.info.