Mood swings can indicate many female life transitions, most notably puberty, menstruation, and pregnancy. The frequency of mood swings during these times can often lead to women being irritable, anxious, or depressed even when they are not suffering from a mood swing at the time. But what role do mood swings play during perimenopause? Read on to find out.
What Is Perimenopause?
Perimenopause is the stage of a woman's life that occurs prior to reaching menopause. It begins when the female body slows production of essential hormones like progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone to prepare for the end of a woman's fertility. As the result of erratic hormone levels, a woman may begin to experience a wide range of physical and emotional symptoms.
The major difference between perimenopause and menopause is the production of eggs. During perimenopause, a woman has irregular periods, but her ovaries may still produce eggs. However, during menopause, a woman does not experience her monthly period and her body stops producing eggs completely. Thus it is said that a woman does not truly reach menopause until she has not had her period for twelve consecutive months. Read on to learn more about mood swings during perimenopause.
Mood Swings and Perimenopause
Mood swings are caused by a range of psychological, behavioral and health factors and occur during many phases of a woman's life, such as puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. However, mood swings which occur during the perimenopause life transition are typically due to hormonal imbalances. Experts believe that mood swings may affect up to 50% of women between the ages of 45-55 who are approaching menopause.
Furthermore, women who are experiencing other symptoms of perimenopause are more prone to mood swings than women who are not. That is because these symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, difficulty concentrating, and a shorter memory that she is used to can place added stress on a woman's already busy schedule, which can leave her feeling fatigued, unhappy, and misunderstood.
Lifestyle changes such as walking away from stressful situations, eating a healthy diet, and regularly exercising each week can help reduce stress levels, which can reduce the frequency and intensity of perimenopausal mood swings.
While mood swings are a common symptom of perimenopause, they can also be a sign of a more serious health condition like depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder. If mood swings begin to disrupt your relationships and daily life, you should consult with a healthcare professional immediately. Click here for more information about treatments for mood swings.