Menstruation and Mental Health: Exploring the Intricate Connection

Menstruation and Mental Health

What do you think women mean when they say about being on their periods? Yes, having your periods means shedding the endometrial line of the uterus, but it also means constant discomfort, cramps, body aches, nausea, bloating, and mood swings. Menstruation is a biological phenomenon accompanied by various physical and emotional changes. While physical symptoms like fatigue and cramps are widely acknowledged, and women use feminine hygiene products like an†organic menstrual cupto stop leakage, they seldom do anything about their emotional health during that time of the month. However, the psychological aspect of menstruation deserves as much attention as the physiological aspect. So, without further ado letís delve into the intricate connection between menstruation and mental health and the implications of this connection.†


Hormonal Influence on Mood

The mood swings or mental health issues women face during their periods are primarily caused by hormonal fluctuations. Estrogen and progesterone donít just regulate the menstrual cycle; they also influence neurotransmitters in the brain. So, during the menstrual cycle when estrogen levels rise, they positively impact serotonin (a neurotransmitter associated with mood regulation). However, as the dates of your menstruation come closer, estrogen levels suddenly drop, leading to irritability, mood swings, and heightened emotional sensitivity.†


Premenstrual Syndrome and Mental Health

Commonly known as PMS, Premenstrual syndrome is a cluster of physical and emotional symptoms that occur in the days leading up to menstruation. While physical symptoms like bloating and breast tenderness are recognizable, the emotional symptoms can significantly impact mental well-being. Women generally experience anxiety, depression, and mood swings during this phase that affect their routine functioning as well as their interpersonal relationships.†


Impact of Menstrual Disorders on Mental Health and Cognitive Function

Beyond PMS, certain menstrual disorders, such as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), can exacerbate mental health challenges. PMDD is characterized by severe emotional symptoms that go beyond typical PMS, leading to profound disruptions in daily life. The extreme mood swings and emotional distress associated with PMDD may necessitate professional intervention, highlighting the intersection of menstrual health and mental well-being.

In fact, research suggests that hormonal fluctuations during menstruation can influence cognitive function. Some studies propose that hormonal changes may affect memory and concentration, leading to cognitive challenges during specific phases of the menstrual cycle. Although thereís no solution to completely avoid these symptoms, there are effective coping strategies like regular physical activity, maintaining a balanced diet, and stress reduction techniques that can improve mental health throughout the cycle.†


The Bottom Line

This article concludes that the relationship between menstruation and mental health is multifaceted. Women experience a whirlwind of complex interplay of hormones, emotions, and cognitive processes during their menstruation, and they should be able to talk about all of these. While people might get annoyed when someone on their period is angry, upset, or happy without any reason, they need to support and empower women to manage their mental well-being successfully during their periods. In addition, alternatives like†reusable period cupsshould also be encouraged because periods should be easy on physiology, psychology as well as the environment!

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