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Mood Swings

Menopause can prompt moderate to severe mood swings...

...turning a woman's emotions into a pendulum.

Menopausal Mood Swings

What causes mood swings during menopause?

Mood swings during menopause are caused largely by the hormonal transitions women go through during this time.

Hormones, such as estrogen, influence the production of serotonin, which is a mood-regulating neurotransmitter.

Additionally, other menopause signs – such as hot flushes, night sweats, physical changes, and fatigue – can cause or intensify mood swings, but these signs are generally caused by hormonal imbalance as well.

Risk factors for mood swings in menopause

While mood swings are a common sign of menopause, several factors can increase the likelihood that a woman will experience mood swings during menopause. These factors include;

Psychological factors

  • past mental illness
  • stress
  • past trauma
  • relationship issues
  • coping with change

Behavioural factors

  • smoking
  • alcohol consumption
  • poor diet
  • inadequate exercise
  • stimulant use

Health-related factors

  • diabetes
  • thyroid disease
  • heart disease
  • sleep disorders
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This is the time when menstruation is well and truly over, the ovaries have stopped producing high levels of sex hormones and for many ladies, perimenopause symptoms subside.

Estrogen has protective qualities and the diminished levels mean organs such as your brain, heart and bones become more vulnerable. It’s also a key lubricant so your lips may become drier, your joints less supple and your vagina might be drier. In addition, your thyroid, digestion, insulin, cortisol and weight may alter.

At this juncture, a woman might experience an increase in the signs of reduced estrogen but she should have a decrease of perimenopause symptoms. That said, some women will experience symptoms like hot flushes for years or even the rest of their lives.


Peri = ‘near’

Most females begin to experience the symptoms of perimenopause in their mid-forties. Your progesterone levels decline from your mid-30s but it’s generally from around 40 that the rest of your sex hormones begin to follow suit. 

Perimenopause is a different experience for every woman and some women may barely notice it. The first indicators are usually changes to the monthly cycle. This means that for some ladies, this can be accompanied by things like sore breasts, mood swings, weight gain around the belly, and fatigue as time goes on.

For those with symptoms it can be a challenging time physically, mentally and emotionally.

Importantly, perimenopause lasts – on average – four to 10 years. The transition is usually a gradual process and many women enter perimenopause without realising.