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What Causes Mood Swings in Women?

By Patti Kate
Updated May 17, 2024
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Several factors may cause mood swings in women, including hormonal changes or imbalances. Stress and premenstrual syndrome, also known as PMS, may also cause mood swings in women. Pregnancy is another major contributor to mood swings in women.

Women who are under a great deal of stress may suffer from irritability and mood disorders. Some women who manage high-stress careers and family lives may find themselves prone to more mood fluctuations than men experience. A women who has a demanding, time-consuming career may find it difficult to balance her her job and her home life responsibilities. Subsequently, mood swings in women under pressure are not uncommon.

There are physiological causes for mood swings in women. Fluctuations in chemicals of the brain, or hormonal changes that occur at various stages of a woman's life can cause mood swings. As a woman's monthly menstrual cycle occurs, hormonal fluctuations may cause irritability and mood inconsistencies. Women who suffer from PMS often develop changes in mood which may occur several days to two weeks before her monthly menstrual period. Even women who do not exhibit other symptoms of PMS, such as water weight gain or tension headaches, may become moody or even depressed at certain times during their menstrual cycles.

Another major cause of mood swings in women is pregnancy. This is a common occurrence many women experience, especially during the early months of pregnancy. Metabolic changes as well as added stress or anxiety can heighten mood swings. A woman's hormones are frequently fluctuating during the first several weeks of pregnancy, and this can make her nervous or anxious, moody, and irritable.

Women who are experiencing symptoms of menopause may also be prone to mood swings. These may be subtle or more noticeable. Certain medications can help to alleviate mood swings during menopause. A healthy diet can also help to prevent or control mood changes.

A way to control or manage mood inconsistencies, whether it be during pregnancy or otherwise, is through stress management and routine exercise. Finding an outlet for physical and mental stress can often help to control mood swings in women. Simple things such as meditation or relaxation techniques may be beneficial as well.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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