How do hormonal changes affect your mood

How do hormonal changes affect your mood

Last Reviewed : 01/08/2021
How do hormonal changes affect your mood

A hormone is a representative of a class of signaling molecules, conceived by glands in multicellular organisms that are conducted by the circulatory system, with an aim to target distant organs for coordinating physiology and behavior. Hormones are chemical messengers that affect all areas of health. Mood and mental health are considered to be the most commonly affected. Every 1 in 4 people in the U.K. suffers from mood disorders like anxiety and depression. Thyroid hormones, Adrenal Hormones, and Sex hormones are known to cause mood swings.

Sex hormones:

The primary sex hormones that are responsible for mood swings include estrogen and progesterone. Many studies have proved this fact. The ratio of both hormones is critical and should be maintained. Any increase or decrease in any one of them can adversely affect the mood of an individual.


  • There is an increase in serotonin levels, which are responsible for positive mood states.
  • There is an increase in beta-endorphin levels, which are responsible for positive mood states.
  • Neuroprotective in nature.
  • Promotes formation of new synapses.
  • It increases the number of 5 HT2a receptors.
  • It increases brain derived growth factors.
  • It decreases the activity of monoamine oxidase (MAO), which metabolizes serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.


  • It has an anxiolytic effect.
  • It acts through GABA (gamma-Aminobutyric acid or ?-aminobutyric acid), which has an inhibitory effect on the brain.
  • It acts on gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors in the brain, which aids in relaxation and sleep.
  • GABA (gamma-Aminobutyric acid or ?-aminobutyric acid) balances excitation with inhibition.
  • Studies have shown that sudden withdrawal from endogenous progesterone supplementation after chronic administration increases anxiety via declining levels of its potent GABA-modulatory metabolites.

Mood changes during puberty: Major mood changes occur during puberty. Girls experience mood swings and altered mental health. This occurs due to a sudden increase in the sex hormones that girls never experience before.

Oral contraceptives administration: Depression associated with irritability is observed.

Postpartum period: As there is a sudden reduction in the pregnancy hormones, psychosis or postnatal depression may be seen.

Menopause: There are major hormonal shifts. The ratio of progesterone and estrogen is altered. Menopausal women are 14 times more prone to depression. Also, anger, difficulty in memory, irritability, low self-esteem, poor concentration, poor sleep or weight gain occurs.


In conclusion, hormonal changes have a significant effect on mood swings of women. Major hormonal changes occur during puberty, after pregnancy and at menopause. Serious mood swings or some psychological issues may occur during these times. Monthly periods may also cause some hormonal changes bringing mood swings in few women.

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