Hormones & Mood Disorders
Women are much more susceptible to mood disorders than men due to their ever-shifting hormone levels during common female reproductive events such as menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. When the levels of estrogen and progesterone fluctuate, it affects the level of serotonin in your body – the feel-good hormone.
Signs & Symptoms
When your reproductive hormone levels go up or down – or both – it can cause assorted signs and symptoms affecting a variety of bodily systems, including:
- Mood swings
- Extreme happiness or sadness
- Body aches and pain, headaches
- Hot flashes
- Lack of appetite or overeating
- Sudden, unexplained weight gain or weight loss
- Low libido
- Cognitive confusion or fog
Possible Reasons for Hormone-Triggered Mood Disorders
Common culprits of hormone-triggered mood disorders in women include:
Any obstetrical or gynecological condition that involves fluctuating hormones can result in the symptoms of a mood disorder. This includes OB-GYN conditions such as endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
Menopause occurs when you no longer release an egg from your ovaries (the process of ovulation). This means you can no longer get pregnant. It also means your estrogen and progesterone levels decrease dramatically, leading to a host of symptoms, including mood disorders. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is the golden standard when it comes to menopause symptom management.
Depression that occurs after giving birth is called postpartum depression. Also referred to as the “baby blues,” it includes a range of emotional symptoms include crying spells and feeling sad and lonely. An estimated 70% - 80% of women are expected to experience some type of baby blues after giving birth.
If you feel as if you don’t love your baby, you may be suffering from postpartum depression. Contact your OB-GYN provider for help immediately – for your sake and the sake of your baby.
Mood swings in pregnancy can also exacerbate any anxiety or feelings of vulnerability a pregnant woman may have about having a baby. In the vast majority of cases, the biggest mood disruptions occur in the first trimester of pregnancy, but for some, it can last the entire pregnancy.
Like PMS, this premenstrual condition is due to the normal hormone fluctuations that occur with menstruation. Unlike PMS, however, PMDD can create extreme mood disruptions, including irritability, moodiness, anxiety, and depression.
Potential treatments include hormone-based birth control, antidepressants, as well as nutritional supplements and herbal remedies.
Almost all women have experienced premenstrual syndrome, or PMS, in the 1- to 2-week timeframe before their period. The severity of PMS symptoms can vary significantly among women. If your symptoms are severe or interfere with your daily life, contact your gynecologist to discover what type of PMS treatment might work best for you.
During puberty, hormone levels spike in girls and boys, leading to mood disruptions that can be intense, especially for adolescents who are dealing with hormone fluctuations for the very first time.
Relief for Mood Disorders in Women at Ladies First OB-GYN
Mood disorders triggered by hormone fluctuations are a very real threat to women of all ages. If you’re experiencing emotional disruptions that may be related to PMS, pregnancy, menopause, or other suspected conditions, contact the OB-GYN professionals at Ladies First Obstetrics & Gynecology and Ladies First MedSpa to get the help you need.
You may be surprised at the variety of treatment options available to you. Call Ladies First at (334) 671-9445 or toll-free at (877) 671-9445. You can also request an appointment now. We have two convenient locations in Dothan and Enterprise, Alabama, from which to serve you.