What Causes Mood Swings during Menopause?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Feb 21, 2012

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A middle aged woman in stress

Mood swing is synonymous with menopause and both can have a strong effect on a woman’s life. Understanding what is menopause and what causes mood swings during menopause can help women deal with the problems that it brings with it in a better way.

Mood swings or mood disorders refers to a situation or condition when a woman experiences a range of emotions within a period of a few hours. The moods may range from happiness to anger, feelings of frustration, sadness to depression all within a very short span of time.


  • Mood swings during menopause happen because of hormonal and physical changes. There is a fluctuation in the levels of hormones. The levels of progesterone and estrogen drop considerably. These hormones are responsible for controlling the brain chemical serotonin which controls moods.
  • Serotonin is a chemical that creates a happy feeling and keeps our moods under control. Because hormone imbalances disturb serotonin production in the brain, there is a greater chance of mood swings, depression, and other psychological disturbances during menopause.
  • Medical experts have discovered that estrogen seems to play a major role in the production of serotonin. Any change in the levels of estrogen may also affect serotonin. This serotonin is a neurotransmitter which is responsible for controlling and transmitting nerve impulses.
  • However, there are other reasons for mood swings too. Other menopause symptoms such as night sweats, hot flashes and physical changes can cause or aggravate mood swings in women.
  • While hormonal imbalance is considered to be a major cause for mood swings during menopause, medical experts are of the view that other menopausal symptoms are also responsible for such mood disorders. Women in their 40s and 50s are often stressed due to pressures at work as well as at home. They suffer from problems such as fatigue, sleep disorders and hot flashes which further aggravate their mood swings.


Menopause related changes are beyond a woman’s control. The best alternative for someone suffering from mood swings during menopause is to take proper steps to help ease the discomfort they present. A healthy diet along with some lifestyle changes can help women deal with this problem. Regular exercise, meditation and yoga are very essential during the menopausal period and after menopause. They help to reduce the stress levels besides keeping the body healthy and in shape. Hormonal replacement therapy is a surgical method by which hormones such as estrogen and progesterone are replaced in the body. But this method involves certain health risks. Alternative medicine and therapy is the best solution to control mood swings during menopause.


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