Estrogen is a hormone that is vital for a woman’s sexual and reproductive development. This hormone is also found in men, albeit in small amounts. It has a range of functions in a woman’s menstrual cycle and in controlling the growth of the uterine lining during the first part of the cycle. Estrogen also affects processes of both the brain and body. A series of complex mechanisms is directly influenced by the presence and lack of this hormone.
Neurotransmitters in the hippocampus, prefrontal lobes, and amygdala are affected by estrogen. These three areas in the brain are highly related to cognition and emotion. Fluctuation of estrogen levels can result in a rollercoaster of unstable emotions, unwanted hair growth, and affect breast size. Lack of estrogen is often experienced during post menopause causing a variety of symptoms and emotional changes. Let us find out how specific levels of estrogen directly affect women’s emotions.
Fluctuating estrogen levels in women has been associated with anxiety. Difficulties in sleeping, night sweats, and hot flashes during periods or anytime within the menstrual cycle and even during post menopause are often caused by the estrogen imbalance. It can be a baffling for some women why they experience such unfavorable emotional swings that often lead to panic attacks and anxiety. Such experience can meddle with a woman’s confidence and overall well-being.
Neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine can be depleted the moment estrogen levels go down. These neurotransmitters regulate the mood and behavior of people in general. So when levels fluctuate, so does a woman’s mood and feelings. The psychological implications of menopause may be detrimental to a woman’s self-esteem added to the fact that it is directly linked to confidence and self-esteem.
Estrogen affects the production of serotonin and norepinephrine activity inside the brain. These neurotransmitters improve the mood and create an antidepressant feel-good emotion. The opposite happens when a woman has lowered levels of estrogen. Feelings of sadness, apathy, and depression can be a result of lowered levels of estrogen.
Ever wonder why there are days women are just absolutely grumpy for no reason? Women who do not know that their estrogen levels may be imbalanced might be wondering the same thing. Sometimes you ask a woman a simple question and she just barks in anger as if with flaring nostrils she can lunge at you. It is not reasonable to act aggressively towards another. But now that you know that some women might suffer grumpiness not on their own will but as dictated by their hormones, you might understand the consideration needed. And if you are, indeed very grumpy, it can be an indication that your estrogen levels may not be balanced.
These negative emotions can also be caused by excessive amounts of estrogen. Our bodies need just an adequate amount of estrogen. Not too much and not too less. The impact of fluctuating estrogen levels may vary from one woman to another depending on her current physical, emotional and physiological state. Estrogen has long been recognized for its therapeutic potential for mood improvement. Estrogen replacement therapy is also often used to treat postmenopausal women to improve their emotional state, avoid grumpiness, battle depression, and increase energy. However, as individual conditions may vary, the impact of estrogen may largely differ from one case to another. Hormones, including estrogen, in general, do not have an absolute singular effect on the body. Estrogen levels are also not the single mitigating factor of women’s erratic emotional state. It is believed that several psychological, physiological, and biological factors play their part in the feelings, mood, and emotions of women.
On a different note, this occurrence can be quite puzzling for most men and women. Why are women more prone to suffering this? For one, it is biology. It can somehow be unfair but there are certain supplements that help women to have overall balance in their hormonal production and activity. Although scientists’ researches are ever evolving, it is common knowledge that hormones can be balanced by taking the necessary essential nutrients through supplements and proper diet, exercise, and the right amount of sleep.∎
WebMD. (2016). Estrogen and Women's Emotions. [online] Available at: http://www.webmd.com/women/guide/estrogen-and-womens-emotions [Accessed 12 May 2016].
EurekAlert!. (2016). The influence of estrogen on female mood changes. [online] Available at: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-01/sicp-tio010912.php [Accessed 12 May 2016].
Women's International Pharmacy. (2016). Moods and Hormones Newsletter. [online] Available at: https://www.womensinternational.com/connections/moods.html [Accessed 12 May 2016].