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What Is the Connection between Ovulation and Mood Swings?

Nicole Madison
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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The connection between ovulation and mood swings typically involves hormones. When a woman approaches ovulation, she experiences a significant surge in the hormone estrogen and changing levels of other hormones, which often lead to mood changes. Many women experience positive mood swings, including feeling more alive and vibrant during ovulation. Others may become irritable or feel anxious as a result of these hormone changes. Still other women do not notice any changes in their mood during ovulation.

A woman's hormone levels do not stay constant throughout her entire cycle and, as a result, she may have symptoms — including significant changes in mood — that vary at different times in her cycle. Many people are well aware of mood swings that may occur in the days or weeks leading up to the onset of a woman’s menstrual period, and this is often referred to as premenstrual syndrome (PMS). A woman may, however, also notice changes in her mood around the time when her body releases an egg from one of her ovaries in a process referred to as ovulation, which is the connection between ovulation and mood swings.

Just as mood swings prior to a menstrual period are caused by hormonal fluctuations, hormones also are at the root of the connection between ovulation and mood swings. In the period leading up to ovulation, there are various hormones at work. Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), for example, stimulates the development of follicles that house a woman’s developing eggs, and luteinizing hormone (LH) stimulates a follicle to release a mature egg during ovulation. Progesterone also is at work during the time leading up to ovulation and serves to get the uterine lining ready for the possible implantation of an egg. Estrogen, however, may be referred to as a driving force during ovulation, and it is this hormone that is often responsible for the relationship between ovulation and mood swings.

When estrogen levels reach a high enough point, this leads to a surge of LH, which in turn stimulates ovulation. The increase in estrogen levels may cause a woman to feel vibrant, excited and well. She may feel more capable during this time, as well as more desirable and sexual. The relationship between ovulation and mood swings is not always positive, however, with some women instead feeling irritable, anxious or even depressed. This may occur as the woman's natural response or as a result of a hormonal imbalance.

The Health Board 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.
Nicole Madison
By Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a The Health Board writer, where she focuses on topics like homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. Her passion for knowledge is evident in the well-researched and informative articles she authors. As a mother of four, Nicole balances work with quality family time activities such as reading, camping, and beach trips.
Discussion Comments
By anon946736 — On Apr 22, 2014

If I have started to feel irritable when I'm ovulating, is it possible I'm in perimenopause? I never noticed this ovulation grumpiness until the last year or so.

By MrsPramm — On Jan 01, 2014

@Ana1234 - Uncontrollable mood swings are generally an exception to the rule and should be treated as a symptom of a medical condition unless that has been ruled out, in my opinion.

There are plenty of medical conditions associated with hormones and the female reproductive system in general that can make "that time of the month" very miserable for some women. I would not blame anyone suffering with the pain of endometriosis for lashing out now and then.

And it's also true, as it says in the article, that there are women who feel surges of happiness or other emotions during their cycle as well. It's a very individual thing.

By Ana1234 — On Jan 01, 2014

@Fa5t3r - It's not that simple though. There are a variety of conditions that can make hormones during PMS worse, to the point where people can get slightly irrational.

I have polycystic ovarian syndrome and when I don't take medication for it I can get extremely depressed around my period (although, somewhat ironically, that's because of extra male hormones, rather than female ones).

By Fa5t3r — On Dec 31, 2013

The thing you've go to remember is that women don't completely lose their minds just because they have a bit of a hormone change. Just like men don't completely lose their minds when they see a bit of cleavage and experience an extra dose of testosterone.

Yes it can make some differences, but the whole point of being human is that we can make logical decisions in spite of the fact that we might have some emotional urges to do otherwise.

It really annoys me that it has become such a bit joke that women are grumpy and irrational during "that time of the month". I mean, yeah it's inconvenient, but usually the kind of people who blame a woman's actions on that really ought to be looking at their own behavior.

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a The Health Board writer, where she focuses on topics like...
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