What causes intense mood swings in women?


Mood swings are common to everyone. If the question ‘Are mood swings normal?’ is raised, the answer becomes both yes and no. Mood swing that ranges from mild to moderate is treated as normal.

Mood swings are not a big deal until severity is so high that it interferes with your day to day routine both social and occupational.

What is a mood swing?

Mood swings are abrupt, rapid and fluctuating emotions. To elaborate, a person may feel annoyed, but the same person may feel elated within movements. The swing in moods may change within a short span.

What causes mood swings in females?

Mood swings are common in both males and females. In females, hormone fluctuations are the major reason for mood swings. The hormone changes are common in all the phases of women, such as before and after the menstrual cycle, menopause, before and after childbirth or pregnancy.

Along with the above phases, lifestyle changes, food habits and many complications contribute to mood swings in women. The mood swing eases itself most of the time, but sometimes the mood swings are pervasive, overwhelming that might require further medical evaluation.

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)

The most common cause of PMS is a mood swing. Experiencing unexpected, unexplained and inevitable changes in mood is usual during the PMS. Even though the exact reasons are blurred, studies believe that mood swings during periods or before and after periods happen due to the fluctuation in the hormones.

The change in hormones (estrogen and progesterone) will affect the serotonin level in the body. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter that functions to regulate the mood, sleep and appetite of the body. Unusual changes in serotonin are the cause of the common symptoms of PMS, such as sleep disturbance, loss of appetite, food cravings, generalised weakness, mood swings, etc.

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

PMDD is similar to PMS, but the severity of the symptoms seems to be high in PMDD. Mood swings, anxiety, depression, etc., are the common symptoms of PMDD. Usually, the symptoms will start 1 or 2 weeks before the start of periods.

The clear-cut causes of mood swing are not defined, but it is found to be similar to that of PMS.

Premenstrual symptom exacerbation (PME): The PME is common in women suffering from pre-existing mental or physical health conditions. The symptoms of these existing health conditions will get worse before, after or during the menstrual cycle.


Menopause is a phase that stops menstruation naturally. Menopause is the major phase of a woman’s life as it brings in a lot of transition both physically and mentally.  

The fluctuation of hormones happens during menopause and affects the body’s serotonin level. This is the cause of sudden mood swings.

People with medical health conditions like personality disorders and mood disorders are affected by mood swings. Neurological conditions such as Migraine, Parkinson’s diseases, Dementia, etc. might as well cause mood swings.

Tips to deal with mood swings

Before listing the list of tips to deal with mood swings, let’s understand the importance of treating mood swings. Mood swings can damage the emotional well-being of an individual.

Mood swings create unpleasant surroundings, and discomfort also damages mental peace.  

Here comes the next question ‘Is it possible to ease the mood swings?’ Yes!

The impact of mood swings can be reduced by practising the following tips.

Track down the mood swings

This is an important process because this requires self-analysis. Tracking down changes in emotions will help to manage them beforehand.

Sleep hygiene 

Irregular sleep is one cause of mood swings. Lack of sleep leads to a lack of energy, which ‌reduces brain and body activity. Healthy sleeping habits will ease depression, anxiety, mood swings, etc.

Avoid triggering agents

Alcohol, caffeine, smoking and certain drugs can increase the risk and severity of mood swings.

Relaxation techniques

A relaxation technique can be anything like music or walking in the park. It reduces stress and anxiety, promotes good sleep and improves mental wellbeing.

Physical activity

Physical activity, like exercise, walking and household work, will engage you productively and ‌builds good mental and physical health.


Mood swings are common for all and it is an overwhelming factor interfering with day to day functioning, it might need a further medical evaluation and treatment. Ideal to self analyses and take your time about your mood swing and try to get yourself out of it with professional help.

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