Syndrome prémenstruel : comment gérer les fluctuations d’humeur ?

Premenstrual syndrome: how to manage mood fluctuations?

Oct 20, 2023

Menstruation is a natural and essential part of every woman's life. And, although this is a normal process, they can sometimes cause significant swings in mood. For many women, these emotional fluctuations can be disconcerting, disrupting daily life as well as work and social activities. However, it is essential to recognize that these mood swings are not inevitable and that there are ways to manage them effectively. What is the link between menstruation and emotional well-being? What strategies can be put in place to mitigate them?


Why does mood change during the menstrual cycle?

To understand how menstruation can affect emotional well-being, it is essential to consider the hormonal fluctuations that occur throughout the menstrual cycle. The two key hormones involved are estrogen and progesterone , the levels of which vary during different phases of the cycle.

The follicular phase , which begins on the first day of menstruation and lasts on average two weeks, corresponds to a gradual increase in estrogen levels. This increase in estrogen can improve mood and energy in some women. However, others may not notice significant changes.

In contrast, the luteal phase, which occurs after ovulation and lasts about two weeks, is marked by an increase in progesterone levels. Some women may then experience emotional changes such as irritability, increased sensitivity or sadness. Its manifestations are then called premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

The menstrual phase itself sees estrogen and progesterone levels decline before your period begins. This can lead to physical manifestations such as fatigue or anxiety.

Understanding these hormonal variations allows us to better anticipate the emotional changes that occur during the menstrual cycle. However, it is essential to remember that every woman is different, and the impact of hormones on mood can vary greatly from person to person.


What is premenstrual syndrome?

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a set of physical, emotional and behavioral symptoms , usually occurring a few days before the start of your period. These symptoms can vary in severity from woman to woman. While some women barely notice any changes, others may notice severe symptoms that affect their quality of life. Far from being rare, this syndrome affects 20 to 40% of menstruating women.

The most common symptoms of PMS include:

  • Digestive disorders such as bloating, pain, constipation…
  • Breast tension manifested in particular by a sensitive and/or painful chest.
  • Mood disorders which may include anxiety, sleep problems, significant irritability or even depressed mood.


Effective Approaches and Tips in Managing Mood Disorders

To date, there is still no specific treatment for mood fluctuations associated with premenstrual syndrome. However, there are many approaches and strategies to manage your symptoms effectively.



Firstly, a healthy and balanced diet can play a crucial role in managing PMS. Here are some dietary recommendations to consider:

  • Reduce caffeine and sugar: These products can make anxiety and mood swings worse. Reducing their consumption can therefore help alleviate symptoms.
  • Increase vegetable and fruit intake: Nutrient-dense foods can help balance energy levels and reduce inflammation.
  • Consume foods rich in omega-3: Omega-3 fatty acids, found in oily fish, nuts and flaxseeds, can have positive effects on mood and hormonal regulation.

Regular exercise is also a great way to manage the mood disorders associated with PMS. Exercise releases endorphins, the “happy hormones,” which can improve mood and reduce stress. It is therefore recommended to exercise regularly throughout the menstrual cycle.



Stress management

Stress is considered a central factor in PMS. Good stress management thus proves beneficial in the management of PMS. There are several methods to do this, including:

  • Meditation : Mindfulness meditation can help achieve a state of relaxation and well-being. There are also meditation courses available free of charge.
  • Yoga. This discipline combines physical movement with mental relaxation, making it an excellent practice for stress management.
  • Cardiac coherence.


Medical treatments

When the manifestations of premenstrual syndrome become bothersome, or even disrupt the quality of life , drug treatment can be considered in agreement with a health professional . There are different therapeutic classes to reduce symptoms or act on the menstrual cycle. The doctor is able to evaluate the most suitable option for each situation.


Herbal treatments

In addition to medicinal approaches, there are also herbal treatments to alleviate these symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. Certain natural food supplements help reduce stress and anxiety, while promoting hormonal balance.


Emotional support

PMS should not be underestimated in terms of its emotional impact. Symptoms such as irritability, anxiety and depression can really have a huge effect on mental and emotional well-being. Finding appropriate emotional support is therefore crucial. Talking about these symptoms with friends, family or a healthcare professional can provide relief. It is also important to break taboos and talk openly about these issues to feel supported and to experience menstrual cycles peacefully.


The mood swings caused by PMS can be difficult for many women. However, it is important to remember that there are ways to manage your symptoms. So, by adopting approaches such as a balanced diet, regular exercise, stress management, natural therapies and medical treatments where necessary, it is possible to minimize symptoms and live a balanced life.


References :

INSERM. (December 10, 2021). What is premenstrual syndrome?


Sarah Vaudeville. (November 2022). Premenstrual syndrome: pathophysiology, treatments and field survey among health professionals.

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