Why Progesterone Is Both Good and Bad for Mood (and How to Treat PMDD)

Mood effects of progesterone.Progesterone is usually soothing to mood but can sometimes cause anxiety. A negative mood reaction to progesterone is called neurosteroid change sensitivity or premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) and affects about one in twenty women.

Here’s everything you need to know about progesterone and mood.

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Ovulation Is the Main Event of the Menstrual Cycle

Anovulatory cycles and pill bleeds.A menstrual cycle is, by definition, an ovulatory cycle in which ovulation is the main event and progesterone is made.

Any other kind of bleed is either an anovulatory bleed or a pill-bleed — neither of which are real menstrual cycles. Ovulatory cycles are the only way to make progesterone which is important for general health, not just for making a baby.  

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How Phytoestrogens Can Lower Estrogen and Lighten Periods

Phytoestrogens are a special group of phytonutrients that occur naturally in most plant foods. The two major classes are isoflavones in soy, and lignans in seeds, whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables.

They’re called phytoestrogens because they interact with estrogen receptors but they’re not estrogen. In fact, they bind so weakly to estrogen receptors that they effectively block estradiol and are therefore better classified as anti-estrogen.

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What Estrogen Does in Your 40s (and How Progesterone Can Help)

Estrogen rollercoaster of perimenopause

Night sweats, mood swings, and crazy heavy periods. Is this menopause already? And you’re only 42? No, menopause could still be a decade away. This is perimenopause or second puberty, which is the two to twelve years before your final period.

Perimenopause is different from menopause, which is the life phase that begins one year after your final period.

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