Does Estrogen Make You More Emotional?

To answer this question properly, we must first understand what estrogen is and how it affects the body. Estrogen is a combination of vital hormones that enhance a woman’s reproductive health. Without estrogen, a woman’s reproductive organs won’t develop fully, which will in turn negatively affect her ability to conceive and bear children. These hormones act everywhere in a woman’s body, including the parts of the brain that control emotions.

But how is estrogen related to a woman’s emotions? Oftentimes, we rush to conclude that a woman’s crankiness, irritability, and mood swings are because of her estrogen. The truth is that hormones do have a direct effect on how we behave – but does estrogen make you more emotional? In this article, we will answer this question and address other issues related to estrogen.

What’s the relationship between estrogen and emotions?

Studies have shown that young girls, especially teenagers, and women who are approaching menopause are highly susceptible to mood swings, depression, anxiety, and irritability. These symptoms are also common in women who are experiencing hormonal fluctuations, especially before their menstrual periods and after giving birth. This means any slight imbalance in estrogen is likely to result in some or all of these emotional changes.

In fact, many patients who use medications containing estrogen have reported depression, anxiety, and irritability as the primary side effects. This is because the estrogen present in the medication affects their hormone levels. It is important to note that estrogen plays numerous roles in the body that affect other parts, beyond the sex organs. For instance, it can affect your urinary tract, heart, blood vessels, muscles, breasts, brain, hair, bones, skin, and mucous membrane.

In fact, it has been suggested that fluctuations in estrogen affect the normal regulation of the neurotransmitter systems such as serotonin, dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine in your brain, thus affecting your mood. This fluctuation can also cause severe sensitivity to estrogen levels in your amygdala, whose main function is to regulate your mood. People, especially women, who are more sensitive to hormonal changes are more likely to experience depression, anxiety, mood swings, and other emotional symptoms when their estrogen levels fluctuate.

Why are teenagers highly affected by estrogen fluctuations?

According to researchers, the emotional effects of estrogen fluctuations are more common in teenagers than in other age groups. Why is this? First, it is during adolescence that the pituitary gland starts to produce estrogen hormones, so it’s likely that this change in estrogen levels can lead to an experience of mood swings and possibly symptoms of anxiety or depression. 

An increase in estrogen levels is also likely to exacerbate existing tensions for the teenager, making it difficult for her to understand why she is receiving her menstrual periods or why she has fluctuations in her menstrual cycle. Some young women will also find it difficult to cope with their sexual development including the growth of breasts, body hair, along with an increase or decrease in body weight, and acne. 

These issues become further complicated if a woman’s cultural traditions or belief conflicts with the messages she hears about sexuality and relationships. All these stresses will exacerbate the effects of the increased estrogen levels in her body.

While there is no approved medicinal treatment for mood swings, depression, irritability, and other emotional effects due to estrogen fluctuations, there are many ways of managing and alleviating these symptoms. For instance, you can take certain vitamins and minerals to enhance important chemical reactions needed for the production and regulation of estrogen.

You can also eat certain foods to help enhance the functions of your liver and balance your estrogen levels. Physical exercises have also proved to be effective in managing the emotional effects of estrogen fluctuations. By understanding yourself, your body, and getting in touch with your natural estrogen fluctuations, you can more easily learn to manage and minimize the emotional symptoms you may experience.