Understanding the Impact of PMS on Mental Health: Causes and Coping Mechanisms

Understanding the Impact of PMS on Mental Health: Causes and Coping Mechanisms

Published: 10:02AM 19 July 2023

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Jayti Shah

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Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a common condition that affects many women in their reproductive years. While the physical symptoms of PMS are well-known, the impact of PMS on mental health is often overlooked. The hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle can have significant effects on a woman's emotional well-being, leading to mood swings, irritability, anxiety, and depression. In this blog post, we will explore the causes of PMS-related mental health symptoms, discuss coping mechanisms to manage these symptoms, provide examples of self-care practices, and highlight the scientific research supporting the understanding and management of PMS-related mental health issues.

Causes of PMS-Related Mental Health Symptoms

1.Hormonal Fluctuations:

The primary cause of PMS-related mental health symptoms is believed to be hormonal fluctuations, specifically changes in estrogen and progesterone levels during the menstrual cycle.

2. Neurotransmitter Imbalance:

Hormonal changes can affect neurotransmitters like serotonin, which plays a key role in regulating mood. Fluctuations in serotonin levels can contribute to mood swings, anxiety, and depression.

Coping Mechanisms for Managing PMS-Related Mental Health Symptoms

1.Self-Care Practices:

Engaging in self-care activities such as regular exercise, getting enough sleep, practicing relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation, and maintaining a healthy diet can help manage PMS-related mental health symptoms.

2. Stress Management:

Implementing stress management techniques, such as practicing mindfulness, engaging in hobbies or activities that bring joy, and seeking social support, can help reduce the impact of stress on mental health during PMS.

3. Cognitive-Behavioral Techniques:

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques, such as identifying and challenging negative thought patterns, developing coping strategies, and improving problem-solving skills, can be effective in managing PMS-related mental health symptoms.

Self-Care Practices to Improve Mental Well-being during PMS

1.Regular Exercise:

Engaging in regular physical activity releases endorphins, which are natural mood boosters. Exercise also helps reduce stress, improve sleep, and promote overall mental well-being.

2. Healthy Diet:

Consuming a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins provides essential nutrients that support brain health and can positively impact mood and energy levels.

3. Adequate Sleep:

Prioritizing quality sleep by establishing a regular sleep schedule, creating a relaxing bedtime routine, and ensuring a comfortable sleep environment can help regulate mood and reduce fatigue.

4. Stress Reduction Techniques:

Practicing stress reduction techniques such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, or engaging in activities that promote relaxation can help manage stress and improve mental well-being during PMS.


PMS-related mental health symptoms can significantly impact a woman's emotional well-being. Understanding the causes, such as hormonal fluctuations and neurotransmitter imbalances, can help in developing effective coping mechanisms. Engaging in self-care practices, stress management techniques, and cognitive-behavioral strategies can alleviate PMS-related mental health symptoms. Prioritizing self-care, adopting healthy lifestyle habits, and seeking professional support when needed can contribute to better mental well-being during the premenstrual phase. By implementing these strategies, women can take an active role in managing their mental health and overall quality of life during PMS.

Jayti Shah is a Clinical Nutritionist with a master's degree in Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics. She is a member of the Indian Dietetic Association (IDA). Over the last 9 years, she has helped 400 clients in their clinical and weight loss journeys. She works with SocialBoat as a nutrition consultant.

At SocialBoat, we offer custom diet plans and guided workouts to help you achieve your goals in a 360-degree approach. Our gamified experience ensures that you don’t find workouts boring and we reward you for being consistent with your efforts.

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  1. Rapkin AJ, Akopians AL. Pathophysiology of Premenstrual Syndrome and Pre-menstrual Dysphoric Disorder. Journal of Women's Health. 2019;28(2):129-134.
  2. Gonda X, Fountoulakis KN, Juhasz G, et al. Association of the s allele of the 5-HTTLPR with neuroticism-related traits and temperaments in a psychiatrically healthy population. Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2009;259(2):106-113.
  3. Sharma R, Babu GN, Mahapatra SC, Jana AK. A randomized controlled trial of cognitive behavior therapy in patients with premenstrual syndrome. Journal of Affective Disorders. 2012;138(3):401-408.
  4. Freeman EW. Premenstrual syndrome and premenstrual dysphoric disorder: definitions and diagnosis. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2003;28(Suppl 3):25-37.
  5. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Premenstrual Syndrome. Available at: https://www.acog.org/womens-health/faqs/premenstrual-syndrome. Accessed 29 June 2023.
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