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Home > Learn > FYI > >Does Ovulation Make You Emotional?

Does Ovulation Make You Emotional?

Jan 11, 24 6 min

By OBGYN Dr. Kenosha Gleaton

The menstrual cycle is a complex journey marked by the rise and fall of various hormones, physiological changes, and many physical and emotional symptoms to follow. Let’s talk a bit about the emotional changes you may experience during ovulation and other potential causes of mood swings. 

What Is Ovulation?

Ovulation refers to the phase of the menstrual cycle when an egg is released from an ovary. [1] This is when someone has the best chance of getting pregnant, and the days leading up to and including ovulation day are known as the fertile window. [2] Ovulation can be tracked by measuring hormone levels, specifically the level of luteinizing hormone (LH) in the blood or urine. LH is the hormone responsible for the release of an egg and is the hormone measured when using ovulation tests. [1-2] Other symptoms of ovulation include thick, viscous, and opaque cervical mucus, increased basal body temperature, tender breasts, bloating, minor pain, increased sex drive, and more. [3] After ovulation will either come implantation, for those who have had unprotected heterosexual sex during their fertile window, or menstruation. [1] 

When Does Ovulation Happen?

Ovulation occurs at about the halfway point of someone’s menstrual cycle. Cycle lengths vary from person to person, but ovulation typically occurs anywhere from day 14 to day 18. [1,2] The actual release of the egg is a fairly quick process, lasting less than 24 hours. [1] Ovulation marks the start of the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, which is when the uterine lining prepares for a potential pregnancy. If no pregnancy occurs, this lining is shed and menstruation starts. Learn how to track ovulation with irregular periods → 

Is It Normal to Feel Emotional During Ovulation?

So what symptoms can you expect around ovulation, and is it normal to feel emotional? Let’s see what the research has to say. 

One study from 2023 found that mood changes generally tend to decrease around ovulation and increase during menstruation, which is supported by a few other studies and sources. [4-6] Generally, health organizations tend to associate premenstrual symptoms (PMS) such as irritability, mood swings, sadness, and other emotional changes with the few days to the week before menstruation rather than the week or days surrounding ovulation. [6] However, other research concludes that mood swings and emotional changes are common during the entire luteal phase, which spans from ovulation to menstruation. [3,7] The bottom line is that most researchers and health providers do expect and recognize that there are emotional shifts that appear during the menstrual cycle, which can include ovulation. So if you are feeling emotional around ovulation, you aren’t alone. 

What Else Causes Mood Swings? 

There are many reasons that you may be experiencing mood swings during ovulation/the midpoint of your cycle. These include abnormal hormone levels, the use of hormonal birth control, a short or abnormal menstrual cycle, underlying conditions, external factors, and more. If extreme mood swings or emotional changes seem to be a recurring and upsetting problem for you, you should speak with a healthcare provider. 

Nutrition

Some research shows that certain nutritional deficiencies can influence cognition, mood, and memory. Low levels of certain vitamins and minerals, like iron, magnesium, and B vitamins, have been linked to depression and other mood disorders. [8] Other symptoms of nutritional deficiencies include irritability, mood swings, fatigue, depression, and more. If you’re interested in learning more about your nutritional health, speak to a healthcare provider about testing options, or consider asking them about dietary supplements to ensure you’re getting plenty of important nutrients. 

Hormone Levels

Abnormal hormone levels can have a huge impact on your health and can lead to changes in mood. Abnormal or changing hormone levels can be caused by a wide range of conditions, including perimenopause, menopause, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), thyroid conditions, pregnancy, puberty, stress, certain medications, steroid use, and many more. [9] Test some key hormones from home with Natalist’s fertility test or browse a range of products from our sister company Everlywell.

External Factors 

Certain lifestyle factors, including stress, can have a significant impact on your mood. When someone is stressed for a long period of time, the body releases high amounts of hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. [10] While this is occurring, certain hormones that regulate mood may be suppressed by the body. [10] 

Medications

As already mentioned, some medications can also influence your mood. Certain medications, especially hormones found in birth control, influence people very differently. [9,11] It’s possible that a change in your mood or emotional state could be influenced by birth control, antibiotics, beta-blockers, anticonvulsants, and more. [11] 

If your mood swings tend to be very cyclical and in line with your menstrual cycle, there’s good reason to believe your emotional symptoms are being caused by a natural rise and fall in hormones. You may benefit from speaking with a provider about any medications or supplements you’re taking as well as any other common symptoms you’re experiencing. 

Track Ovulation With Natalist 

The menstrual cycle is a complex process that can trigger a wide range of emotions and physical symptoms. Whether you’re tracking ovulation in hopes of trying to conceive, prevent pregnancy, or you’re just interested in your cycle, it can be very helpful and empowering to get a better understanding of your body. Track your LH levels and pinpoint ovulation with Natalist ovulation tests and free ovulation calculator, or get a read on a range of important fertility hormones with this at-home hormone lab test. 


References:

  1. Reed BG, Carr BR. The Normal Menstrual Cycle and the Control of Ovulation. [Updated 2018 Aug 5]. In: Feingold KR, Anawalt B, Blackman MR, et al., editors. Endotext [Internet]. South Dartmouth (MA): MDText.com, Inc.; 2000-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279054/
  2. Ecochard R, Duterque O, Leiva R, Bouchard T, Vigil P. Self-identification of the clinical fertile window and the ovulation period. Fertil Steril. 2015;103(5):1319-25.e3. doi:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2015.01.031
  3. Ovulation. Cleveland Clinic. July 2022. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/23439-ovulation
  4. Pletzer B, Noachtar I. Emotion recognition and mood along the menstrual cycle. Horm Behav. 2023;154:105406. doi:10.1016/j.yhbeh.2023.105406
  5. Ocampo Rebollar A, Menéndez Balaña FJ, Conde Pastor M. Comparison of affect changes during the ovulatory phase in women with and without hormonal contraceptives. Heliyon. 2017;3(4):e00282. Published 2017 Apr 3. doi:10.1016/j.heliyon.2017.e00282
  6. Premenstrual Syndrome. Cleveland Clinic. October 2022. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/24288-pms-premenstrual-syndrome
  7. Staničić, Ana & Jokic-Begic, Natasa. (2010). Psychophysical Characteristics of the Premenstrual Period. Collegium antropologicum. 34. 1421-5. 
  8. Vitamin B12 deficiency can be sneaky and harmful. Harvard Health Publishing. March 2022. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/vitamin-b12-deficiency-can-be-sneaky-harmful-201301105780
  9. Hormonal Imbalance. Cleveland Clinic. April 2022. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/22673-hormonal-imbalance
  10. McEwen BS. Central effects of stress hormones in health and disease: Understanding the protective and damaging effects of stress and stress mediators. Eur J Pharmacol. 2008;583(2-3):174-185. doi:10.1016/j.ejphar.2007.11.071
  11. Is your medication making you depressed? Harvard Health Publishing. October 2015. https://www.health.harvard.edu/medications/is-your-medication-making-you-depressed

Dr. Kenosha Gleaton is board-certified in gynecology and obstetrics and is the Medical Advisor of Natalist. She received her MD from MUSC and completed her residency at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC.

Dr. Gleaton is passionate about women, health equity, and mentoring. She is the CEO of The EpiCentre, an OBGYN spa-like practice, and is a Clinical faculty member of Charleston Southern University. She is also a member of the American College of Obstetrics & Gynecology, the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists, and the American Association of Professional Women

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