Anxiety before your period?

by Dr. Pranjal on September 13, 2023 , 5 min read

Anxiety before your period?

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a term used to describe a collection of symptoms including anxiety before your period. This is a syndrome mainly faced by women and young teenagers and is related to their mental health.

Many people go through mild to moderate mood swings throughout that time. Your symptoms may point to a more serious disorder, like premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), if severe.

The prevalence of unfavourable psychological symptoms is higher during the premenstrual phase. The menstrual cycle phase may affect a woman's response to an outside problem.

Compared to PMS, PMDD is a more serious condition. A week or two before the start of your period, PMDD produces acute irritability, depression, and anxiety when hormone levels start to drop following ovulation. 

Symptoms often disappear 2-3 days after your period starts. A sign of PMS is anxiety before a period. Your brain's neurotransmitters that are linked to mood regulation may be impacted by menstruation.

Due to heredity and environmental variables, some people may be more sensitive to hormone changes than others. 

Anxiety can morph into:

  • Excessive worrying
  • Nervousness
  • Tension

PMS versus PMDD

During the second half of the menstrual cycle, a combination of physical and behavioural symptoms known as Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) emerge in a cyclical pattern.

A more serious form of PMS is Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD). Anger, irritation, despair, and internal tension are typical symptoms that are strong enough to interfere with day-to-day activity.

Up to 75% of women with normal menstrual cycles experience mild PMS; just 3–8% of women experience PMDD. Women from any socioeconomic, cultural, or racial background may be affected by this illness.

Typically a chronic illness, PMDD can significantly lower a woman's quality of life. Fortunately, most women may effectively control their symptoms with a number of therapies and self-care techniques.

PMDD signs and symptoms may include:

  • A sensation of being overpowered
  • Heightened depression and anxiety
  • Receptivity to criticism
  • Anger and impatience
  • Social isolation
  • Sudden emotional symptoms of sadness or crying
  • Enduring irritation or rage that might have an impact on other people
  • Sadness, hopelessness, or even suicidal thoughts
  • Tensing up or getting nervous
  • Mood swings or frequent tears
  • A lack of interest in relationships and daily life
  • Difficulty with concentrate or thinking
  • Poor energy or fatigue
  • Binge eating or indulging in food cravings
  • Difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
  • Physical signs such migraines, headaches, breast tenderness, cramps, bloating, and joint or muscle discomfort

For a person to receive the proper care and treatment, the precise diagnosis is crucial.

Here’s how PMS works

Thankfully your hormone levels settle down towards the end of your cycle. You feel good and much more like yourself again before your next cycle begins.

Why does it happen?

The majority of people think that PMS symptoms, like anxiety, are brought on by fluctuating levels of oestrogen and progesterone. During the luteal phase of menstruation, the reproductive hormone levels significantly increase or decrease.

The Link Between Anxiety and Your Menstrual Period

Women have a double the risk of anxiety compared to men between the ages of 14 and 50 because of the menstrual cycle's hormonal fluctuations.

Estrogen and progesterone start to rapidly fall just before your menstruation begins. Those symptoms could be brought on by this hormone withdrawal. 

While some women barely notice any mood changes related to their menstrual cycle, others experience mood shifts throughout their whole menstrual cycle. Your mental health plays a significant role in regulating your hormones and by extension, your overall reproductive system. Read this for some quick tips to have a calm and care-free period.

Is Feeling Anxious During Your Cycle Normal?

For some women, anxiety is par for the course. “A large portion of women will feel some sort of mood or behavioral change before their period begins. It’s not necessarily anxiety — it could also be feeling more irritable, sad, or having mood swings. 

How is PMDD diagnosed? Should I see a doctor?

It's recommended checking in with your doctor if your symptoms don't go away after making daily life adjustments or if you suspect that you may have PMDD.

Bring it to your doctor if you've been keeping track of your period and PMS symptoms.

Your doctor will examine you physically and may enquire about your medical history. In order to assist your doctor in diagnosing PMS, you must keep a calendar or diary of your symptoms. At Kindly, we have a team of experts who will help you through your menstrual anxiety. Click here to book a Free session today.

Is there anything I can do?

You can alter your lifestyle and food, as well as a variety of other factors, to minimise premenstrual anxiety and other PMS symptoms.

Things that can assist in reducing anxiety include


People who exercise regularly throughout the month experience less fluctuations in mood and behaviour, and fewer physical complaints.

You may be able to reduce anxiety and other PMS symptoms better the more active you are.

Aim for 150 minutes or more per week of moderate exercise.

Relaxation techniques. 

Yoga, meditation, and massage therapy are typical methods to relax. You can get calmer and reduce anxiety by unwinding and managing stress levels.

Exercises like yoga, meditation, or breathing techniques might help you feel good and more calm fast.

Don't hit the snooze button 

Although getting enough sleep is essential, it's not the sole factor. Focus on being consistent with your sleep schedule.

Try to establish a regular sleep plan that has you waking and sleeping at the same time every day.

You may become more susceptible to the consequences of anxiety if you don't get enough sleep.

Binge on the healthy stuff 

A diet high in carbs, such as whole grains and starchy vegetables, might lessen PMS-related irritability and anxiety-inducing food cravings. Consume calcium-rich foods like milk and yoghurt to calm the nerves.

All elements of your health, including your mental wellbeing, depend on eating a balanced, healthy diet that includes regular servings of fruit and vegetables.

Avoid consuming a lot of sugary, salty, fatty, or caffeine-containing foods.

Vitamin and mineral supplements

Women with moderate PMS may see a minor benefit from vitamin B6 (up to 100 mg/day) after, of course, consulting with your doctor. Vitamin B6 dosages should not exceed 100 mg per day. 

If you're looking to have happy and calm periods, this supplement is what you need. Formulated by experts and backed by science, Breathe is a supplement containing a unique blend of ingredients which relieve you from period cramps & PMS symptoms. Click here to buy now

Antidepressants called "Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors" (SSRIs). 

Studies showed that SSRIs reduced the symptoms of PMDD. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorised three SSRIs in order to help with premenstrual anxiety.

Birth control pills. 

For the treatment of PMS, the FDA has authorised birth control tablets containing drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol. Some women with PMS get relief from their symptoms when they take a birth control pill. Read more about the status of female birth control in India here.

Over-the-counter pain relievers

These aid in the relief of bodily symptoms such breast tenderness, joint pain, migraines, and abdominal cramps.

Avoid smoking and drink alcohol in moderation 

Smoking can increase your risk of period-related anxiety and PMS. Alcohol worsens anxiety and is another form of feel-good addiction that most people go through. 

Even the most ardent smoker or drinker can be helped by a variety of aids, like patches, lozenges, and gummies that can reduce nicotine and alcohol cravings. 

Track your cycle

Taking action and planning your week by tracking your menstrual cycle can help with your anxiety. 

Utilising a cycling monitoring app on your phone is one option. Note the beginning of your cycle and the onset of any symptoms; you'll soon discover a pattern that might help you be better prepared.

The bottom line

It's very natural to feel anxious in the week or two before your period starts. But there are things you can attempt for relief if your symptoms are negatively affecting your daily life.

Start by adjusting your current lifestyle a little. Do not be afraid to consult your gynaecologist or healthcare professional if things do not seem to be working.

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by Dr. Pranjal on September 13, 2023 , 5 min read

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