A study from Yoppie, the pioneers of personalised menstrual health, reveals around one in five women suffer from some form of common mental health issue and that their symptoms tend to deteriorate during the menstrual cycle.
Yoppie commissioned a survey of UK women to help analyse the link between mental health and the menstrual cycle, and the results reveal that one in five struggle with their mental health, with anxiety and depression the most common issues.
When asked how often they experience the individual symptoms half of women stated it was either all of the time or multiple times a day,
When asked how severe they would classify their symptoms as being, 45% said the severity was middling, 29% said it was severe or very severe, while 9% said it was not too severe.
67% of women also stated that their mental health deteriorates during their menstrual cycle.
However, only 36% of women have attempted to track their mental health alongside their menstrual cycle to see how they could best reduce the impact their period has on their state of mind.
Why would my period affect my mental health?
The link between mental health and the menstrual cycle is well documented. The hormones the body releases all have an effect on the brain and it is the brain that controls mental health.
For example, during ovulation, oestrogen and progesterone levels rise and quickly peak, both of which can contribute to low mood, sleep issues, anger, and anxiety.
In fact, these hormones are so powerful that they can even interfere with dreams, making them more vivid and strange than usually experienced.
Examining the relationship the other way around, high levels of stress can actually affect the menstrual cycle. In recent years, it has been discovered that stress can cause periods to become irregular and more painful, with studies finding a correlation between stress and dysmenorrhoea (painful menstrual cramps) with women who have high levels of stress being twice as likely to experience this.
With such a strong link between mental health and the menstrual cycle, understanding the connection can really help women manage the ups and downs they experience.
For tips on how to do just this and even more insight into the relationship between mental health and the internal workings of the female body, head to this article from Yoppie.
Founder of Yoppie, Daniella Peri, commented: “Discussions around mental health and the menstrual cycle are complicated because every woman’s body is different, and each one reacts differently to the hormones released at different stages of the cycle. Each woman also has different experiences and external influences impacting their mental health, so there are no hard and fast rules or insights.
“What we do know, however, is that the two things have a strong connection and that the best way for a woman to understand her individual connection is to actively track ups and downs in mental health.
“This can then be plotted against their menstrual cycle to reveal how one is working with the other. If patterns are found, steps can be taken to mitigate any dips in mental health that are caused by menstruation. The key is to know yourself, and this means giving yourself the space and time to listen to what your body is saying.”