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    PCOS Mood Swings: The Ultimate Guide to Causes and Strategies for Relief

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    PCOS Mood Swings: The Ultimate Guide to Causes and Strategies for Relief

    Updated on 21 December 2023

    Medically Reviewed by

    Dr. Shruti Tanwar

    C-section & gynae problems - MBBS| MS (OBS & Gynae)

    View Profile

    Irregular periods and hormonal imbalances are hallmark symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome but a symptom that often goes unnoticed is PCOS mood swings. Women with PCOS may experience sudden mood changes, irritability and even depression but the severity of these symptoms can vary from person to person. Consequently, it becomes important to understand the relationship between PCOS and mood swings.

    In this article, we will understand does PCOS cause mood swings, the relationship between the two and effective ways to manage mood swings due to PCOS.

    Is it normal to experience mood swings in PCOS?

    Mood swings are a common complaint among women with PCOS, but is it normal to experience them? Women with PCOS often experience hormonal imbalances, including elevated levels of androgens such as testosterone. These imbalances can lead to mood swings, irritability, and even depression.

    It is important to note that not all women with PCOS will experience mood swings, and the severity of these symptoms can vary from person to person. However, if you are experiencing frequent and intense mood swings, it is essential to address them and seek support.

    What is the relation between PCOS and mood swings?

    The exact relationship between PCOS and mood changes is not yet fully understood. However, researchers have identified several factors that contribute to this connection. Firstly, hormonal imbalances play a significant role. Elevated levels of androgens can affect neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin, which is responsible for regulating mood. Additionally, insulin resistance, a common characteristic of PCOS, can also impact mood stability.

    Apart from hormonal factors, the emotional toll of living with PCOS can contribute to mood swings. Dealing with the physical symptoms, fertility challenges, and the uncertainty surrounding the condition can lead to anxiety, stress, and depression, all of which can exacerbate mood swings. It is important to recognize that PCOS is not just a physical condition but also has a significant impact on mental health.

    What are the causes behind PCOS mood swings?

    Here are five common factors that contribute to mood swings in women with PCOS:

    1. Hormonal Imbalances

    As mentioned earlier, elevated levels of androgens and imbalances in other hormones can disrupt the delicate balance of neurotransmitters in the brain, leading to mood swings.

    2. Insulin Resistance

    Insulin resistance, a hallmark of PCOS, can affect blood sugar levels and contribute to mood fluctuations. Unstable blood sugar levels can cause irritability and mood swings.

    3. Sleep Disturbances

    Many women with PCOS also experience sleep disturbances, such as insomnia or sleep apnea. Lack of quality sleep can impact mood stability and exacerbate mood swings.

    4. Inflammation

    PCOS is associated with chronic low-grade inflammation in the body. Inflammation can affect the brain and lead to mood disturbances.

    5. Psychological Factors

    Living with a chronic condition like PCOS can take an emotional toll. Stress, anxiety, and depression can all contribute to mood swings.

    Effective strategies for managing mood swings in PCOS

    While mood swings due to PCOS can be challenging to deal with, there are several strategies that can help alleviate symptoms and improve emotional well-being including:

    1. Balanced Diet

    A healthy, balanced diet that focuses on whole foods can help stabilize blood sugar levels, reduce inflammation, and support hormonal balance, which can in turn alleviate mood swings.

    2. Regular Exercise

    Engaging in regular physical activity can help reduce stress, improve mood, and promote better sleep, all of which can contribute to managing mood swings.

    3. Stress Management

    Learning effective stress management techniques, such as mindfulness meditation, deep breathing exercises, or engaging in hobbies, can help reduce the impact of stress on mood swings.

    4. Adequate Sleep

    Prioritizing quality sleep is crucial for managing mood swings. Establishing a bedtime routine, creating a sleep-friendly environment, and avoiding electronics before bed can promote better sleep.

    5. Support Network

    Building a strong support network of friends, family, or joining support groups can provide a safe space to share experiences and seek guidance, ultimately reducing the emotional burden of PCOS.

    6. Medication

    In some cases, medication may be necessary to manage severe mood swings. Consulting with a healthcare professional can help determine if medication is an appropriate option for you.

    You may also like: PCOS Exercise: Your Guide to Sweating Away PCOS

    Final Thoughts

    PCOS mood swings can be distressing and impact a woman's overall quality of life. Understanding the causes behind these mood swings and implementing effective strategies for relief is crucial. By addressing hormonal imbalances, managing stress, and seeking support, women with PCOS can find relief from mood swings and improve their emotional well-being. Remember, you are not alone in this journey, and there is support available to help you navigate the challenges of PCOS.


    1. Podfigurna-Stopa A, Luisi S, Regini C, Katulski K, Centini G, Meczekalski B, Petraglia F. (2015). Mood disorders and quality of life in polycystic ovary syndrome. Gynecol Endocrinol.

    2. Chaudhari AP, Mazumdar K, Mehta PD. (2018). Anxiety, Depression, and Quality of Life in Women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Indian J Psychol Med.

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    Medically Reviewed by

    Dr. Shruti Tanwar

    C-section & gynae problems - MBBS| MS (OBS & Gynae)

    View Profile

    Written by

    Anupama Chadha

    Anupama Chadha, born and raised in Delhi is a content writer who has written extensively for industries such as HR, Healthcare, Finance, Retail and Tech.

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