A new study has found that women seem to have more mood disorders during times of hormonal fluctuations such as the menstrual period, pregnancy and peri-menopause.
The study, led by Peter Schmidt, M.D., an investigator in the National Institute of Mental Health's Reproductive Endocrine Studies Unit, has found that during times of hormonal flux, many women are able to emerge relatively unscathed.
However, for others, a normal hormonal transition can trigger mild to severe mood disorders including depression and bipolar disorder.
"Science has revealed clues as to why these changes may occur in some women but further research is needed to definitively show what causes depression and mood disorders in women during hormonal transitions," Schmidt said.
The study illustrated the effect of hormones on human mood by shutting down the ovarian cycle in an attempt to eliminate the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.
After two to three months of ovarian suppression, the study participants' problematic mood symptoms were greatly reduced.
The researchers concluded that when reproductive hormones are removed, premenstrual symptoms or PMS disappears.