The doc­tor’s view

Dr Sascha Edel­stein, a fer­til­ity spe­cial­ist at HART Cape Town fer­til­ity clinic, weighs in

Marie Claire (South Africa) - - HEALTH REPORT -

Women with nor­mal ovu­la­tory cy­cles will have pre­dictable hor­monal changes dur­ing their cy­cle. Th­ese hor­monal fluxes may in­flu­ence mood and be­hav­iour, with sev­eral stud­ies show­ing that women ex­pe­ri­ence neg­a­tive mood symp­toms to a greater ex­tent in the sec­ond half of their cy­cle. Other stud­ies have sug­gested that the ovar­ian hor­mones do not de­ter­mine mood, but rather act to dampen or mag­nify emo­tional arous­abil­ity, which is in turn de­ter­mined by psy­cho­log­i­cal fac­tors.

There is no con­clu­sive ev­i­dence that ovar­ian hor­mones have a greater in­flu­ence than psy­cho-so­cial fac­tors on pre­vail­ing mood. How­ever, for those women who are sen­si­tive to hor­monal changes and who do ex­pe­ri­ence cycli­cal pat­terns, un­der­stand­ing their hor­monal cy­cle may help them to struc­ture their ex­po­sure to stress. While all ovu­la­tory women ex­pe­ri­ence sim­i­lar hor­monal fluxes, they do not all have the same, or a pre­dictable, re­sponse.

This type of ovar­ian hor­mone track­ing would not work for women who are not ovu­lat­ing; cer­tain med­i­ca­tions, like com­bined hor­monal con­tra­cep­tion and some psy­chi­atric med­i­ca­tion, can also mod­ify a woman’s re­sponse to hor­monal fluxes. Fer­til­i­tyspe­cial­ist.co.za

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