How my period cycle influences the relationships in my life

How do periods alter the way we live our lives?

Marina Snyder
17th May 2023
Like anyone, I like to believe I have control over my own emotions and actions, yet the older I get, the more I realize that as a woman, that simply just cannot always be the case.

What’s not spoken enough in society I think, is just how much period cycles and hormones can affect your behaviour, feelings and lives. The ups and downs of estrogen, testosterone and progesterone in the menstrual cycle have extraordinary power, to the point it may dictate your relationships without you ever even realising it.

When speaking to other women, a lot of them said how they felt often like a different person, how they would randomly cry for no reason, fight with their friends and boyfriends out of the blue and generally be feeling low.
Personally, I can only relate oh too well. Ever since I was around thirteen, I would find that my cycle would completely change how I felt about myself and others and, therefore, how I would act. I found myself a week before my periods becoming temperamental and often would end up fighting with friends and my family for no apparent reason. As I’ve gotten older, I’m more aware and able to predict these irrational moods, however, I think they have only intensified.

When speaking to other women, a lot of them said how they felt often like a different person

Now, being nineteen and at university I can (sadly) admit that I have bawled my eyes out because I once went to the shops and saw a baby pineapple. I have convinced myself that every single one of my six other flatmates completely despises me, and I have managed to "break up" with my boyfriend for simply just being there. The one thing all of these have in common (apart from being irrational and making me appear crazy) is that they have all occurred exactly one week before my period. And what is scary, is after my period I can look back in retrospect and almost not recognize myself or why these things would happen.

After my period I can look back in retrospect and almost not recognise myself

The answer, of course, is hormones and your cycle. When looking at the biological side, PMS is really your estrogen levels descending which prompts changes in your brain, one includes lowering serotonin. What this basically means is that you’re more likely to be irritated, critical and a lot less patient and therefore can be more prone to mood swings or even feeling more insecure about yourself and your relationships.

What is important to remember is you’re not alone, you’re not psychotic and you’ll eventually feel better once this element of the cycle is over. Until then, you’ll unfortunately just have to accept the strange looks you get in Tesco when you’re sobbing in the grocery aisle.

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