What Causes PMS?

23rd Apr 2010

Since I’m on PMS today, I’d like to post an explanation on why we (women) sometimes have the urge to throw the rain boots on our men during PMS and how you (men) should understand, be patience and leave us be. lol.

According to experts, the definitive cause of PMS is not yet known, but the most likely explanation for PMS is that many women are sensitive to the hormonal shifts that occur in the second half of the menstrual cycle.

(See…. we didn’t do it purposedly!!)

PMS most often occurs in women with normal menstrual cycles. During the normal menstrual cycle, the ovaries make two main hormones, called estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen is made by the ovaries throughout the entire menstrual cycle. It reaches its highest levels during the second and third weeks and declines during the last week. During the last two weeks of the cycle the ovaries also make progesterone. The last two weeks of the menstrual cycle is called the luteal (secretory) phase.


Both estrogen and progesterone prepare the uterus (womb) to accept a fertilized egg. Both estrogen and progesterone also affect women’s moods.


The exact cause of PMS is still not known, but researchers believe that PMS symptoms occur because progesterone and estrogen cause changes in brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. (Natural chemicals that nerve cells, especially in the brain, use to send messages to one another. These chemicals are involved in mood, thought, pain, and pleasure..) The most likely neurotransmitters affected are:

* Serotonin: Women with PMS have fluctuations in serotonin levels. These changes may cause depression and carbohydrate cravings. Serotonin is made by the body from the amino acid tryptophan.

* GABA: GABA stands for gamma-aminobutyric acid. This neurotransmitter is important in feeling calm.

* Endorphins: Endorphins are important in the experience of pain and pleasure. Estrogen and progesterone change endorphin levels.

* Norepinephrine: Norepinephrine and epinephrine are also neurotransmitters that influence mood. In addition, these substances play a role in blood pressure and heart rate.

(taken from EHealthMD)

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So there you go. This should somehow explain why PMS happen to most women. It’s probably why I’m so moody today too. Eww.

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