Irritability is defined as a feeling of agitation/frustration and being easily upset. While it is normal to feel irritable in stressful situations, it can also be an indicator of a mental or physical condition. Irritability is a common symptom of perimenopause and menopause, because of the hormonal changes associated with it.

Irritability can be accompanied with various physiological symptoms, such as sweating, racing heart, faster breathing, confusion, and anger. Specifically, for women undergoing perimenopause, irritability can occur with fever, headache, hot flashes, irregular menstrual cycles, reduced libido, and/or hair loss.

Approximately 52% of women experience irritability when going through perimenopause and menopause. This results from declines in estrogen and progesterone levels, which influences brain chemicals that are responsible for regulating feelings and emotions. Because irritability is such a broad emotion, it manifests uniquely in different people – for some it can result in mild annoyance while for others, it can result in episodes of rage.
Some helpful coping mechanisms are practicing breathing and meditation. It is also recommended to maintain healthy and nutritious diets, stay hydrated, and limit alcohol intake. Getting enough sleep and incorporating regular physical activity is also recommended. Including all of these lifestyle changes can result in an easier experience with adjusting to the menopausal period and the symptoms that it entails.
Most importantly, you should have a good support system that can talk you through episodes of irritability and support you through the hardship of coping with symptoms and the extreme hormone changes that are occurring. 

-Written by Kaila An MPH

Legg, T. J. (n.d.). Irritability: Causes, Symptoms and Diagnosis. Healthline. Retrieved January 30, 2023, from

PubMed. (n.d.). Predictors of irritability symptoms in mildly depressed perimenopausal women. PubMed. Retrieved January 30, 2023, from


Regular exercise and getting enough sleep can significantly improve your mood throughout the day.


Learn to identify signs of mood changes and irritability.

If you're unsure that you're going through perimenopause, we recommend reaching out to you health care provider for further testing. Your doctor may suggest blood tests to check if you're in transition to menopause (aka perimenopause). 

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Create quick go-to activities that can help improve your mood quickly. Go outside and take a walk, take a few minutes to breathe deeply and relax or call a friend to talk it out. 

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