Some causes of mood swings in women include perimenopause and premenstrual syndrome, according to Mayo Clinic. Mood swings are also characteristic of a severe form of premenstrual symptom known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder, states WebMD.
Additional symptoms of perimenopause, which is the transitional stage leading up to menopause, are vaginal dryness, hot flashes and night sweats. Some women may also experience sleep problems, weight gain due to a slowing metabolism, thinning hair and skin dryness, notes Mayo Clinic. During the menopausal transition, women experience irregular periods that eventually stop completely. Treatment focuses on symptom relief and may include antidepressants, hormone therapy and vaginal estrogen.
In addition to mood swings, irritability and anger, premenstrual syndrome can also cause anxiety, social withdrawal and poor concentration. Physical symptoms include joint and muscle pain, fatigue, bloating and acne breakouts, explains Mayo Clinic. Symptoms typically dissipate four days into a woman's period. Women with premenstrual syndrome often benefit from lifestyle and diet changes, although medications such as antidepressants or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may also be necessary in more severe cases.
Doctors make a diagnosis of premenstrual dysphoric disorder when a minimum of five premenstrual syndrome symptoms, including mood swings, anxiety or anger, are present for most of the week before menstruation and cease a few days after the period started, reports WebMD.