My intrusive thoughts are becoming much more frequent and intense during my period and shortly after. I still have them while not dealing with my cycle but they are much less frequent and much less intense and easier to let go when I’m not menstruating. I would love to know if there is some sort of connection or if I need to be concerned about this.

A. This may be related to the many hormonal changes that occur during your menstrual cycle. There are at least three specific hormones that fluctuate throughout your menstrual cycle: estrogen, testosterone and progesterone. Fluctuating hormones impact mood and behavior, energy levels, the quality of your sleep, and more. These hormonal changes, could be intensifying your OCD symptoms.

Your question did not indicate whether you have had treatment or are in treatment. It would be interesting to explore what factors may be causing the fluctuations in your symptoms but what’s most important for OCD and other mental health disorders, is treatment. OCD is often highly treatable but some people ignore their symptoms which means that their symptoms worsen. The best course of action is to consult a mental health professional who specializes in anxiety disorders and begin treatment. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is particularly effective for OCD. Medication might also be helpful. Thank you for your question. Good luck.

Dr. Kristina Randle