The sex hormone levels heavily influence the brain’s reward circuit in a woman during the menstrual cycle, according to a new study by). The reward circuitry is one of the most complex areas of the brain. It has receptors for both progesterone and estrogen. The circuit is made up of the prefrontal cortex, which is the seat of thinking and planning; the amygdala, which regulates fear; the hippocampus, which is the memory hub and the striatum, which relays signals from these areas to the brain’s cortex. Watch video in link below
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While the receptors for the female sex hormones predominate the circuit, researchers have been unable to determine what role they play in the reward circuit.The current study says that a woman’s brain reward circuit was more active and receptive if they were in a menstrual phase dominated by estrogen, which is just before ovulation takes place. However when both estrogen and progesterone dominated, they appeared to be mood swings and the women was not receptive even when she was rewarded.