Using hormone fluctuations to your advantage
Hormone changes during your menstrual cycle may affect your behavior and how you feel. How can you plan ahead and potentially use these fluctuations to your advantage?
The first day of your period is the first day of your menstrual cycle. This is when your estrogen levels are at their lowest, so you may notice that you feel more fatigue.
As you approach the end of your period, your estrogen levels are rising, and you may feel more upbeat. A little after your period ends, your testosterone levels are higher, your skin is glowing, and your face may look more symmetrical making you feel more confident and adaptable to change. This may be a good time to start something new.
As you get closer to ovulation, estrogen continues to rise and reaches its highest close to mid-cycle. At this time, your libido is high, and you feel at your flirtiest and sexiest. Men rate women as more attractive when they're ovulating. Orgasms will be easier to achieve and more intense around this time. With estrogen peaking, you're at your most optimistic, motivated and social. This might be the best time to socialize.
Once ovulation occurs, estrogen drops rapidly and progesterone levels increase, which can cause bloating and may lower your libido. You may feel more emotional, irritable, and tired around this time until estrogen starts to rise again. Your skin may be more sensitive, and produce excess oil leading to breakouts.
If pregnancy did not occur, and your period is approaching, progesterone and estrogen levels drop, which is when you may experience symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). This is also around the time in your cycle when you're most susceptible to pain. So, this might not be the best time to wax or get a tattoo.
Right before your period starts, estrogen is low, and some women's appetite increases. Menstrual cramps may start 1-2 days before your period begins. Then, your cycle starts over and it might be a good time to plan to take it easy.
Jeanna Ryan MPAS, PA-C, MS, RDN, MSCIS
Cofounder of Layla Technology
Physician Assistant, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Mother of 3 Daughters