Female Hormone Cycle


It may seem hard to believe, but with the Hormone Horoscope®you can predict what your day will be like based solely on where you are in your monthly menstrual cycle.

For instance, on Day 5 (which is 5 days from the onset of your period), you'll notice a rise in pep and a desire to make social plans. On Day 10, you'll be talkative and want to break out of old ruts and try something new. On Day 13, you'll have romance on your mind and experience a boost in memory. On Day 22, you'll be hit with food cravings and be a bit more cautious. And on Day 26, you're spotting swerving cars and other dangers faster.

How can the day you're on in your menstrual cycle reveal so much about your thoughts, emotions and behaviors?

It's simple: Research shows that the three key hormones that rise and fall throughout your monthly cycle—estrogen, testosterone and progesterone—affect your mood, energy, memory, romantic life, chattiness, extroversion, shopping habits, food cravings and virtually every other part of your day.

Because these hormones follow the same up-and-down pattern cycle after cycle and influence you the same way month after month, it means you can predict--with scientific accuracy--what these hormonal effects will be every single day.

As a result, you'll be able to plan your life so you can capitalize on hormonal strengths and compensate for hormonal weaknesses. For instance? You'll know which days you'll be feeling upbeat and sociable (so you'll know when to schedule parties and grab your girlfriends for a night out). You'll know which days you'll be thinking faster on your feet and your memory and verbal skills will be peaking (so you can know when to ask for a raise or present a big pitch to a client). You'll know when your desire for romance and passion will be high--and when they'll drop (so you can plan dates accordingly). And you'll know so much more.

Here's a quick week-by-week Hormone Horoscope guide that reveals just a few of the many ways your hormones are impacting you right now:

Week 1
Day 1 (first day of period) to Day 7
Estrogen rises
Your Hormone Horoscope: During this week of your cycle, estrogen starts out at rock-bottom and begins a steady climb. Once you get past the achy, fatiguing part of your period, this rise in estrogen will be boosting your energy, mood, optimism and brain skills. It also makes you chattier and pushes you to connect with others both socially and romantically. Rising estrogen has a slight appetite-suppressing effect, which makes it a bit easier to eat smaller portions and opt for healthier foods throughout this week and next week of your cycle. In general, you'll find that as the level of your estrogen increases, you get a bit more curious about the world around you, want to have fun, enjoy shopping and prefer to be out of the house and among other people.

Week 2
Day 8 to Day 14 or ovulation (how to tell when you're ovulating)
Estrogen and testosterone rise till they peak
Your Hormone Horoscope: Estrogen continues to rise throughout your Week 2, amping up all the positive effects you experienced during your Week 1. So, you're likely to be more upbeat, optimistic, chattier and confident, plus have a sharper memory, be thinking faster on your feet and pondering romance far more frequently. The high level of this hormone is also making you more self-assured about your appearance. And, in fact, estrogen is actually boosting your attractiveness by prompting subtle shifts in soft tissue that make your facial features slightly more symmetrical. High estrogen triggers a greater output of pain-masking endorphins in the brain, which means uncomfortable activities--like getting a tooth filling or breaking in new shoes--will hurt less this week than during other weeks of your cycle.

While there are lots of benefits to enjoy about a high level of estrogen, there is one downside to be aware of: It can amp up anxiety, making you prone to stressing out over issues big and small.

One other hormone that's key in your Week 2 is testosterone, which rises during the latter part of this week. And when that happens, it tends to make you more impulsive, daring and competitive. It's also prompting a sharp spike in your libido and makes your orgasms more intense and easier to achieve.

Week 3
Begins the day after ovulation and lasts 8 days (Day 15 to Day 22 in a 28-day cycle)
Progesterone rises; estrogen and testosterone drop for half the week, then estrogen rises again

Your Hormone Horoscope: The first half of your Week 3 is what I call your “pre-PMS” phase. The symptoms are like a less intense version of premenstrual syndrome (PMS): They may include irritability, fatigue and a down mood. Like PMS, pre-PMS is also caused by plunging estrogen. (While most women are aware that estrogen plunges once in their cycle--in the days before their period--not many realize there are actually two estrogen dips every cycle. See the graph above.) Luckily, by the second half of your Week 3, estrogen rises again, putting a stop to any annoying pre-PMS symptoms you've experienced, which helps level out your mood.

Another important hormone in your Week 3 is progesterone. All throughout this week, progesterone rises, which can make you sleepy, quiet, less interested in socializing and more cautious. It’s also dampening your libido and triggering cravings for ooey gooey comfort foods rich in sugar, fat and salt. If you’re sensitive to progesterone, this hormone can make you a bit blue. Progesterone may trigger a bit of forgetfulness and fogginess while also making it more difficult to speak eloquently. As a result, you may not recall the exact word you want to say or you may end up throwing in a bunch of "um"s and "ah"s as you talk.

Week 4
Final 6 days of your cycle
Estrogen and progesterone plunge
Your Hormone Horoscope: As estrogen plunges during this premenstrual week, it can trigger moodiness, the blues, muscle aches, insomnia, headaches, fatigue and a wide variety of other PMS-related symptoms. Not every woman suffers from premenstrual syndrome and symptoms can be milder or more severe from month to month, often due to diet, stress, medications, exercise habits or your body’s personal sensitivity to hormones.

But, it’s not all bad news. In fact, this week your libido returns, though technically that’s not due to hormones. Researchers believe it’s because nerve endings down below get stimulated as your body prepares for menstruation.

Also good to hear: This week, treating yourself to your favorite indulgences is actually medicinal! Why? As estrogen plunges, it depletes your brain of mood-boosting chemicals, leading to irritability and negativity. But, when you take a bubble bath, watch a much-loved movie, go for a walk or do anything else you enjoy, it gives a temporary boost to these happiness-triggering brain chemicals, making you calmer and more upbeat.

To find out the many other ways your hormones are impacting you every day of your cycle, subscribe to the free Hormonology Newsletter or download the Hormone Horoscope App.