Are you a “hormonally opposite” woman?

/Are you a “hormonally opposite” woman?

Are you a “hormonally opposite” woman?


Are you feeling down when you should feel up? Or up when other women feel down?

A Hormonology reader recently called me up to tell me that, unlike other women, she didn’t enjoy her Week 2 (which starts 8 days from the onset of menstruation).

She said she gets anxious, blue and irritable every time it comes around and couldn’t figure out what other women found so wonderful about it. And she wanted answers.

Over the years, I’ve gotten a handful of calls, emails, tweets and Facebook messages from other women sharing a similar sentiment: These few women couldn’t understand why they were being cheated out of the fantastic Week 2 so many other women around them seem to be having. Where was their high energy and upbeat mood? How come they got anxious and sad? Why weren’t they part of the Week-2-is-awesome club?

While occasionally getting out sync with your cycle is normal–for instance, due to stress, illness or medications that blunt your Week 2’s benefits–these women insisted they rarely or never experienced the high estrogen bonuses leading up to ovulation in the middle of their cycle.

If you, too, wonder why your Week 2 isn’t as great as it should be cycle after cycle–or you know a friend, family member or other woman like this–an intriguing 2011 study published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology could shed some light on what’s going on:

In the study, which tracked 213 women’s moods daily for two consecutive menstrual cycles, 13% of the volunteers reported experiencing more depression and anxiety when estrogen was high in their Week 2–when most other women are upbeat and happy.

And they reported experiencing less depression and anxiety during their premenstrual Week 4 as estrogen plunges–when most other women are struggling with moodiness.

Study author Jeff Kiesner, Ph.D., believes this could be an indication that a small percentage of women are wired to have their hormones affect them the opposite way they effect everyone else.

And he’s found a bunch of scientific support for his claim, for instance, citing a slew of studies that show the wide differences in the way women respond to estrogen and progesterone in hormone birth control and hormone replacement therapy–some experiencing a significant decrease in depression or anxiety while others experiencing a significant rise in them.

While more research is needed to confirm this Keisner’s theory, it’s certainly an intriguing idea that can help explain why a few of us actually experience the opposite of what most other women do.

What do you think? Are you “hormonally opposite”–so that you’re more blue or anxious in Week 2 and more relaxed and upbeat in your premenstrual Week 4? Tell me about it or share your experiences in the comments section below.

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By | 2018-09-04T14:14:30+00:00 June 9th, 2014|hormone research, hormonology tip, Week 2, Week 4|8 Comments

About the Author:

Gabrielle Lichterman is the founder of Hormonology, author of 28 Days: What Your Cycle Reveals about Your Love Life, Moods and Potential and creator of the popular Hormone Horoscope apps and Female Forecaster app. She teaches how hormones impact a woman's moods, health and behavior in talks and workshops.


  1. Gabrielle Lichterman October 21, 2018 at 9:40 am

    You are not alone, Vix. Even though this impacts a minority of women, I do hear regularly from those who feel this “opposite” effect. I hope more research is done on this.

  2. Vix October 10, 2018 at 6:43 am

    This is so me!!
    Period time is easy breezy snd happy. Ovulation and pist are good but pre ovukstion is a nightmare. Tired, anxious, irritable…fatigued actually.
    Glad there is a term for it!!

  3. Gabrielle Lichterman June 20, 2018 at 5:14 pm

    I’m glad you found this helpful. You’re not alone in experiencing different hormonal effects. This is not the case for the majority of cycling women, but there is this study and anecdotal evidence (from readers like you I’ve heard from over the years) that shows this phenomenon exists.

  4. Stephanie June 16, 2018 at 12:31 pm

    I’ve been searching for this. I’ve began noticing my ovulation week is so sluggish for me. But I’ve always had a lot of energy during my actual period.

  5. Gabrielle Lichterman April 12, 2018 at 3:05 pm

    I’m glad you found this information helpful. You aren’t alone — I’ve heard from many women over the years who identify with this “opposite” cycle. I hope more research is done on this soon.

  6. Vanessa April 2, 2018 at 3:38 pm

    THIS IS ME!!!! My period isn’t so bad (even though day 2 is like a faucet I can’t turn off) but once my period stops….I get sluggish, tired, cranky, anxious. Around day 16 when I start to ovulate, I have so much energy and even a rainy day can’t change my mood!! Days 3-14 of my cycle are just brutal!!!!

  7. SM July 23, 2016 at 8:29 am

    My periods are short. They last about 2-3 days now. I take a medication called Tamoxifen to prevent breast cancer. It has thrown my hormones completely out of whack. The week before my period I felt great. Now I feel like crap again. I can’t sleep. I’m sweaty all night. I would love to experience this high estrogen week. I feel like every month my period comes and just throws everything totally out of whack. I feel like I get about one good week a month now. I don’t know what to do to make this more bearable.

  8. MM July 7, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    Yes! The 7-10 days after my cycle ends are THE worst now. Tired, low mood, anxious and just annoyed. After that, my mood improves and everything is great once my cycle starts. 🙁

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