My Hormonology

I’m currently wearing a full set of these high-tech dental braces that go on the inside of my teeth rather than the outside like traditional braces.

But, like all braces, these “lingual” braces need to get tightened every six to eight weeks.

And, it’s not fun.

As anyone who’s worn braces knows, tightening triggers aches, pains and soreness in places you didn’t even know could hurt.

So, why am I telling you all this?

Because, normally, I schedule the tightenings to occur during my Week 2 (the week leading up to and including ovulation).

My Hormonology

Gab gets her braces tightened

The reason: There are plenty of studies (including this, this and this) that prove discomfort from dental procedures is less intense on your Week 2 days than other days of your cycle thanks to high estrogen, which dampens pain sensations.However, yesterday’s braces tightening took place on the last day of my cycle–considered one of the worst days for any dental procedure.

It couldn’t be helped. As you probably already know, sometimes, you simply don’t have the luxury of syncing up everything with the “best” days of your cycle. Sometimes, appointments and events and dates and vacations happen on other cycle days.

But, that’s okay! In fact, it’s great–here’s why….

It’s not all about cycle-syncing

Sure, learning about how your hormones impact you day to day–your moods, energy, memory, extroversion, romantic desires and so on–helps you pinpoint the best days of your cycle do everything. As a result, you can live in sync with your cycle when it’s possible.

But, learning about these hormonal influences also makes whatever you need to do easier on cycle days that aren’t the best!

For example, yesterday I knew that because of low estrogen, having my braces tightened was going to hurt a bit more than it did during past appointments. This allowed me to prepare ahead: I stocked my kitchen with soft foods that wouldn’t worsen the soreness. And, I made sure I had enough of my favorite natural painkilling remedies on hand in case the soreness got too intense.

And, that made this issue so much easier to deal with.

There were no surprises, there was no unexpected intense pain I wasn’t prepared for and I didn’t accidentally worsen the discomfort by eating the wrong foods.

By knowing how my hormones were going to impact me, I was able to prepare ahead of time to overcome this hormonal challenge.

And that’s what I call cycle-living.

Live a fuller life with cycle-living

When you can’t sync your life with your cycle, it doesn’t mean it’s time to cancel the appointment, call off the date or change your plans.

Instead, use the knowledge about how your hormones will be impacting you on the “less perfect” cycle day to overcome the hormonal challenge and live your  life to the fullest. For example….
  • Have a big presentation to make on during your Week 3 (the week following ovulation) when rising progesterone has you feeling quiet, tired and/or introverted? Pump up your energy and extroversion by listening to hard-driving music, get inspired by watching a video of someone you admire delivering their own presentation or drink a caffeinated beverage!
  • Going on a first date during your Week 4 (your premenstrual week) when plunging estrogen is sapping your self-confidence? Make the date somewhere familiar that you enjoy, wear an outfit that’s already in your closet that you’ve worn before (and liked how it looked on you) and plan to bring up conversation topics that interest you. The more comfortable you are in the setting, clothes and conversation, the more secure and confident you’ll feel about yourself!

The takeaway

While it’s wonderful and convenient when you can sync up activities and events with the best days of your cycle, you can still live your life to the fullest by knowing the hormonal challenges that lie ahead on other cycle days so you can prepare to overcome them!

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My Hormonology