As I’m working with my app team on the new updated Hormone Horoscope App (which has a lot of really cool new features and a whole new look I think you’re going to enjoy), I’ve realized that I rarely touch on how to actually use the Hormone Horoscope.

For instance, why does the app and forthcoming Hormonology book have a Hormone Horoscope for every single day of your cycle, yet the newsletter and this HormoneHoroscope.com website have a Hormone Horoscope for each of the four weeks of your cycle?

So, for those who are curious and the (many!) new Hormonology newsletter subscribers, here’s a bit about the Hormone Horoscopes, in general:

My Hormonology

Whether your monthly cycle lasts the average 28 days or it’s longer, shorter or varies in length, your Hormone Horoscope will still be accurate.

That’s because no matter how long your cycle is, the three main reproductive hormones in healthy, pre-menopausal women–estrogen (the pink line), progesterone (the purple line) and testosterone (the green line)–tend to follow the same up-and-down pattern cycle after cycle.

As the levels of these hormone rise and fall, they have specific effects on virtually every aspect of your day, such as your mood, energy, memory, desire for romance, spending habits and more.

This means the effects they have on you repeat the same way cycle after cycle–so you can predict with scientific accuracy what each day will be like based solely on where you are in your monthly cycle.

There are two ways you can view your monthly hormone cycle:

Daily: As you can see from the graph above, your hormone levels change every day, moving up or down. As these levels climb higher or dip lower, they exert different effects on you every day–sometimes subtle, sometimes quite obvious. So, the Hormone Horoscope App and forthcoming Hormonology book give you a summary about what effects you can expect from these hormone fluctuations day by day.

Weekly: No matter how long your cycle is, there are four distinct “weeks” or phases in your cycle (see the chart above). Each of these weeks has its own personality based on the hormone trends for that phase. They encapsulate all the daily Hormone Horoscopes for that week, giving you a slightly broader overview. They also serve as a sort of cheat sheet, allowing you to get an idea of what to expect from your cycle in an instant based on that week’s overall traits.

To get an idea of what you can expect from each week in your cycle, here are brief summaries of each of your four cycle weeks:

Week 1
Day 1 (the first day of your period) to Day 7
Estrogen starts out at its lowest point and slowly rises.
During this week of your cycle, you’re whirring to life mentally, physically, socially and romantically as your estrogen level climbs. This is a phase where you start off slow, but gain momentum–sometimes fairly quickly. You also have more energy flowing outward: You want to explore the world around you, you’re more curious about news and people and you want to make a mark that others can see and admire.

Week 2 
Day 8 to ovulation (which is Day 14 in a 28-day cycle)
Estrogen rises till it peaks. Testosterone rises and peaks at the end of this week.
This is a phase where, like your hormones, you’re reaching your peaks, too: You’re happier, mentally sharper, are full of pep and have a strong desire for romance, to socialize and experience adventure. Ambition, competitiveness and an interest in the finer things in life rise. And you can easily muster enthusiasm and big ideas.

Week 3
Begins the day after ovulation and lasts 8 days (which would be Day 15 to Day 22 in a 28-day cycle)
Progesterone rises. Estrogen and testosterone drop for the first half of this week, then estrogen rises again in the second half.
Progesterone dominates this week of your cycle–and the sedating, sobering effects of this hormone means that things that were heating up in Week 1 and Week 2 of your cycle are now cooling down: You tend to have less energy, are quieter and have a lower desire for romance and socializing. You’re experiencing more intense food cravings and, if you’re sensitive to progesterone, you may get teary-eyed or blue. During this phase of your cycle, you have an inward-flowing energy: You’re more likely to stick close to home, preferring familiar, safe activities to anything new, unpredictable or dangerous. You’re more introspective, examining your own thoughts and actions. And, you’re more concerned with your comfort and security than impressing others.

Week 4
Final 6 days of your cycle
Estrogen and progesterone plunge until they reach their lowest point.
During this premenstrual phase, plunging estrogen can increase your chances of feeling moody, irritable, blue, fatigued or achy. Luckily, most women don’t experience bothersome premenstrual symptoms constantly–they tend to just pop up here and there like a really lousy game of Whac-a-Mole. During this phase of your cycle, you’ll probably notice you have an urge to spend more money and devote more time to activities and guilty pleasures that lift your mood. And, you’ll likely prefer sticking close to home and hanging out with folks you know well over meeting anyone new.

I hope this explains things a bit. If you’ve got questions, let me know!

Important: While the Hormone Horoscope gives you useful information about your monthly hormone cycle, it is not intended to be used to help anyone get pregnant or avoid pregnancy. There are lots of other books, apps and tools that are geared specifically to help you with family planning.

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