What your tongue reveals about your menstrual cycle

My Hormonology

What your tongue reveals about your menstrual cycle


By now, you probably know I love to report on various methods that indicate where you are in your menstrual cycle, such as doing the “dipstick” test, using easy tools and monitoring mood and energy changes.

That’s because knowing where you are in your cycle enables you to predict what your day will be like:

For instance, if you’re in the first half of your cycle (spanning the first day of your period through ovulation), you’ll know that estrogen is rising, which means that day by day you’re likely to have more energy, a brighter mood, better sleep and more optimism. You’ll know you’ll be building more muscle when you do resistance exercise, you’ll be flirtatious and you’ll crave new, exciting adventures. You’ll also find it easy to be inspired and come up with creative ideas.

If you’re in the second half of your cycle (spanning the day after ovulation through the day before your next period), you’ll know that estrogen dips twice and sedating progesterone dominates, so you’ll likely be battling a bit of fatigue and be more prone to sad or irritating moments, good sleep could be harder to come by on some of these days and you’ll be facing issues with a more realistic or possibly pessimistic mindset. You’ll also know you burn up to 30% more fat when doing aerobic exercise or active sports, you’re feeling emotionally closer to your mate, you’re enjoying quieter quality time with loved ones or doing more activities that are self-nurturing.

So, you can see why knowing where you are in your cycle can make a dramatic difference in what to expect.

That’s why I’m intrigued by this 2016 study in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine that reveals you can tell if you’re in the first half or second half of your cycle by looking at your tongue.

Turns out, the color of your tongue changes depending on which stage of your cycle you’re in: The tip of your tongue is redder and brighter during the second half of your cycle (the luteal phase) than the first half (the follicular phase).

The reason? The researchers theorize it’s because progesterone is triggering a slightly higher body temperature, which causes more blood flow to reach the tip of your tongue, changing its color.

The researchers go on to point out that you’ll also notice a yellow coating on the middle of your tongue during the second half of your cycle–and that’s likely due to a higher amount of sulfur compounds (odor-causing molecules), which are yellowish in color and more prevalent during this cycle phase.

Want to know even more about what to expect throughout your monthly cycle? Check out this quick overview, read my free (short!) Hormonology eBooks and download my Hormone Horoscope App!

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