My HormonologyI’m big into nixing germs. It may be because I manage to pick up every virus that goes around. Or because I read a frightening amount of research about germs for health articles I write for magazines. Or because I’ve been privileged to interview noted microbiologist Chuck Gerba, who has the uncanny ability to make you laugh while simultaneously filling you with terror about his latest germ studies.

However, while I may go overboard on hand-washing and have antibacterial gel stashed in every nook and cranny of my house, purse and car, I’m not the only one dodging germs.

Whether or not you realize it, once Week 3 rolls around (which is right after ovulation in the middle of your cycle), you, too, are more likely to regularly wash your hands, use antibacterial gel, grab a paper towel to open a public bathroom door, avoid folks who are coughing and sneezing or do other things to protect yourself from catching an illness, according to a 2011 study published in the journal Hormones and Behavior.

Why all the extra precautions during this particular week of your cycle? Rising progesterone, researchers say. This hormone prompts you to be more careful about your health in case you got pregnant during ovulation at the end of Week 2 and you need protection for two.

If you happen to need an extra bottle of antibacterial gel during your Week 3, hit me up. I’ve got PLENTY.

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