If you need to plan something stressful–for example, an important exam, surgical procedure, dental visit, oral presentation or driving test–you might be curious about whether there’s a better time in your monthly cycle to do it. And, there is: It’s your Week 2 (the week leading up to and including ovulation) or your Week 3 (the week right after ovulation).
But, choosing which week is best depends a lot on you. Here’s why:
If you’re generally not an anxious person and high estrogen in your Week 2 does not trigger major stress-outs, then you’re the type who would benefit from scheduling high-stakes or potentially scary activities to occur during Week 2 of your cycle. On these days, rising estrogen tends to make you more confident, optimistic, hopeful and bold, helping you face the situation with courage.
If you’re aware that you tend to have greater anxiety, in general, you have more intense anxious reactions to high-pressure situations than other folks and you’ve noticed anxiety symptoms pop up more frequently during your Week 2, then you’re the type who would benefit from scheduling tense or potentially scary activities to occur during Week 3 of your cycle.
That’s because you tend to be more sensitive to the way elevated estrogen in your Week 2 can trigger or intensify an anxious response. During your Week 3, however, your estrogen level drops, nixing this hormone-fueled anxiety reaction. Plus, you experience a steady rise in progesterone–a hormone that has a sedating, calming effect on you. So, even though you may still feel a few pangs of fear or agitation, this hormonal combo will help keep your nervousness in check so you can face the situation with the least amount of trepidation compared to the other weeks of your cycle.
Personally, I’m a Week 3 kind of gal. I know, I know–you’d think by my racy appearance and wild lifestyle that I’d be a big ol’ Week 2. But, nope, my brain is wired to veer toward the anxious side of life. So, I recently used this very Hormonology Tip to schedule my spinal surgery. I was lucky enough to be given the choice of when I wanted to have it and I chose my Week 3. And, I’m so glad I did. Even though I knew it meant having to experience some of my roughest recovery period during my premenstrual Week 4–a time when low estrogen can intensify pain and discomfort–I felt it was worth the sacrifice to avoid the excess stress. After all, my hospital bill was already sky-high. Just imagine the exorbitant fee they’d tack on for chasing a fleeing patient down the street.
What if you’re a higher-anxiety kind of gal like me, but don’t have the power to schedule the exam or procedure around your cycle to capitalize on your mellowest week? Then, keep in mind that you’re prone to more intense stressful reactions and prepare ahead of time by taking steps to induce calm in whatever way works best for you, for instance, meditation, yoga, exercise or a low dose of anti-anxiety medication if that’s what you and your doctor have decided helps you.
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FEATURED CYCLE TOOL:
Whether you’re tracking your monthly cycle to figure out which week you’re in or you’re trying to get pregnant, determining when you ovulate is easy when using an oral basal thermometer, like the Easy@Home Digital Oral Basal Thermometer.
To use it, you simply take your temperature when you wake up, but before you get out of bed, throughout your cycle. When you see your temperature rise slightly–about one half to one degree–between the first half of your cycle and the second half, it indicates you’re ovulating. That’s due to a rise in progesterone that pushes up your temperature slightly. Find it in drugstores and at Amazon.com.
[Photo credit: AlisaRyan]
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