On Sunday, I was enjoying the super-high estrogen and testosterone of my Week 2–getting tasks done a lot faster (even the boring ones I totally didn’t want to do), staying up way past 11 pm (I’m usually conked out long before) and chasing my husband around the bed (to be fair, he makes it really easy to catch him).
And by my calculations, I had two more glorious high-hormone Week 2 days to go.
Then Monday came and I noticed a distinct change–I was slowing down as I worked on tasks, I could barely make it to 10 pm without longing for my pillow and my libido went from 60 to 0 in seconds flat.
Not wanting to face the truth–that my cycle was shorter this month and I’d been cheated out of my remaining Week 2 days–I tried to convince myself that all these changes were due to a bad night’s sleep. (I have an elderly dog who makes a ton of racket climbing up our loud wooden staircase. And she insists on climbing it at 2 am every night.)
Surely, I thought, after a good night’s sleep, I’ll rebound and pick up on my Week 2 awesomeness where I left off.
Then Tuesday came and, after a good night’s sleep (the dog thankfully came up the stairs earlier that evening), the slowness, fatigue and lack of husband-chasing continued.
So, I did the dipstick test–where you use your finger like an oil dipstick to check your, ahem, fluids. And what came out was cloudy.
Bummer! Cloudy secretions is a sure sign of progesterone–and an even surer sign that I’d left my Week 2 in the dust and was now in Week 3.
Okay, so as the founder of Hormonology, I really shouldn’t be picking favorites when it comes to cycle weeks. After all, there’s lots to love about Week 3, for instance, you feel closer to your mate, you burn up to 30% more fat when you exercise and the slowdown you experience from sedating progesterone lets you enjoy mellower activities (like reading and baking) that you were too high-energy to enjoy in your Week 2. But, let’s face it, saying goodbye to Week 2 is hard on most of us.
Anyway, the favoritism thing is beside the point.
What I really want to express to you is that you never have to get lost when it comes to where you are in your cycle. No matter how long or short it is or how much it varies from month to month.
That’s because there are lots of physical and psychological clues that point out when you’re in your Week 1 (which is sorta obvious because it’s when you get your period), but also when you’re in your Week 2, your Week 3 and your premenstrual Week 4.
I’ve written a whole guide to this–Your Hormone Road Map. Check it out and use it the next time you’ve lost track of where you are in your monthly cycle.
Without getting too self-promotey, I also want to point out that my free Hormone Horoscope app (available at the App Store and Google Play) has a menstrual cycle tracker that also helps you keep track of what day and week you’re on in your cycle. And you can readjust the Settings if, like me, you realize the length of your cycle is different this month. Handy, right?
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