Missed your low-pain window in your Week 2? New study reveals a SECOND cycle phase when pain is low

/Missed your low-pain window in your Week 2? New study reveals a SECOND cycle phase when pain is low

Missed your low-pain window in your Week 2? New study reveals a SECOND cycle phase when pain is low

My Hormonology

If you had the choice, would you prefer to have a potentially painful experience (say, a dental procedure or breaking in new shoes) occur during a time in your monthly cycle when you’re more sensitive to pain or less sensitive to pain?

You know what, don’t answer that. I’m going to assume that unless you’re feeling the peculiar need to torture yourself, you’d pick the low pain days.

Cycle days when pain is lowest

Fortunately for you, over the years, researchers zeroed in on a key phase in your cycle when pain sensations are duller: Your Week 2 (the week leading up to and including ovulation).

According to numerous studies (such as this, this and this), high estrogen and testosterone on these cycle days have a pain-blunting effect.

Though, don’t be misled: This doesn’t mean you won’t be needing Novocain during a root canal or can enter a dance competition with a new pair of shoes right off the shelf. But, it does mean that, at the very least, you’ll be feeling a bit less pain compared to other days in your cycle.

A second low-pain cycle phase discovered

But, what if you miss your Week 2 pain-blunting window? You have a second chance!

A 2018 study from the University of Oxford reveals that there’s another phase in your cycle when pain is lower: The second half of your Week 3 (which is Days 18 to 22 in a 28-day cycle).

They discovered that on these cycle days, rising estrogen and progesterone reduce pain “intensity” and “unpleasantness” by curbing emotional signals in the brain that exacerbate discomfort.

As an interesting sidenote, the researchers were inspired to test this cycle phase for pain because of research that shows high estrogen and progesterone during pregnancy reduces pain sensations. Not sure a whole lot of pregnant women would agree, but that’s evidently what the literature shows.

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My Hormonology

About the Author:

Gabrielle Lichterman is the founder of Hormonology, author of 28 Days: What Your Cycle Reveals about Your Love Life, Moods and Potential and creator of the popular Hormone Horoscope menstrual cycle tracker apps. In 2005, Gabrielle pioneered the growing movement among women to live in sync with their menstrual cycles and learn about the many ways their hormones impact their moods, health and behavior with the publication of her book, 28 Days. She's also a longtime women's health journalist whose articles have been published in major publications around the globe. Gabrielle's new updated and expanded version of 28 Days is due to be published December 2018. You can help get this book published by contributing to her crowdfunding campaign at iFundWomen.com/projects/hormonology.

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