Your Week 1 starts with the first day of your period and lasts seven days. During this time, estrogen starts off at rock-bottom and rises higher day by day.
Reusable Heating/Ice Pad
To ease menstrual cramps & migraines
Research shows that heat eases menstrual cramps by blocking pain signals and reducing uterine spasming. If you’re not a fan of disposable heat patches, this non-toxic, gel-filled belted heating pad is the answer: It’s reusable and can be heated with either a microwave or hot water. Get menstrual migraines? Pop the gel pad in the freezer and you can use it as an ice pack to reduce your brain pain.
Multivitamin With Iron
For more energy
Tired during your period? Low estrogen is one culprit. Another could be low iron, which is common during menstruation because you lose energizing iron as you bleed. Eating more foods with iron helps replenish this mineral. So does taking a multivitamin with iron every day of your cycle. These multis are specially formulated for women 18 to 49 and are smaller, making them easier to swallow. Bonus: Research shows a daily intake of iron from food or supplements also reduces premenstrual symptoms.
Speed up a mood boost
If you tend to be sad during your menstrual week, it could be because your brain isn’t producing mood-boosting serotonin fast enough despite rising estrogen helping it along. What can you do? Try taking a daily dose of a multispecies probiotic. Emerging research has linked several strains of “good” bacteria (including those in this particular probiotic blend) to a greater production of serotonin and other mood-managing brain chemicals, leading to fewer blue moods and greater feelings of happiness.
Organize your projects
As your Week 1 goes on, rising estrogen has a way of pushing you to start new projects or pick up where you left off on old ones by increasing energy and ambition. To keep track of your plans, progress and goals, a dry erase whiteboard is essential. It easily allows you to jot down quick ideas, cross off to-dos you’ve accomplished and change details as needed—then wipe it all away and start again!
Pioneering Women In History
There’s nothing like a Week 1 surge in estrogen to fire up your interest in your personal projects, work or other passions. One reason is because this rising hormone revs optimism and motivation. Another is because it makes you more easily inspired by other people’s achievements. So, what better way to instantly rev inspiration than thumbing through this collection of 52 pioneering women who broke ground in art, aviation, politics, science and other notable fields?
Natural DIY Beauty Recipes
Get radiant skin and hair
Even if you prefer to be adored for your personality, achievements and talents, research shows that rising estrogen during the first half of your cycle still makes you enjoy it when folks notice your physical attributes, too. Makeup and hair products are two ways to boost your beauty. An even better way: Natural at-home recipes that nourish your face, body and hair, giving them a healthier appearance.
Your Week 2 spans from Day 8 through ovulation—which is Day 14 in a 28-day cycle, and arrives earlier in a shorter cycle and later in a longer cycle. During this cycle phase, estrogen steadily climbs until it peaks and testosterone rises slightly at the end of this phase.
Ovulation Test Strips
Measures hormones in your urine
You know how you can pee on a stick to find out if you’re pregnant? The same easy method can also help you detect when you’re ovulating. When you dip an ovulation test strip into your urine, a chemical in the strip measures levels of a certain hormone (luteinizing hormone) that spikes right before ovulation. Results come in as little as one minute.
Detects salt in your saliva
This tiny ovulation detecting microscope is as small as a lipstick tube and you can use it anywhere. Just dab a little saliva on the lens, let it dry, then look through the eyepiece. The level of salt in your saliva peaks at ovulation, creating dots, sticks or ferns on the lens. This provides easy tell-tale clues about where you are in your cycle.
Tracks subtle temperature changes
Use this especially sensitive thermometer right after waking, but before getting out of bed, to measure your basal temperature, which is your body temperature when at rest. On the day after you ovulate, your basal temperature rises slightly—about .4 to one degree Fahrenheit—due to an increasing level of progesterone.
Boost intimate play
Thanks to elevated hormones, your libido, ease of orgasm and orgasm intensity all peak throughout your Week 2. Take advantage of this cycle benefit by using a vibrator alone or with a partner to heighten physical sensations. This innovatively-designed award-winning adult vibrator is rechargeable, made of environmentally-safe and body-safe materials and has no unpleasant plastic odor.
Reverse Charades Party Game
Ratchet up the fun
During your Week 2, high estrogen makes you more upbeat, extroverted, chatty, energized and animated—a perfect combination for getting friends together for a fun game that involves lots of interaction and physical movement, such as Reverse Charades where teams act out a clue together to try to get one person to guess correctly within 60 seconds.
Waterproof Shower Notepad
Never forget an “a-ha!” idea
Research proves it: You have more brilliant ideas now than during any other time of your cycle thanks to peaking estrogen revving brain speed and making you less judgmental about ideas you come up with. Now you can make sure you never forget a stroke of genius while showering (a place where many of us think up our best plans) with this waterproof paper notepad and pencil set that attaches easily to your shower wall with suction cups.
Your Week 3 starts the day after ovulation and lasts eight days (that’s Day 15 to Day 22 in a 28-day cycle). In the first half of this phase, estrogen and testosterone drop while progesterone rises. In the second half, estrogen and progesterone both rise.
Peppermint Essential Oil
For more alertness
As progesterone climbs higher and higher, this sedating hormone can have a subduing effect, making you tired or foggy. To boost alertness without caffeine, inhale peppermint, for instance, adding this pesticide-free peppermint essential oil to a diffuser. The invigorating scent activates areas of the brain responsible for waking you up!
Counter constipation and bloating
Two common problems you face during the second half of your cycle are constipation and fluid retention—both due to progesterone. To the rescue: Magnesium! Not only does it naturally and gently loosen stool, taking 200 mg. every day of your cycle has been shown to reduce Week 3 and Week 4 bloating by helping to balance electrolytes.
During the first half of your cycle, rising estrogen amps up optimism and energy, making it easy to find motivation for work, hobbies or other tasks. During the second half, as this hormone dips and progesterone rises, you can get more easily discouraged and become stalled. When that happens, opening this collection of inspirational quotes from accomplished women and men throughout history can reignite your passion, prompting you to keep going.
Get your nap on anywhere
Thanks to the sedating effects of high progesterone, you’re more able (and more likely) to nap while traveling, taking lunch breaks and during other lulls. Now you can make it easier and more comfortable to fit in a refreshing snooze with this inflatable neck pillow that fills up within five fast seconds. Simply put it around your neck and you can avoid faceplanting into your keyboard or using a stranger’s shoulder as a headrest.
Indulge without the guilt
It’s a fact of life: When progesterone rises, so does your appetite and desire to snack on sweet, salty and fatty treats. If getting to the bottom of a barrel of ice cream or family-sized bag of chips has left you reeling with guilt in the past, then try fulfilling your desire to nosh with this collection of 30 individually-sized healthier natural, organic snacks, including veggie straws, granola bars and sunflower seeds.
Indoor Herb Garden
Nurture new life
As progesterone rises, it can bring out your urge to mother since it’s a hormone related to pregnancy. One way to fulfill this desire to nurture is by starting an indoor herb garden, which you can do even if you don’t have a green thumb thanks to this set that provides all the supplies and non-GMO seeds you need along with easy step-by-step instructions.
Your premenstrual week spans the final six days of your cycle. During this cycle phase, your estrogen and progesterone plunge steadily until they hit rock-bottom.
Sleep Mask + Ear Plugs
For better premenstrual zzzs
Frustrating, but true: Plunging estrogen can make this the worst time in your cycle for sleep. One reason is because as this hormone dips, you become more sensitive to sleep disruptors, such as light and noise. The good news? You can boost your chances of a better night’s rest by simply blocking out these sleep robbers with this comfortable, hypoallergenic silk sleep mask and ear plug set.
Rein in muscle aches
As estrogen drops in your premenstrual week, it can make aches and pains more pronounced. Unfortunately, pain pills come with a wide array of risks, such as stomach bleeding and liver problems. An all-natural, pill-free solution: A topical ginger balm you rub on affected areas. Research shows that anti-inflammatories in ginger (gingerol and shogaol) reduce swelling and dull pain signals, improving comfort.
Organic Bath Bombs
To lessen premenstrual symptoms
Treating yourself to little luxuries, like a warm soak in the tub with an organic, vegan bath bomb, in your premenstrual week isn’t self-indulgent—it’s downright medicinal! That’s because anything that reduces stress and lifts your spirits helps ease current premenstrual woes, such as irritability and the blues. And research proves that enjoying these stress-reducing moments regularly slashes your likelihood of premenstrual symptoms in future cycles.
Hot/Cold Chocolate Drink Mix
Fulfill your chocolate cravings
Chocolate is one of the most widely craved foods during the premenstrual week—and some experts say it’s because it triggers a rise in pleasure-inducing brain chemicals that boost your mood within minutes of consuming it, reversing premenstrual sadness or irritation. While candy bars are one way to get your chocolate on, this rich cocoa powder is more versatile: It can be added to cold drinks, made it into hot cocoa and used in recipes. Bonus: It won’t arrive as a melted mess during shipping.
Adult Coloring Book
Channel your creative spirit
A decline in estrogen can make you more sensitive and in touch with your emotions, which makes it a perfect time to channel your thoughts and feelings into art, such as collage, music, painting or poetry. Not sure what kind of art you like? Then try coloring, for instance, with this coloring book filled with uplifting affirmations, which has become popular among adults who find it to be a positive, creative and destressing outlet.
Laugh away worries
Research shows you tend to gravitate more toward romantic comedies (like the classic Bridget Jones’s Diary), dramedies, stand-up comedian specials and other funny entertainment during your premenstrual week. That’s because a good laugh keeps pre-period sadness, aches and anxiety at bay by distracting you from worries and prompting the production of mood-lifting endorphins that leave you feeling blissful.