malletFor me, the effects of my hormones are not a subtle affair. They’re more like one of those cartoon mallets that whacks me over the head.

For instance, take the transition I just made from my Week 2 to my Week 3 (which is when you move from the first half of your cycle to the second half):

As soon as my Week 3 began, signalling estrogen to drop and progesterone to rise, I went from super-energetic and wanting to conquer the world (or at least my entire to-do list) to feeling super-tired and wondering why I even had to get out of bed at all.

Gone was my sky-high sex drive that had me pawing at my husband, Douglas, for a full week straight. With libido-enhancing testosterone in a free-fall and appetite-triggering progesterone ramping up, carnal cravings had now been replaced with snack cravings.

That super-sharp memory and verbal eloquence I enjoyed in my Week 2? A drop in estrogen and rise in progesterone snatched those out of my clutches faster than a bargain hunter snapping up the last on-sale sweater in my size.

And no Week 3 welcome would be complete without the dull, throbbing migraine that confirmed my estrogen had taken a swift turn.

As you can see, I’m very sensitive to how my hormones impact me.

But, not every woman is this way. It’s one of the reasons studies about hormones and behavior can be so conflicting: Women can vary greatly in how sensitive they are to the effects of their hormones: 

Some women are like me–very sensitive to how their hormones impact them. We notice little subtleties often on a daily basis.

But, other women are only moderately sensitive–they notice the effects only when they’re very obvious. For instance, when their energy shoots up, their libido goes off the charts or they feel blue or angry before their period.

Other women aren’t very sensitive. They rarely notice when their hormones impact them.

And other women aren’t sensitive at all: They don’t feel any effects from their hormones.

There can be a whole host of reasons why hormone sensitivity varies from woman to woman, such as genetics, lifestyle factors, diet, exercise, medications or simply how know much we know about or are in touch with our hormonal effects.

And our sensitivities to hormones can even change as we age–some of us getting more sensitive and others getting less as the years go by.

Where do you think you stand on this hormonal spectrum? 

Are you “very sensitive”, “moderately sensitive”, “not very sensitive”, “not sensitive at all” or “you don’t know”?

Submit your answer in my new poll–and find out how sensitive other women are compared to you: 

Take the poll!

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