The Female Hormone Cycle

Most women probably already know a lot about their menstrual cycle. However, young ladies may need a few years to learn the pattern of their periods and hormone changes. The days leading up to your period you may feel a little moody, low on energy or have little or no interest in sex. During premenstrual syndrome (PMS), hormones begin to change and alter chemical levels in the brain often leaving women everywhere with the same question. What is going on?!

Week 1

The beginning of your menstrual cycle is marked by the first day of your period. In this first week, estrogen and testosterone start out very low on the first day of your period and then they begin to rise. A period usually lasts anything from 3 to 7 days. You may feel a little fatigued during the first days of your period due to low estrogen, testosterone and iron levels. A few days into your period, you may feel more energetic because your hormones begin to rise again. Finally, the rising testosterone kicks up your sex drive.

Week 2

Your period is over. This statement alone is enough to make some women perk up again. High levels of estrogen make ladies feel more optimistic, social and motivated than last week. Some experts describe this time as a "renewal of sexual relationships" thanks to the increase of estrogen and testosterone.

Week 3

This week beings with ovulation. This is when a mature egg is released from an ovary and makes its way down the fallopian tube to meet the waiting sperm in the uterus. It's normal to experience some light blood or spotting during ovulation. You may also experience mild cramping, breast tenderness, moodiness, bloating or nausea.

Week 4

During this final week, estrogen, testosterone and progesterone levels plunge. You will find that your mood changes from relaxed and mellow to irritable and cranky in a heartbeat. You may find more interest in sex as the week goes on due to your upcoming period. Watch out for migraines, aches and insomnia due to dipping estrogen.