The ‘Other’ Time of the Month That’s Wreaking Havoc On Your Hormones

You are feeling cranky and moody and your boyfriend joking asks, “Are you having your period?” It might sound funny to him, but you feel even more frustrated because you know this is not PMS, because it actually feels a lot worse.

Here is what you need to know – there is the ‘Other time of the month’ that sends your hormones all over the place, and that is the time right after you ovulate.

Back off….I’m Hormonal


University College London reports that there is a narrow window – just after ovulation and before you actually begin your period, when women feel the most vulnerable psychologically.

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The days leading to your periods can actually be far worse than your period itself, as you tend to feel a lot moodier, irritable, weepy, crabby and also have terrible mood swings.

You want to bark at a friendly neighbour who casually asked how your day was going, you want to chew the head off of your husband as he forgets to pick up the dry cleaning yet again, and you wish that annoying colleague who is always smiling would just stay away from you!

Worry not…you aren’t crazy, you are simply hormonal. And you aren’t alone either.

To understand this better, you need to understand your menstrual cycle more closely. Your monthly cycle is broken in to 3 phases:

  • The Follicular phase – Starts the day your period begins, where estrogen levels increase as eggs start to grow
  • The Ovulatory phase –  Starts around day 14, where one egg is ready to drop, and there’s a huge surge in estrogen level
  • The Luteal phase – Begins right after ovulation, where estrogen levels dip briefly then rise again, while progesterone levels are at their highest as well.

The hormonal shifts that begin right around ovulation are more than enough to wreck havoc on your life, and there are many women who find this to be the worse time in their cycle.

They have less tolerance for stress, find it tougher to cope with conflicts and some even have reduced sex drive, bloating, canker sores, pimples and all the other symptoms people commonly associate with PMS.

How can “the other time of the month” affect you?

Mujer intentando dormir

The hormonal shifts that begin right around ovulation are more than enough to wreck havoc on your life, and there are many women who find this to be the worse time in their cycle.

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Sadly, “the other time of the month” can come with a lot of physical and mental discomforts.

Some of these are:

Increased episodes of migraine

The peaking estrogen levels make many women more susceptible to migraines just after they have ovulated and before they start their period. It is best to identify your specific triggers – like cheese, chocolate or coffee, and avoid them during this period.

Bloat and gastric problems

The raging hormones make you retain more water, and as a result you find yourself bloated. From painful breasts to swelling in the legs, this time of the month calls for reduced sodium intake and increased water intake, coupled with regular exercise.

Also, some women find they have diarrhoea around this time, and the culprit here again is changing hormone levels.

Gum sensitivity

A peak in progesterone and estrogen levels make your gums more sensitive, while this is also the time you are at more risk of plaque build-up, bacterial attacks, gum infections and gingivitis.

Some women are particularly susceptible to cold sores and canker sores during this time in their cycle. Make sure you practice good oral hygiene, use fluoride rich toothpaste and floss daily.

Sluggish metabolism

A jolt of progesterone post ovulation can be the cause for fatigue and tiredness, not to mention a sluggish metabolism. Make sure you eat lots of fibre, stay hydrated and exercise regularly.

Experts recommend that all women should track their cycles, so they can identify which phase there cycle is in, and accordingly be prepared mentally for the intense emotional reactions that could otherwise catch them by surprise.

Apps like ‘Period Tracker’ and ‘My Cycles’ are great, or you could simply mark your dates on a calendar so that you can steer clear of stressful events as far as possible during your vulnerable days.

Also read: Can your period affect your workouts?

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