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2021 02 04 cycle hormones relationship title

Cycle and relationship - why the cycle should be a partner matter

The female cycle not only affects the body, but also the relationship. If your partner knows where you are at any given time, this has a number of advantages - and chocolate is just one of them.

When it comes to tracking their own cycle, most women are of course primarily interested in knowing when their period is due so that they can be prepared for it. However, cycle tracking is now also accepted as an essential part of general health awareness and body awareness. This is because during the different phases of the cycle, there are major hormonal changes that affect us both physically and psychologically: Not only do we feel different, but we also behave differently and sometimes even look a little different.

2021 02 04 cycle hormones relationship title 1

What does this have to do with relationships? And why should your partner be interested in your cycle? Well, probably the most obvious answer to this is PMS (premenstrual syndrome) and the accompanying mood swings, physical discomfort and general chaos it can cause. But there are other, perhaps more subtle hormonal influences at other times of the cycle too!

Week 1: little oestrogen, lots of compassion please

Oestrogen levels are low at the beginning of the cycle. Especially in combination with your period, these first few days of your cycle can make you tired, achy and grumpy. This is the week when an understanding partner can score good points with a hot water bottle and a bar of chocolate or a cup of tea!

Week 2: Invincibility and libido

Energetic, self-confident, sociable and happy: when oestrogen levels rise in the second week, your mood improves along with your energy levels. You feel stronger and more attractive than usual - and you are: very slight tissue shifts make the face more symmetrical! Studies have also shown that the higher oestrogen levels in the first half of the menstrual cycle improve spatial awareness, imagination, memory and social skills. If you know this, you can utilise this information!

Another good tip is that the high oestrogen level is also said to trigger pain-masking endorphins in the brain. Possibly a good time to go to the dentist or epilate your legs!

In addition, testosterone levels rise during this week, which makes you more ambitious and daring. The closer you get to ovulation, the more your libido increases - which is also due to rising testosterone. And your partner will almost certainly want to know about your libido at least! 😉

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Week 3: Blood sugar with oestrogen dip

What sounds like a recipe is unfortunately rather less tasty in terms of symptoms: after ovulation, oestrogen levels fall and progesterone rises. This temporary oestrogen "dip" can lead to a few days of irritability and tiredness. Progesterone also makes you tired, calm and a little emotional. At this stage - between ovulation and possible menstruation - the body is preparing for pregnancy. It would prefer you to eat for two, you are constantly hungry and crave high-calorie foods. If you don't eat regularly, you may experience a drop in blood sugar - another particularly fun symptom of increased progesterone levels. You become moody and feel drained.

On the plus side, however, the combination of oestrogen and progesterone means that calories can be burned more efficiently during exercise - a good time to throw on your trainers!

Your libido may drop a little, but you may still feel emotionally closer and more affectionate towards your partner during this phase of the cycle. The perfect time for romantic films and cuddling sessions on the couch.

Week 4: Crash!

In the fourth phase of the cycle, oestrogen levels plummet and your mood plummets at the same time. If you suffer from PMS, this is the time to look out for the familiar symptoms. Not all women suffer from PMS, but the form it takes can only be influenced to a certain extent by lifestyle and diet. The most serious variant is PDMS (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder), which affects 5-10% of all women and causes up to depressive states.

Normal" PMS is still relatively unexplored, with some women having only occasional symptoms and others only very mild ones. One of the great benefits of tracking your cycle and any symptoms that occur is recognising patterns and being better prepared to deal with them.

The combination of falling oestrogen levels and relatively stable progesterone levels leads to food cravings - an attempt by your body to increase the happiness hormone serotonin again. Fortunately, the same combination of hormones helps us burn fat in the days before menstruation!

Yup, that's a lot of fluctuating hormones! What should your partner do with all this information? Definitely don't say anything like "now she's getting her period again"! Instead, here are a few tips: He could...

1. fill the hot water bottle with hot water when you are curled up on the couch with cramps in week 1

2. plan a party for week 2 when you're feeling attractive and fabulous

3. say YES to a romantic film in week 3 and, bonus, get the tissues ready

4. you in week 4 with ice cream / chocolate / (insert Comfort Food of choice here) to be optimally equipped

In short: whether your partner helps you to give up the second piece of chocolate cake in week 3 or serves you the same cake with whipped cream in week 4 - the most important thing is his or her understanding. Because your cycle, all the ups and downs and hormones and symptoms - all of that belongs to you!

femSense helps you to keep an overview of your cycle. You can Track your cycleenter symptoms and compare individual complaints or moods with each other in the statistics to recognise patterns. If you want to know exactly when your ovulation the combination with the ovulation test patches is right for you. Download our free app for iPhone or Android and get started right away!

A pack of femSense is shown in the background, with the medically certified logo in the foreground and three tick marks: recognises ovulation via 93%, simple and natural, hormone-free.

Sources:

My Hormonolgy (2022)

THE HEALTH GAP | GENDER How the menstrual cycle changes women's brains (2022)

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