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You may have heard the term “hormonal” before in relation to your period. While it’s true that hormones are involved during menstruation, hormones also play an important role in the other three phases of your cycle: the follicular, ovulatory, and luteal phases. Learn more about the menstrual cycle and your hormones here!
How do hormones impact the way you feel?
Throughout your cycle — which can last between 25 to 35 days — estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone can affect how you feel, the foods you crave, your sleep patterns, and more. Understanding how these hormones fluctuate throughout your cycle can give you a better sense of what to expect during each phase.
Learn more about how your menstrual cycle and hormones.
Learn more about these hormones and how they can affect you during your cycle
During the follicular and menstruation phases, estrogen plays a dominant role. Estrogen levels will decrease as you begin menstruating, which can leave you feeling fatigued. When your period ends, estrogen will increase and you’ll likely regain your energy. As the follicular phase continues until ovulation, estrogen levels increase and you might notice glowing skin. Estrogen levels peak right before ovulation, which is also your fertile window for pregnancy. If an egg isn’t fertilized, estrogen levels will drop while testosterone and progesterone increase.
During the luteal and ovulation phases, progesterone plays a dominant role. Progesterone levels rise during the second half of your menstrual cycle (the luteal phase) as the egg prepares for a possible pregnancy. If you become pregnant, progesterone levels will continue to rise to grow and thicken the uterine lining for a developing baby. If you don’t, progesterone will dip, your uterine lining will shed, and you’ll start bleeding. Rising levels of progesterone are also responsible for PMS symptoms.
Testosterone affects your skin, hair, and other physical features. A decrease in testosterone can lower your sex drive. An increase in testosterone can suppress your normal menstruation and ovulation. It can also be an indicator for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a common hormonal disorder in women. Testosterone increases during the luteal phase and peaks during ovulation, which can make you feel more energized.
Reviewed by the Ovia Health Clinical Team
- E. Sterling. “Hormone Levels and PCOS.” Contemporary OB/GYN. November 8, 2011. https://www.contemporaryobgyn.net/view/hormone-levels-and-pcos