Hormone levels fluctuate throughout a woman's cycle. These hormonal changes affect both your body and your mood.
You can find out more about the effects on your body and mood during your menstrual cycle below.
Effects of the menstrual cycle on your body and mood - the most important facts at a glance
- The natural hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle have a number of effects on the body and mood.
- The physical effects of the cycle include weight fluctuations and changes in the cervix.
- In the follicular phase and during ovulation, most women feel particularly attractive and energetic.
- In the luteal phase and during menstruation, the mood often suffers significantly due to the hormonal changes.
- Although the cycle is basically the same for all women, the effects on the body and mood can be different.
How your body changes during the menstrual cycle
The menstrual cycle consists of four separate phases. It starts with the follicular phase, followed by ovulation and then finally the luteal phase. The final phase is menstruation, during which your body sheds the previously built-up lining of the uterus and excretes it with your period.
In order for your cycle to run as planned, your hormonal balance changes regularly throughout its course. These hormonal changes inevitably affect your body in many ways.
Possible physical changes that can occur during the menstrual cycle include fluctuations in body temperature and weight, or changes in vaginal discharge.
Weight fluctuations during the menstrual cycle
Before menstruation, the female body tends to retain water. This can be noticed by a slight increase in weight on the scales. You may also feel a little breast tenderness. But you don't have to worry about this. After your period, both of these things will return to normal by themselves.
Temperature fluctuations during the cycle
If you take your body temperature immediately after ovulation, you will notice that it is up to 0.5 °C higher than normal. This is also completely normal and is only a temporary phenomenon which you should not notice anyway without reaching for the thermometer.
Changes in vaginal discharge
During ovulation you usually have clear vaginal discharge. In the luteal phase, the discharge becomes thicker and takes on a whitish colour.
Changes in the cervix
The cervix also changes during the menstrual cycle. During ovulation, it opens a little wider and can also be passed by sperm. Apart from that, it also opens a little wider than usual during menstruation.
Bleeding is not only normal during your period
Of course, it's no secret that menstrual bleeding occurs. The purpose of bleeding is to expel the lining of the uterus that your body has built up in case you become pregnant. Apart from this, you may also have light spotting when you are ovulating. This is called ovulation bleeding.
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Pulling in the uterus and ovaries
It is not uncommon for women to notice a pulling sensation in the abdomen when they are ovulating. This is normal and usually no cause for alarm. As well as ovulation, your period can also be noticeable with pulling and cramping.
This is because the uterus keeps contracting to expel the excess lining of the uterus. For some women, these menstrual cramps are so severe that they can make everyday life during menstruation a real pain.
Why some women feel more pleasure during their period
Before and during menstruation, the blood supply to your genitals is particularly strong. This can cause you to feel a lot of pleasure during this phase. This is also true during ovulation, because you are fertile during this time. However, this does not necessarily apply to you. For example, if you don't feel like having sex at all during your period, this is nothing unusual.
How your mood changes during your cycle
Period slipThe hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle also have an impact on behaviour and feelings. During the follicular phase and around ovulation, women have more energy. They usually feel more attractive during these phases of the cycle, can concentrate particularly well and everyday life is generally easier.
With the onset of the luteal phase, this changes increasingly. The falling oestrogen level often makes itself felt through mood swings and even depressive moods, irritability and tiredness. These side effects of the second half of the cycle cause a lot of trouble for many women. They often occur in combination with physical complaints. This is called premenstrual syndrome (PMS), which affects an estimated 80 percent of all women in one way or another.
During menstruation, the mood can even worsen compared to the luteal phase. It is possible to exercise during your period and even counteract the menstrual cramps associated with it. However, many women feel tired and do not feel like being physically active. Especially if the bad mood is compounded by physical menstrual cramps, the couch is often particularly appealing during this phase of the menstrual cycle.
Periods and cycles: Individual differences are normal
The basic sequence of the menstrual cycle is the same for all women. However, this does not mean that the length of the cycle and the duration of the period are always the same or that every woman experiences the physical and psychological symptoms in exactly the same way. You might get regular headaches and backaches before your period, while your best friend hardly experiences any PMS symptoms.
Maybe you feel like having sex a lot during your period and your friend does not. All of this is normal. As individual as the cycle and menstruation are, the effect of hormones on the body and mood can sometimes vary.
The effect of your cycle on your body and mood - our conclusion
As you can see, your cycle can have a significant impact on your body and mood. Some of it is undoubtedly not always pleasant. But at the end of the day, it's all part of being a woman.
Fortunately, if the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and the discomfort you experience during your period are particularly severe, there are a number of things you can do to counteract them. If necessary, talk to your gynaecologist about it and get some tips for your everyday life.