Throughout your cycle, your hormones, which control your menstrual cycle, can also affect other aspects of your health — emotionally, mentally, and physically.
In the first half of your cycle (weeks one and two after your period starts during a typical 28-day cycle)
- Your energy levels might be higher.
- Your memory may be better, and your pain tolerance may be higher during these weeks. After your period ends is a good time to schedule a Pap test, as your cervical fluid is thinnest during this week, which can help show the clearest results.
In the second half of your cycle (beginning with ovulation)
- You may feel sluggish or forgetful.
- If you have a health problem, such as depression, irritable bowel syndrome, migraine, or asthma, your symptoms may get worse right before your period starts.
- If you have diabetes, you may find that your glucose levels are harder to control. Your glucose levels may be higher or lower than usual. This problem may be more common in women who also get premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms.
- Levels of the brain chemical serotonin drop. Along with changing glucose levels, this can make you crave sugary and starchy foods.1