There are a lot of ways I know that my time of the month is coming soon, and most of the ways aren’t so friendly to my body and my mind. There’s no doubt that when I’m ovulating, there are a lot of things going on that I have no idea about. Those things lead to my mood changes, my body aches and my extreme desire to put my head on my pillow and doze off midday.
Since most women ovulate once a month, it’s important to know what exactly is going on inside our brains when this is happening. Check out what gynecologists say about what really happens when we are ovulating.
It’s hard to explain to anyone who isn’t a female, but when you’re ovulating, you may feel a handful of things all at once, making you seem outwardly moody and inwardly like you’re becoming a crazy person.
According to Dr. Carolyn Alexander, an OB-GYN also specializing in reproductive endocrinology and fertility, ovulation brings about a whole lot of feels.
“When a woman is ovulating, there is a wide spectrum of feelings she may experience,” says Alexander. “There is a rise in estradiol and testosterone that can increase libido, lubrication and desire for intimacy. Some women may have more sensual dreams. Some women have a spring cleaning frenzy.”
If you’ve ever wondered what the link was between ovulation and feeling extreme irritability, Dr. Janet Choi, a top reproductive endocrinologist with CCRM-New York, a leading fertility clinic, explains the reasons we have such an up and down experience with our hormones during this time.
“Typically, both progesterone and estrogen levels rise in the first week after ovulation only to fall again in the second week following ovulation/before the next period starts," says Choi. “For some women, these ups and downs in hormones may affect certain neurotransmitters (like serotonin) in the brain, leading to an increase in irritability or anxiety and/or depressed mood.”
One of the telltale signs that you are ovulating is the desire to just want to take a nap all day, every day. Feeling tired and fatigued is a common symptom of ovulation, and according to Dr. Jane Frederick, a gynecologist and fertility specialist, it’s due to a rise in progesterone.
“While you are ovulating, progesterone continues to rise while the estrogen hormone levels out," says Frederick. “The continued rise in progesterone can also cause fatigue.”
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