Do you have trouble articulating properly, forgetting words for things or being unable to explain what you want? Are you sometimes barely able to string two words together?
Have you ever paid attention to whether this happens at a particular point in your menstrual cycle?
Increasingly women are noticing this struggle with cognitive function happening and realising that it is often in their pre-menstrual week in the lead up to their period. What is reassuring is that it is a normal physiological reaction to changes in hormone levels in the body.
Oestrogen, Progesterone and Testosterone surge up and down throughout a womans monthly cycle, and its different from woman to woman. But the key to the kettle in the fridge conundrum seems to lie with Oestrogen. Oestrogen drops just before your period and is what leaves us feeling weepy, irriatable and causes a lack of mental clarity. In fact some women report it as a kind of ‘brain fog’. If you have work or projects to do that require accuracy and focus, this point in the month can drive you mad.
The really surprising thing though is that so many women don’t make the connection between the fog and their menstrual cycle. Women tend to know roughly when they will bleed and perhaps if they are paying attention for fertility reasons they may know when they are or should be ovulating, but often the weeks between these events are a grey area and largely ignored by most women.
This is where cycle charting and understanding comes in. By keeping a daily record of mood and physical symptoms and your bleeding days, it is possible to create over time a personal menstrual map of what your cycle looks like, a map which should roughly follow itself month on month.
Not sure where to start? Buy a nice diary and the next time your period arrives you note it down as day one, then keep your notes every day and when your period comes round you call it day one again. You’ll get a sense of your cycle length, be able to spot when you ovulate and after a few months, be able to spot which days are those where you might need a little extra support when making a cup of tea!
If you want to know more about cycle charting then the Moon Times Cycle Charting Journal is a fabulous resource, packed full of information about the menstrual cycle, hormone changes and tracking your fertility. While it won’t stop you from trying to put kitchen appliances in the wrong place, it will at least teach you which days your likely to feel that way!
(c) Awen Clement – Oct 2015