Fascinating Female Biology: How our periods change our brain and what it taught me about loving estrogen as an Endo Sister.
A couple of weeks ago, I woke up feeling foggy after a full night of vivid dreams. I carried on with my usual routine of making a nice cup of tea, however, it all started to unfold a little differently. I tried to pour my almond milk in the kettle. I tried to fit the kettle into the fridge. I only really processed something was off when after numerous attempts the kettle really wasn’t fitting in the fridge. Bedazzled. Confused. My day continued in this hazy cumbersome unfolding. I couldn’t find my words when I needed to speak. I bumped into almost everything I passed. I dropped things right in front of me. I couldn’t react or respond. I just watched. Clumsy just didn’t quite cut it that day. What was going on?
Ah there she is. My period. Hello Period Brain.
Is period brain a real thing?
Throughout our menstrual cycle it’s safe to say our brain changes, and perhaps you feel it too? These changes influence everything from spatial skills to our sexual desires to the type of dreams we have each night.
Our ovaries are the main source of these changes. These two pearls release different levels of estrogen and progesterone hormones each month, responsible for thickening the lining of the womb (called the endometrium) and deciding when to release an egg. Biologically speaking, if an egg isn’t fertilized, our hormone level drops and the tissue of the womb breaks down and bleeds with the beginning of our menstrual cycle.
Living with endometriosis, it took me a long time to even want to get to know my period, let alone love her natural cycle of hormonal changes and understand how they influence my behaviour.
Estrogen and Endometriosis
For women with endometriosis, periods can get complicated.