Tracing History And Development
MHC Was Proposed
The concept of male hormone cycles is not a new one. It was first proposed in the 1930s by Dr. T.W. Wilson. He believed that testosterone levels followed a cyclical pattern, with peaks and valleys occurring every 28 days. However, his theory was never proven and it remained controversial for many years.
Fluctuations Were Verified
In more recent times, the theory has been studied more extensively. One study was conducted in 2007 by a team of researchers from the University of Toronto. They looked at testosterone levels in men over a period of four months. Their findings showed that there were indeed fluctuations in testosterone levels, but the cycles were not always regular.
One More Study Backed-up Fluctuations
The most recent study on this topic was published in 2016 in the journal PLOS ONE. This study looked at testosterone levels in a group of men over the course of one year. The results showed that there were indeed fluctuations in testosterone levels, but they were not always regular.
Inference: Fluctuations Are Real
So, what do these studies tell us? Well, they show that testosterone levels do fluctuate in men, but the cycles are not always regular. This means that the concept of male hormone cycles is a real one.
How The Menstrual Cycle May Affect Female Athletic Training And Performance
A recent study indicated that approximately 75% of athletes experience negative side effects due to menses. The most common side effects include cramps, back pain, headaches, and bloating. Research also indicates fluctuations in strength, metabolism, inflammation, body temperature, fluid balance and injury risk that are concomitant with hormonal fluctuations throughout the cycle. However, the way in which the menstrual cycle affects females and their performance is highly individual and a number of studies indicate no differences across the cycle.
The potential effects of hormonal fluctuations throughout the menstrual cycle on various types of training and adaptations to training are summarised below:
The Menstrual Cycle In Relation To Health
Having a natural menstrual cycle includes phases with high estrogen concentrations and is associated with good bone health and better fertility outcomes. The menstrual cycle is part of a much bigger health issue for female athletes. Low energy availability meaning that energy intake and expenditure are not in balance, can lead to irregular periods or loss of menses entirely, as well as problems with bone health , a condition termed the Female Athlete Triad. Other disturbances to normal physiological function may also be observed including, but not limited to, reductions in metabolic rate, immunity, protein synthesis, and cardiovascular health. Another concept, known as relative energy deficiency in sports , expands the definition of the Female Athlete Triad by considering other aspects of health and performance.
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Can You Use Your Hormonal Cycle To Your Advantage
You can therefore use that knowledge to your advantage. For example, Tomkins suggests working out or doing your most important work tasks first thing in the day to benefit from the surge of testosterone you experience in the morning. Your testosterone levels will start to decrease around lunchtime, so the period of time before that is prime time for being productive.
Most People Recognize That Women Got Dealt A Shitty Hand When It Comes To Hormonal Cycles
Governed by changing levels of the hormone estrogen, women experience a roughly 28-day cycle that allows for the production of eggs, and for the preparation of the uterus for pregnancy. But it produces a slew of nasty side-effects ranging from acne, physical discomfort, to changes in mood.
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Hormone Mapping: Unique Personalisation
The current practice of measuring female hormones is to take a single blood sample, usually on day three of the menstrual cycle when hormones are at their least active. This approach gives only a single day snapshot into a womans hormones which, given the high level of variability over a cycle, can make it very difficult to draw any firm conclusions.
Given that hormones have such a huge impact on womens lives, we felt more needed to be done. Working off general population averages and a single snapshot in time does not give women meaningful insights into their menstrual cycle and hormone health. This leaves women struggling for answers.
What is far more informative is knowing your own unique hormone variation over a complete menstrual cycle. By relating this information to how you feel during that cycle will provide powerful insights, giving women the answers they need.
This is exactly what MyFORM does, using a combination of blood analysis, artificial intelligence, and clinical expertise we have created a ground-breaking product for women.
We can mathematically model your own, personal hormone profile for each of the four key female hormones for each day of your menstrual cycle based on just 2 finger prick blood tests taken on day 14 and day 21 of your menstrual cycle.
How Does My Hormone Cycle Work
Hormone Imbalance & Hormone HarmonyHormone imbalance is best understood by knowing how a normal menstrual cycle works. A menstrual cycle is the result of a hormonal dance between the pituitary gland in the brain and the ovaries. Every month the female sex hormones prepare the body to support a pregnancy, and without fertilization there is menstruation .
Menstrual CycleA menstrual cycle is determined by the number of days from the first day of one period to the first day of the next. So day one of the menstrual cycle is the first of full bleeding day of the period. A typical cycle is approximately 24 to 35 days . It is not abnormal for a woman¹s cycle to occasionally be shorter or longer.
On Day 1 of the menstrual cycle, estrogen and progesterone levels are low. Low levels of estrogen and progesterone signal the pituitary gland to produce Follicle Stimulating Hormone . FSH begins the process of maturing a follicle .
The follicle produces more estrogen to prepare the uterus for pregnancy. At ovulation, usually around Day 12 14, increased estrogen levels trigger a sharp rise in Luteinizing Hormone from the pituitary gland, causing release of the egg from the follicle.
The ruptured follicle now secretes progesterone and estrogen to continue to prepare the uterus for pregnancy. If the egg is not fertilized, estrogen and progesterone levels drop and, on Day 28, the menses begin.
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Three Stages Of Male Hormone Cycles
This has several functions in the human body, but its most important function is to make men grow muscles and bones. It also helps with sex drive. It makes people have more red blood cells, hair growth, and energy. When a boy goes through puberty, his body changes and he gets hair and deepens his voice. This happens because the boys body is maturing. In adult males, most testosterone is made in the testicles. Testosterone is a type of cell in the bloodstream. It takes 48 days for a new cell to be made and go around in your body for 15 minutes.
This hormone has several functions in the human body, but its main function is to make people grow muscles and bones. It also helps with sex drive after puberty begins. The downside of this hormone is that it can cause acne or balding if too much accumulates within a persons system. Usually, this happens when one of the hormones called testosterone converts into dihydrotestosterone. There arent enough enzymes to process it and get it out, so it stays in the body. However, hair loss might be caused by other factors such as genetics or stress levels. One should not blame hormones without first confirming what causes hair loss.
Anovulatory Cycles And Short Luteal Phases
Only two-thirds of overtly normal menstrual cycles are ovulatory, that is, cycles in which ovulation occurs. The other third lack ovulation or have a short luteal phase in which progesterone production is insufficient for normal physiology and fertility. Cycles in which ovulation does not occur are common in girls who have just begun menstruating and in women around menopause. During the first two years following menarche, ovulation is absent in around half of cycles. Five years after menarche, ovulation occurs in around 75% of cycles and this reaches 80% in the following years. Anovulatory cycles are often overtly identical to normally ovulatory cycles. Any alteration to balance of hormones can lead to anovulation. Stress, anxiety and eating disorders can cause a fall in GnRH, and a disruption of the menstrual cycle. Chronic anovulation occurs in 615% of women during their reproductive years. Around menopause, hormone feedback dysregulation leads to anovulatory cycles. Although anovulation is not considered a disease, it can be a sign of an underlying condition such as polycystic ovary syndrome. Anovulatory cycles or short luteal phases are normal when women are under stress or athletes increasing the intensity of training. These changes are reversible as the stressors decrease or, in the case of the athlete, as she adapts to the training.
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Mens Hormone Levels May Have A Cyclical Nature But The Causes Remain Elusive
Over the years, studies have emerged indicating that mens hormones have a cyclical nature, much like womens menstrual cycles. Most men have daily fluctuations in testosterone due to external factors like sexual activity, stress and diet, but the reasons for monthly and seasonal fluctuations are still somewhat of a mystery.
|Really? Do we really need one more area where we are trying to make men and women the same instead of appreciating the differences?|
On the one hand, its wonderful to see the medical community taking a look at the cycles and seasons of mens health. Noticing this type of thing isnt something men are encouraged to do in our culture. Feeling blue? Man up. Tired? Sore? Walk it off. So part of me is curious whether this investigation into male cycles is a good thing, a way of making room for men to be proactive about their health.
But my other response to reading about this was, Really? Do we really need one more area where we are trying to make men and women the same instead of appreciating the differences?
So I decided to dig a little deeper.
The often-quoted recent work on the subject is Jed Diamonds writing and research on Irritable Male Syndrome. Diamond believes that the fluctuations in testosteronedaily, monthly and seasonallyhave a dramatic impact on mens moods and health. While Diamond is a psychotherapist and not a researcher, the research does support his findings, at least in terms of the cyclical changes. Diamond explains it this way:
Helping To Identify And Navigate Perimenopause
The perimenopause is the term used to describe the transition phase to menopause when the ovaries become less responsive. This produces decreasing levels of oestrogen and progesterone and increasing levels of the control hormones FSH and LH.
These changes cause many of the symptoms women experience such as irregular periods, hot flushes, night sweats and mood changes.
Learn more about the menopause.
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Phase : Luteal Phase:
When: The time after ovulation and before the start of menstruation. It normally lasts between 14 to 16 days.
What happens: The body prepares for a possible pregnancy.
Once ovulation occurs, the follicle that contained the egg transforms into a corpus luteum and begins to produce progesterone as well as oestrogen, with progesterone levels peaking about halfway through the luteal phase.
If an egg is fertilised, progesterone supports the early pregnancy, alternatively, the uterine lining starts to break down resulting in menstruation.
This is the phase of the menstrual cycle in which symptoms of PMS can occur. It is there advised to have good nutrition during the luteal phase to avoid it.
What Are The Common Conditions And Disorders Associated With Estrogen
Estrogen plays a role in most conditions that fall under the umbrella of womens health. Some of the most common include:
Research is ongoing about estrogen’s role in conditions affecting other body systems. For instance, estrogen has been linked to some endocrine disorders and gastrointestinal diseases.
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How Important Is Testosterone
Youve gathered that testosterone plays a crucial role in your hormonal cycle. Its impact cannot be understated. Common signs of low testosterone levels include reduced sex drive and difficulty getting erections, fatigue, increased body fat, and mood swings, according to Tan.
Testosterone is not only responsible for your sex drive. It plays a big role in how you deal with stress and how efficient your metabolism is. Testosterone is a stress hormone, it helps us resist stress. Low testosterone therefore often is linked with low mood, low motivation, and low vigor in life. Body fat distribution may change and one may find it harder to maintain lean muscle mass and easier to gain body fat due to a reduction in metabolism, adds Tan.
How Often Does The Male Hormone Cycle Reset
While the average menstrual cycle lasts 28 days, the male hormonal cycle is actually built around the typical workday and resets within a 24-hour time span.
Testosterone levels are elevated in the morning, reduce slightly in the afternoon, and are lowest late at night, says Tan. This basically means men tend to have more energy in the morning and afternoon, the natural time of the day when they would have been out hunting, which is when motivation, assertiveness and strength are needed the most.
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How Many Women Have Irregular Cycles
Only 10 to 15% of women have cycles that are exactly 28 days, and in at least 14% to 25% of women, cycles are irregular.
Having an irregular cycle means that their cycle is either longer or shorter than the normal range of between 25 to 36 days.
Usually, cycles are the most irregular in the years immediately after a woman starts to menstruate and before menopause.
What Your Doctor Wont Tell You About Male Hormonal Cycles
Lets face it: Every woman on the planet knows about hormonal cycles. Theyre difficult to ignore. Most men, on the other hand, are taught from the time they are born that being manly means denying anything in us that might be viewed as feminine. I still remember the taunts when I was a kid. Whats the matter with you, Diamond, you throw like a girl. Or, Look, hes going to cry, just like a little girl.
Its no wonder guys grow up convinced that were not hormonal. But is that true? Many of us know intellectually that we have hormones. We know weve got testosterone. Many of us have a vague idea that we also have estrogen coursing through our bloodstreama fact wed like to ignore. Hormonal cycles? That sounds too fem for many of us to even contemplate.
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Week : Peak Of Perfection
Day 8 to ovulation
Estrogen rises all week until it peaks testosterone rises at the end of this week and peaks
You officially reach Week 2 of your cycle 8 days after start of your period. But, if youve lost track, look for these clues from your brain: You tend to have more upbeat moods, your memory is sharper, youre thinking faster and are speaking more quickly and fluidly. Youre also more impulsive, confident and outgoing. These effects are all due to peaking estrogen and testosterone.
Your body is also making it easy to determine when youve reached Week 2: You have far more energy and stamina, youre less sensitive to pain, your libido is revved and your vaginal secretions are clear and thin.
The last day of your Week 2 is the day you ovulateand the day this occurs can vary according to the length of your cycle. Fortunately, there are a few easy tools to help you determine when you ovulate, which you can learn about by .
What Role Does Estrogen Play In Reproductive Health For Women Or Dfab
Estrogen, like all hormones, is a chemical messenger. It tells your body when to start and stop processes affecting your sexual and reproductive health. These processes cause important changes in your body.
Estrogen levels rise during puberty. The increase leads to secondary sex characteristics like breasts and changes in overall body composition .
Along with hormones made in your brain and progesterone, estrogen plays an important part in your menstrual cycle. These hormones coexist in a delicate balance to keep your periods regular. Estrogen plays a role in ovulation and thickens the lining of your uterus to prepare it for pregnancy.
Pregnancy & Fertility
Estrogen peaks in the days leading up to ovulation. This is your most fertile period. At the same time, estrogen thins your cervical mucus, a fluid sperm has to swim through to reach and fertilize an egg. These estrogen-induced changes make it easier for you to become pregnant if you have intercourse.
Regardless of where you are in your menstrual cycle, the presence of estrogen makes it more comfortable to have intercourse. It keeps your vaginal walls thick, elastic and lubricated, reducing pain associated with penetrative sex.
The primary estrogen in your body changes from estradiol to estrone during menopause.
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What Can You Do To Address Low Testosterone
If you do get diagnosed with low testosterone or embark on a journey to optimize your hormones, there are things you can do in conjunction with lifestyle changes.
Tomkins says that he now feels stronger and fitter than in his twenties after changing his diet and starting Testosterone replacement therapy . TRT is designed to bring back hormone levels to a healthy range by giving the body testosterone until symptoms start to reverse. Restoring testosterone levels to an optimal level will significantly improve a mans quality of life, says Tan.
However, youll want to find experienced and knowledgeable doctors who will be able to diagnose you and create a personalized treatment plan. Good TRT requires regular monitoring and tweaking, as all men are different, adds Tan. Everyone has a different height, body mass, and physical activity level, therefore treatment needs to be bespoke and individualized to make sure you get the best out of it.
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