Hello, busy bee. You know how hormonal fluctuations with the menstrual cycle can morph you into a totally different animal. Here’s a simple plan to optimise your efficiency by timing the right tasks on the specific days of your monthly cycle.


DAYS 1 – 7: Have a Mammogram and X-ray

Breast tissue is less dense during the first week of your menstrual cycle, making it easier for radiologists to read mammogram images and spot suspicious lumps.

The first week or so of your monthly cycle is also the safe period for any other necessary x-rays (eg. chest x-ray for health screening or dental x-rays), as there is no chance you’re pregnant.


DAY 10 – 13: Ask for a Raise

It’s almost time to ovulate: You’re not only en route to hit your sexual stride, rising progesterone, estrogen and testosterone also tend to fill your charm and confidence tanks up high. At the same time, cognitive and verbal abilities get hormonally charged as well – all the better to think on your feet and defend your position.

So chin up and go in for the kill, girl!


DAY 14: Go on a Hot Date

What better time to make a date with that cutie or update your profile picture than now? You are practically oozing sexiness through every pore to broadcast your fertility unconsciously: Studies show that women walk, dress and speak more sexily during ovulation than usual, and skin look its feminine best (sebum production falls and pores shrink).

In fact, you look and smell so naturally attractive now, some experts suggest that you lighten up on makeup and fragrances to let your innate scent and beauty shine through for maximal appeal to his primal instincts.

For a mind-blowing nookie, grab your man in the morning when his sex hormones surge.


DAY 10 – 17: Plan for a Baby, or Schedule your Pap Smear

If you’re planning to add a bundle of joy to your marriage, this is the time to try. Remember that sperms can reside in cervical mucus for several days, while your egg sticks around for less than 24 hours. Get daddy on board during your fertile window – starting from 5 days before your estimated ovulation day, and have sex every other day till 3 days after.

Conversely, if getting pregnant is the last thing on your wishlist, be sure you line up the necessary defenses on your romantic escapade.

Roughly 2 weeks (days 10 – 20) after the start of your menses is also the ideal time to go for your routine 3 yearly Pap Smear screening for cervical cancer. Avoid spermicides, vaginal creams, lubricant jellies, vaginal medications or tampons two days before the test.


DAY 14 – 22: Schedule your Waxing and Dental Appointments

Your pain threshold may be better during this period of the month, thanks to higher estrogen levels in your body. So if you foresee procedures which may potentially cause some discomfort, this might strategically be the best time to go for it.


DAY 14 – 28: Put Out the Cigarette, and Burn More Fat

To up your chances of stubbing the butt out permanently, the second half of your cycle is the time to quit smoking. A study by the University of Minnesota found that those who took their last puff during this period were 2 times more successful than those who tried in the first half of their cycle, as the higher progesterone levels may help to reduce withdrawal symptoms.

Researchers at University of North Carolina found that female athletes burn up calories faster during the luteal phase (second half of the menstrual cycle leading up to your period). Increase the frequency and intensity of your gym workout to take full advantage of this hike in your fat-burning potential.


DAY 26 – 28: Cancel your Karaoke Session

Water retention not only makes you more bloated and blue, swollen vocal cords also mean you are less likely to impress as the star crooner.

Besides cutting sodium intake and dishing out eye masks for emergency de-puffing, brace yourself against premenstrual blues with B vitamins. Eating foods rich in thiamin (beans, nuts and red meat) and riboflavin (fortified cereal, milk and spinach) helps reduce those unwelcomed symptoms by up to one third, according to study by the University of Massachusetts. PMS, ‘B’ gone!


– By Audrey Tan


*This article has been selected Article of the Month for Jun 2012*