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Menstrual Cycle Phases and ADHD: Why Cycle Syncing Is Essential

There’s the menstrual cycle, and then there’s the menstrual cycle when you have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).ADDitude readers have already told us what researchers have yet to adequately explore: That the menstrual cycle directly impact ADHD symptoms. Budding research suggests that premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and its more severe form, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), may disproportionately impact individuals with ADHD — a finding that surprises very few ADDitude readers.That’s why so many women with ADHD track their menstrual cycles and use the information to make informed decisions and navigate life — or at least to maintain perspective on how hormonal fluctuations affect their ADHD symptoms, energy levels, and functioning.“I 100% schedule my life around my cycle,” said Misha, an ADDitude reader.

“I try to do as much as I can while my energy and mood are at their best so it’s easier to have quieter, less productive days later in my cycle.”Here, we’ll break down the phases of the menstrual cycle, what you can expect to experience at each stage, and ideas for cycle syncing according to your changing ADHD symptoms and energy levels (with tips from ADDitude readers*).[Get This Free Download: Hormones & ADHD in Women]The menstrual cycle — the time from the first day of your period to the day before your next one — lasts an average of 28 days. We can split the cycle into two phases: the follicular phase and the luteal phase.

Fluctuating estrogen and progesterone levels through these phases explain ever-changing energy, mood, and productivity levels. A good rule of thumb: High-estrogen states equate to better mood and greater executive functioning (EF) — you’re generally at your best here.

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