The Big Three Hormones
This chart depicts a typical 28-day cycle of the big three hormones beginning with cycle day one (the start of your menstrual period). The dominance of either estrogen or progesterone, as well as the interplay of testosterone, determines what phase of the cycle you are in. Just before ovulation, as both testosterone and estrogen peak, you are at peak Venus. After ovulation progesterone takes the lead with the goal of protecting the presumed pregnancy. If pregnancy does not occur, all three hormones decline - or 'reset' - and the cycle begins again.
The Venus herself, estrogen is the main “feminizing” hormone, the oldest of hormones, and its importance in reproduction is as ancient as life itself. Its rise early in your cycle signals the onset of the Venus Week. As your estrogen begins to climb, it lightens your mood, improves your skin, increases your energy and mental focus, and improves your metabolism by increasing sensitivity to insulin. Estrogen helps you be more interested in making connections—with the man in your life, your friends and colleagues, even your children.
Progesterone is the protective member of the three hormones. As estrogen wanes near the end of your Venus Week, progesterone begins to rise. This marks the Minerva phase of your cycle. Progesterone prepares the uterus and other places in the body for an expected pregnancy and therefore is the dominant hormone of pregnancy. Progesterone could be said to stabilize, rather than feminize your reproductive behavior. Although many women say their mood shifts in the progesterone-dominant part of the cycle, making them feel lower in energy and distracted, progesterone can also have a calming effect. While estrogen tends to lower hunger pangs, progesterone, in keeping with her protector role, increases appetite and blood sugar. Metabolically, this does not favor the svelte waistline, but the short duration (twelve to fourteen days per cycle) of progesterone dominance, is only temporary, returning us to estrogen dominance after the reset period. Progesterone acts in concert with estrogen in the Minerva phase, but its effect is clearly more obvious in this part of the cycle than that of estrogen.
Traditionally known as the male hormone, it is better described as the hormone of desire. Testosterone peaks during your Venus Week causing a surge in your sexual desire. The significance and importance of testosterone in women is vastly underestimated. This hormone builds on the femininity of estrogen to inspire and drive libido. Balanced with estrogen during the Venus Week, testosterone improves your assertiveness and confidence. It also increases energy and creativity. The synergistic combination of testosterone with estrogen allows a woman to feel her most attractive, and she is more likely to initiate or respond to intimacy. This synergism also suppresses the acne and weight gain associated with testosterone in the absence of estrogen.