Why Women Explode:
The Truth about Hormones

Why Women Explode:
The Truth About Hormones

Maisie Hill Period Power

Picture the scene - you have an issue you’re trying to voice and you get a bit animated. Suddenly someone asks you “are you due on your period?” Wow, way to pour petrol on that bonfire!

Yep, I’ve been there too. It feels like someone has literally just said “I know you say you have a problem, but it’s just hormones talking, and I’m not taking you seriously”. You end up getting more animated through the sheer frustration of it all, which just serves to strengthen the crazy nonsensical hormonal woman stereotype. Total car crash.

What I’m talking about is actually really bloody dangerous. If we are happy to believe a woman when she is content (“no, no, it’s fine for me to do all the housework”) but dismiss her when she’s not (“actually, I’d really like some help”) we create an automatic distrust of women and dismiss their problems as “just hormones talking” i.e. bullshit. At its worst, this creates an environment where a woman is completely unable to communicate her unmet needs, leading to her being marginalised and resentful. I remember saying to my husband that maybe I was hormonal, and maybe that was causing me to express myself differently, BUT the issue was still an issue. He’d ask why I didn’t raise it at the time, and I didn’t really have an answer. It was frustrating for us both. All I knew is that I did have an issue in that moment and I wanted to be heard.

Enter Maisie Hill and her book Period Power. I started listening to this on Audible a few weeks ago and it’s been such a relief to understand what’s going on and that I am in fact… normal!

So here’s the rub; oestrogen makes us women much more relaxed and easygoing during the fertile half of our cycle so that we will attract a mate. Yep, biology thought of everything! This period of amenability is basically from after your period until ovulation (and maybe a few days beyond if you’re lucky). But then oestrogen dips and all that stuff we suppressed during the easygoing phase sort of bubbles up.

A lot of women experience a dip just after, or a few days after ovulation, and then again before their period. This leads to two or three particularly sensitive days across the monthly cycle where we are much more prone to be irritable - to feel those niggles that we’d brush off in our easygoing phase, and to suddenly want to act. When you think about it, it’s pretty cool. We are literally biologically programmed to have a voice.


KiteNest team
KiteNest team

So here’s the rub; oestrogen makes us women much more relaxed and easygoing during the fertile half of our cycle so that we will attract a mate. Yep, biology thought of everything! This time of amenability is basically from after your period until ovulation (and maybe a few days beyond if you’re lucky). But then oestrogen dips and all that stuff we suppressed during the easygoing phase sort of bubbles up.

A lot of women experience a dip just after, or a few days after ovulation, and then again before their period. This leads to two or three particularly sensitive days across the monthly cycle where we are much more prone to be irritable - to feel those niggles that we’d brush off in our easygoing phase, and to suddenly want to act. When you think about it, it’s pretty cool - we are literally biologically programmed to have a voice.


But for those on the receiving end of that voice, it might be a bit of a full on time, and for us too, particularly if we don’t recognise what’s going on. But knowledge is power right? And personally, I have to say that now I understand how my biology works, I feel so much better. And I’ve made sure my husband understands it too so he can recognise it, and not belittle any issues I’m trying to communicate when I’m feeling the rub.

But what else can we do to manage our explosions better? Let’s acknowledge that they are an important part of ensuring our needs are highlighted and met, so we wouldn’t want to be without them BUT how can we help things go more smoothly?

Maisie suggests tracking your cycle which, in its simplest form involves

  • recording how you feel each day
  • logging your period
  • tracking your BBT (Basal Body Temperature) daily so that you can see when you are ovulating. 

Once you do this for a few months, you should start to see your own personal hormone (and emotional) pattern emerging. This allows you to anticipate and plan for the harder days. Sharing this information with your partner will no doubt help reduce the friction too.

Maisie suggests tracking your cycle which, in its simplest form involves

  • recording how you feel each day
  • logging your period
  • tracking your BBT (Basal Body Temperature) daily so that you can see when you are ovulating. 

Once you do this for a few months, you should start to see your own personal hormone (and emotional) pattern emerging. This allows you to anticipate and plan for the harder days. Sharing this information with your partner will no doubt help reduce the friction too.

I've started cycle tracking, but I also want a way to try to prevent bottling things up and then exploding. So I’m adding in another layer; a weekly check in with my husband to help us connect and discuss things as they come up. I came across a really simple 3 question structure in a podcast between Brene Brown and Tim Ferris, that we are trying out. You each simply answer:
What have I done well this week?
What do I think you have done well this week?
What do I need more of?

By creating a safe space to talk about things as they come up, I’m hoping there will be less to piss me off when it gets to my oestrogen dips... Fingers crossed!

Period Power by Maisie Hill

Visit www.maisiehill.com to learn more or listen to her podcast. Period Power is available on Audible or at various online retailers.