Secret Behind : Decode her menstrual moodswings

All we know is that every month, for a few days, our gentle beloved turns into the devil incarnate, trebled by vague stomach cramps, back aches and a need to fight without being answered back to. On the contrary, we're expected to hold her hand and take the stuff spewing out of her lovely mouth because "it's hormonal and she can't help it". But what you didn't know is that this sudden mood swing is only part of the picture.

At various stages in her menstrual cycle, a woman becomes, by turn, cleverer, sexier, more nurturing and, drum roll please, hornier (yes, it's the perfect time to explore your kinkier side). The real trick is predicting when these changes will occur and knowing how to exploit them.

Pay special attention to these days to map her mood changes, together with some suggestions on how to make the most of them. Tear it out and plot your cushy new life around her peaks and troughs. Just make sure she never sees it, or the game is up!

Days 1 to 5: Fussy
What's happening: Day one is when her period begins. If you don't know when this is or prefer not to ask, wait until she complains about the cost of tampons and you'll know it's started. During this time, her body is expelling the old womb lining, which causes bleeding, during which she'll lose about an eggcup of blood.

It may not make for great dinner conversation, but this is the best time for sex with the lowest risk of getting pregnant. "The womb sheds its lining during these days and the egg for that month is yet to develop," says Dr Asha Sharma, HOD, obstetrics and gynaecology, Rockland Hospital, New Delhi.

Get your way: Experts describe this as a woman's cleansing phase to coincide with the womb shedding. "The need to organise depends not on the hormones but to a large extent on the personality of the individual, especially among those, who have traits of orderliness (obsessive personality traits)," says Dr (Brig) S Sudarsanan, senior consultant, psychiatry, Rockland Hospital, New Delhi. If there are any chores you've been too lazy to do, now's the time to tell her about them.

Days 6 to 9: Open-minded
What's happening: She's in her most understanding mood (best time for you to pull some weight). As she heads towards ovulation, her body is a rush of hormones. This surge may be the basis for increased mental and emotional creative receptivity.

Get your way: The first half of the cycle is a great time to initiate new projects and suggestions that she might otherwise not agree upon. Try the "How about a threesome?" question.

Days 10 to 14: Horny
What's happening: Sadly, the reason she wants to rip your clothes off during this time has nothing to do with your animal magnetism. It's because now is the best time for her to make babies. "You'll recognise this phase because the mucus around her cervix goes thin and watery in order to carry sperm along so that sperm can enter the cervix easily," says Dr Neelima Kapoor, senior consultant, obstetrics and gynaecology, Rockland Hospital.

When pressed between the fingers it feels like stingy glue. Or you can just take our word for it. This change, coupled with a rise in the hormone, androgen, is what sparks sexual desire. "Remember the egg only lasts between 24 and 48 hours, so if you want her to conceive, time it carefully," says Dr Kapoor. She suggests trying from day nine onwards. "Because sperms live for five days, this enables them to sit around and wait until the egg comes along."

Get your way: We don't need to spell out the advantages of her fiery sex drive.

Days 10 to 14: Brainy
What's happening: Oestrogen helps improve a woman's memory. And we're not talking about her uncanny ability to recall when it's your turn to do the washing-up. Women have better memories when oestrogen levels are optimum, typically during days 10 to 14.

Get your way: Her mental powers are flourishing. Ask her for ideas for your next office presentation to impress the boss.

Day 15: Flirtatious
What's happening: We don't want to turn you into a paranoid wreck, but women are more likely to be unfaithful at certain times of their cycle. The window of danger falls between days 10 and 15, but this last day is when they are at peak fertility and more sexually active, according to a study conducted by the University of Vienna on 1,000 women in nightclubs.

"Those who were at the height of ovulation were more likely to wear tight and revealing clothes, and show more sexual signals," says Professor Karl Grammer, a behavioural biologist involved in the study. "Those who had partners were more likely to display these signals than those without," he adds.

Get your way: She's really in the mood, so don't let her meet her ex. Check her handbag for another man's pants.

Days 16 to 23: Nurturing
What's happening: Studies by the University of St Andrews suggest that outside their sexy phase, women are more likely to be attracted to feminine looking guys. When they are less fertile, women subconsciously look for longer-term partners. During this time, a man with a caring face may seem to be a better long-term investment.

Get your way: If ever there was a time to shave, be boyish and cute, this is it. Try pillow fights and playful jokes and you'll remind her just how attractive you are.

Days 24 to 28: Tyrannical
What's happening: This is it, fellas- Armageddon. This is the period when the pre-menstural syndrome kicks in and it marks the time when she's most sensitive to criticism. "Behavioural changes during the menstrual cycle are not only related to hormonal changes, but are associated with socio-cultural, genetic and personality factors," says Dr Sudarsanan.

Get your way: If you are smart you will use this time to keep well out of her way-work late, go to the gym, visit your mother even. The poor saps won't know what's hit them.

Days 26 to 28: Ravenous
What's happening: She's likely to get food cravings. A University of Hong Kong study tracked 20 women through their menstrual cycle and found they had a craving for an extra 214 calories a day in the run-up to their periods. This is a dangerous time. Treat her to buffet, but prepare tactful replies to "Does my bum look big?"

Get your way: If there's something tricky to ask, take her for a slap-up meal and let her have it. If she's been brought up well, she won't talk with her mouth full.


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