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November 4, 2000

The Secret Sex Tip You Need to Know

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Days 22 Through 28

It's a BAD WEEK for PMS
Progesterone reaches its peak, a sign that you've officially entered the premenstrual phase. You may have no PMS symptoms or all of them (everything from crying to breast tenderness to headaches). A slight increase of the "male" hormone testosterone around this time can contribute to sudden body oddities, like rapidly growing facial hair, increased body odor and an oilier scalp.

Being sensitive to progesterone can make you blue and hungry. Lunch on a turkey burger and baked potato to lift your spirits — both contain amino acids that boost levels of feel-good chemicals in your brain. Feeling bloated? High-protein, low-carb, low-salt foods will help you feel less fleshy, which in turn can help your mood. And don't worry if you overdo it: Due to a slightly higher body temperature, you may burn extra calories during PMS.

Extra exposure to testosterone has a perk: Your voice can get lower and huskier (and sexier) right before your period.

DAY 28
Possible signs that your period is on the way tomorrow: a swollen stomach, insomnia and headache.

Sources: Geoffrey Redmond, M.D., an endocrinologist specializing in female hormone problems at the Hormone Center of New York; Leslie Miller, M.D., Asst. Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington in Seattle; Melissa Yih, M.D., a reproductive endocrinologist at IVF New Jersey in Princeton; James V. Kohl, author of The Scent of Eros: Mysteries of Odor in Human Sexuality (iUniverse, July 2002).

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