For basically forever, women have had days when we wake up and feel ugly. Now we know there’s a scientific reason: your body’s luteal phase

Every woman knows the feeling: You wake up, look in the mirror, and barely recognize what’s there, because for some reason, you’re just ugly that day. You’re bloated. Your face is puffy and a weird shape. Your hair won’t cooperate. Your skin even looks the wrong color? To top it all off, you’re in a terrible mood. Well, I’m here to tell you that those days are not all in your head. There’s actually a scientific reason for those days you inexplicably feel ugly. And you probably won’t be surprised to hear that your hormones are to blame—specifically, the luteal phase of your menstrual cycle.

You can learn all about it in this viral TikTok video, thanks to @sam_d0ll.


the luteal phase is horrifying

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“So, you’re telling me that all women have the thing where you wake up ugly out of nowhere?” she says. “Truly, [I] thought that only happened to me. You don’t understand the relief I felt, initially, when I found out that it was everybody.”

Yep, it’s everybody. It’s the luteal phase, which happens during the time between ovulation and when you period starts. As @sam_d0ll describes it, “Our hormones are plummeting, and all of a sudden, we’re irritable, and we’re bloated, and our faces are different shapes, and we’re mean, feel fat, and also so, so hungry.”

Yep, that about sums it up.

According to Verywell Health, the luteal phase is when your uterine lining starts thickening to prepare to implant a fertilized egg. That means your estrogen and progesterone increase, and the sudden spike in those hormones can cause you to feel pretty crappy. Symptoms of the luteal phase are pretty much PMS: fatigue, low energy, shifts in mood, bloating, and appetite changes.

The good news is the luteal phase is one of four phases that make up your menstrual cycle. So when you wake up feeling like throwing your body into the trash, just give it a couple days. It’ll pass.

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