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My Venus Week

All these years I've been having my Venus Week and didn't even know it.

"The Venus Week," as described in a recent book by that name, is that one sparkling point in a woman's monthly menstrual cycle in which her hormones are all working in her favor, making her skin glow, her hair shine, her clothes fit better, and her libido kick into high gear. Author Rebecca Booth, an ob/gyn, says she came up with the term, named for the Roman goddess of love, to help each patient better understand the ebb and flow of her hormones and the effects those changes have on her mind, body, and spirit.

Generally speaking, the Venus Week occurs during the five to seven days just before ovulation, when estrogen (which Booth calls "the feel-good hormone") and testosterone ("the hormone of desire") levels are both at their peak. It makes sense, biologically: Those surging hormones make us our most attractive and most interested in sex just when our eggs are ready to be fertilized.

But this isn't a fertility guide. The Venus Week is meant to help women (and even men, for whom understanding the power of the menstrual cycle in the lives of the women around them might come in handy) identify that peak week so they can fully enjoy it while it lasts. Noting that the Venus Week is indeed short-lived, Booth offers tips for making yourself feel as Venus-like as possible during the rest of your cycle, including the week before your period, when many of us feel our worst.

Those tips hold few surprises: They're mostly reminders to eat healthfully, exercise, get plenty of sleep and refrain from smoking. And, oh, yes: Have sex. According to Booth, sex encourages ovulation and helps keep the whole cycle running smoothly.

I'm always game for basic health reminders, and I appreciate that Booth keeps it simple; she doesn't take readers too far outside the mainstream in her recommendations about dietary supplements, for instance, sticking to suggesting a daily multivitamin and Vitamin D and adding calcium and Omega 3 fatty acids through diet or supplements. She does suggest you indulge in dark chocolate and a "daily dash" of cinnamon, which she says helps your body metabolize carbohydrates.

But the thing I like best about The Venus Week is that it shifts focus away from the negative aspects of the menstrual cycle -- aren't we all tired of thinking about PMS, not to mention the recently minted PMDD? -- and encourages appreciation of the beauty and power of the whole, intricately crafted system.

I only wish I'd known about my Venus Week earlier; when menopause hits (and that won't be long for me), women have to rely more on Booth's tips than on the waning power of their monthly cycles to achieve that Venus feeling.

You can read more about the Venus Week here.

By Jennifer LaRue Huget  |  July 9, 2008; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  Women's Health  
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I find it interesting what you're saying -- I've had this thought myself for decades. I've used that one week when I feel I can do anything as consolation for that other awful week we won't dwell on -- and also as a reason to stay away from the Pill.
You should have made it clear to readers that hormonal contraception completely disrupts this system! So many young women are encouraged to rely on the Pill without realizing that they are turning off their natural energy/sexuality cycle.

Posted by: Joanne Wojtyto | July 10, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

I'm through menopause, and while I also wish this book had been around earlier, I still find the information timely and valuable. I have tried Dr. Booth's suggestions and am grateful for a doable guide to recapture my Venus. I have also shared this wonderful book with many the younger women in my life and without fail, each one has told me how "empowering" the information is to them.

Posted by: Hope Andrews | August 15, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

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