[Question] How do you optimize productivity with respect to your menstrual cycle?

As the question asks, I am looking for productivity advice directly or indirectly related to one’s menstrual cycle.

Motivation: This may seem like a gross or weirdly personal question but I think it’s actually quite important. For example, for the first four hours of my period, I am unable to do anything besides lie down, be in pain, and (sometimes) vomit for about 4 hours. Not accounting for all of the other ways my period negatively affects me, this is already 4 hours * 12 = 48 hours = 2 full days lost per year. That being said, there can be menstruation related hormonal fluctuations which positively influence productivity. During ovulation, I can sometimes reach almost manic levels of mental and social energy and (I’m less sure about this) I require a bit less sleep to function.

What the question is asking: This is a very open-ended and personal question so I am expecting similarly open-ended and personal answers. For example, stuff I’m interested in:

  • Generally speaking, how does your menstrual cycle affect your productivity?

  • What effects has the pill had? Which kind of pill?

  • Have you experimented with varying your cycle length? (I had a 3 month cycle some number of years ago, and enjoyed the decreased frequency and intensity of my periods.)

  • Have you noticed fluctuations in energy level caused by your menstrual cycle? Any way to make the high energy phases longer and the low energy phases shorter? Do phases of high energy correspond to a certain hormone which I could get through the pill?

  • Are there dietary changes that mitigate the bad effects of menstruation /​ enhance the good effects? (For example, is it “helpful” to give in to cravings?)

  • Are there sleep schedule choices that can be made which synergize with your menstrual cycle?

  • Are there points in your cycle where you are best at detail-oriented work /​ creative work /​ socializing /​ writing /​ anything else relevant?

It’s possible that your answers to many of these questions are “my menstrual cycle is irrelevant here because other inputs have way stronger effects”. Insofar as your menstrual cycle has a sizeable effect on any of these points (or other points I haven’t mentioned), I would be really interested in hearing your thoughts.