The good news is, however, that this condition is, in fact, manageable through diet, training, herbal regimens, and exogenous testosterone.
[Because I lack a vagina and might just be talking out of my ass after reading a bunch of science, I enlisted the help of Nuprin to give a female perspective. Thus, she'll be interjecting periodically.]
Nuprin: In my experience, swinging wildly between suicidal and super happy is no picnic. But consistent lifting and regular eating has managed to not only quell my mood swings, but also regulate my cycle (cool, huh?).
Ladies, if you're still with us and have not ragequit the article to whip up a batch of anthrax to send my way, allow me to explain: there are three ways in which estrogen seems to fuck with female lifters- estrogen/testosterone imbalances, estrogen-cocktail birth control, and menstruation. I'm not going to tell you guys that have all of the answers, but as this shit is rarely, if ever, discussed, it seems it bears some discussion here, both because it will keep more of my friends from getting stabbed and because I'm fairly certain chicks are sick to death for being dominated by their endocrine systems.
It would be far too simple to state that estrogen is "the Debbil" and that women should just all start jacking test to solve all of life's problems. While exogenous testosterone has been and continues to be used to treat everything from depression to low libido/sexual dysfunction to impaired cognitive function to impaired cardiovascular function to poor body composition (Davis, Davis), I'm not going to suggest that women start popping Anavar like Tic-Tacs every time they catch a case of the nutties (though I know of more than one chick who does to fairly good result). Maintaining higher test levels is essential to dominating on the platform and the bedroom, and we'll address how to do so in a bit, but the bigger issue fucking up females when they hit the gym isn't so much testosterone deficiency as "estrogen dominance".
Femdom does not count as "estrogen dominance".
Though it's something of a hotly contested condition, doctors who have identified issues of estrogen dominance have found a massive imbalance in estrogen versus progesterone and testosterone. When such an imbalance occurs, it leads to a massive range of unfun bullshit with which chicks are familiar, ranging from "an increase in PMS symptoms, uterine fibroids, and endometriosis, as well as symptoms including allergies, decreased libido, fatigue, fibrocystic breasts, headaches, infertility, irritability, to fat gain around the abdomen and on the top of the thighs" (Lucille).
While I've never had the grave misfortune to experience the Santa Claus-sized bag of hellish nonsense that is menstruation, estrogen dominance seems to provide year-round enjoyment of PMS without any of the wild-eyed horniness, bleeding, or eventual relief of a period. As we all know, if a man is going to dance with a demon, he should end up with his red wings at some point, and estrogen dominance seems to spit squarely in the eye of that concept and simply turn everyone's life into a non-stop Shark Week with no reprieve.
Luckily, there is a way to treat this issue- simply raise your test levels like you're a member of the Esoteric Order of Dagon trying to raise Cthulu from the depths of the ocean. There are a variety of ways to do this and they have varying levels of success. Perhaps the easiest way to do this is to train your ass off and eat a meat and fat-rich diet, as cholesterol is a precursor to testosterone. That, however, probably has the mildest effect. Next up, you could try taking a variety of vitamins/minerals and prohormones aimed at raising testosterone levels and balancing estrogen and progesterone levels. For this, I would recommend a combination of DHEA, ZMA, and vitamin C every day in the following dosages:
DHEA- 50mg-100mg (this dosage has been shown to dramatically raise test levels in women and alleviate or eliminate depression)
ZMA- something with at least 30mg of zinc. ZMA is a great sleep aid, and zinc in particular raises libido and test in women (Poliquin). Magnesium has also been shown to raise the testosterone levels of athletes (Cinar), and B6 seems to work synergistically with the aforementioned two (Simpson).
Vitamin C- 1.5g Vitamin C helps reduce the enzyme that converts testosterone to estrogen in women, which is crucial if you're going to kill the estrogenic demon residing in your endocrine system (Simpson).
Another route, of course, is the "prohormone" (read: designer steroid) route, or just straight up steroids. I've know a number of chicks who have done this with courses of action ranging from insane recklessness to ridiculous overcautiousness and have yet to see them anything but happier as a result, with none of the masculinizing side effects. That's not to say I am recommending it, but Anavar or Winstrol would not be the worst course of action to take, either. For those of you who think I am insane/irresponsible/an asshole (I concede to that), doctors have been prescribing anything from oral to topical to injectible testosterone to women to treat hypoactive libido and depression since the late 1930s (Abdallah, Dyett).
20 mg of var a day will not turn you into this, honestly.
The next bit of Downton Abbey-style estrogen-induced horror is the effect of birth control on strength in women. This is honestly something I had never considered, because being a remarkably self-centered man, I just thought it was something women did to avoid making sex about as much fun as showering with your socks on by including a hazmat suit for my cock. When the issue was raised, however, it seemed to make a great deal of sense- no lifter is jacking estrogen to get their squat PR up. As it happens, birth control does appear to have a profoundly negative effect on muscular strength. This does not appear to be necessarily due to the fact that they're supplemental estrogen, however, but because most birth control pills contain antiandrogens to suppress test levels as the estrogen rises. This creates a situation much like what I described above, and one study showed that the inclusion of the antiandrogens (most notably cyproterone-acetate) was roughly as useful for gaining fat free mass and strength as a diet of naught but mayonnaise while doing yoga twice a week (Ruzić).
I blame this shitfest of a show completely on estrogen. This show is so boring I wanted to drown myself in a dive bar urinal in the 10 seconds it took me to find this picture. It's so boring that it actually makes me reconsider my stance on the Golden Girls. It's so boring that I... fuck. The show's too fucking boring to joke about. Someone firebomb the BBC.
Other studies have shown that irrespective of the inclusion of antiandrogens, birth control doubles the recovery time women must endure between heavy weight training sessions (Savage), though it has no effect on recovery from endurance training (Thompson). As if that were not enough, here is the coup de grace for worthwhile vaginal sex with serious lifters- birth control, no matter it's formulation, decreases free testosterone levels in women taking it by an average of 61%. That means you're 61% worse at assimilating protein, creating fat-free mass, staying lean, and being an aggressive, world dominating, bad ass motherfucker. Not only that, but as birth control reduces women's libidos and impairs their ability to orgasm, they're not even getting the testosterone boost or the dopamine and serotonin dump that comes with orgasm, they're even more likely to be frazzled, pissed off, and unready to train (Women's Health).
Hot until you realize that's your blood because you told her to "get her fucking head in the game" after she missed a lift.
The great irony here is that vaginas are basically humongous vacuum-style testosterone receptors, and having a guy hose down their cervix with cum actually raises their testosterone levels significantly, which is part of the reason doing so is so pleasant for everyone involved. Tragically, the only thing worse for your gainz are babies, so you really have to weigh your options before hopping on the good foot to do the bad thing.
Nuprin: A stack of B12 and Iron has almost always gotten me OK enough to train, along with plenty of water.Now that we've covered all that, all we have left is the dreaded shark week, which is pretty much a horrible time for everyone involved and for broads in particular. Nuprin and I will make sure we arm you will of the knowledge we can in regards to managing and mastering training during shark week and why one should never, ever compete during shark week, if for no other reason than to keep you from resigning yourself or your girl to the red tent.
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5 suprising effects of the pill. Women's Health. Web. 30 Oct 2013. http://healthyliving.msn.com/health-wellness/women/5-surprising-effects-of-the-pill-1#3
Lucille, Holly. Estrogen Dominance: Too Much of a Good Thing Can Certainly Be BAD!American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. Web. 29 Oct 2013. http://www.naturopathic.org/content.asp?admin=Y&contentid=401
Poliquin, Charles. Top Ten Benefits of Zinc. 9 Feb 2012. Web. 30 Oct 2013. http://www.poliquingroup.com/ArticlesMultimedia/Articles/Article/812/Top_Ten_Benefits_of_Zinc.aspx
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Simpson, Jamie. How to increase testosterone levels naturally in women. Livestrong. 18 Aug 2009. Web. 30 Oct 2013. http://www.livestrong.com/article/21635-increase-testosterone-levels-naturally-women/
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Zimmerman Y, Eijkemans MJ, Coelingh Bennink HJ, Blankenstein MA, Fauser BC. The effect of combined oral contraception on testosterone levels in healthy women: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Hum Reprod Update. 2013 Sep 29. [Epub ahead of print]