A woman’s voice changes with the menstrual cycle, did you know that?

The female voice evolves throughout life, from puberty to menopause. Like many other changes in women, it is due to hormonal variations.

Last update: 07 October, 2022

You are right, there are variations in a woman’s voice during the menstrual cycle. The changes are most noticeable during menstruation and ovulation.

Changes in a woman’s voice during the sexual cycle are due to the influence of sex hormones on the larynx and vocal cords. Like the cervix, the larynx has receptors for sex hormones, being prone to be modified according to physiological variations throughout the cycle.

It is these same variations in the levels of the different sexual hormones (estrogens, progesterones and androgens), which also participate in emotional changes, irritability and other modifications.

Understanding the menstrual cycle

In women with regular menstrual cycles, the changes usually repeat themselves more or less between 28 to 30 days. Hormones have cyclical variations and are divided into two phases: follicular and luteal.

follicular phase

Menstruation marks the beginning of the new menstrual cycle and begins the follicular phase that ends when ovulation occurs. From this, the luteal phase begins, which persists until the moment of bleeding.

In the first few days of the follicular phase, estrogen and progesterone levels are low. This combination produces cell desquamation of the uterus that leads to bleeding or menstruation.

However, estrogens increase progressively until day 14, when they peak and ovulation occurs. During the follicular phase, the egg matures and ovulation occurs.

The menstrual cycle receives this name for its regular repetition of phases, every 28-30 days.

luteal phase

After ovulation, the luteal phase begins. It creates the possibility of pregnancy. If fertilization does not occur, the egg is discarded at the end of the cycle.

At the time of ovulation, progesterone remains at more or less low levels, but then increases until it is above estradiol levels. It stays that way until the end of the menstrual cycle.

Estrogen and progesterone concentration in the different phases

During the premenstrual (day 23-28), menstrual (day 1-4), and postmenstrual (day 5-10) periods, estrogen levels predominate, but are not as high. In the middle of the follicular phase, until ovulation (day 13-15), they reach their maximum concentration peak.

On the other hand, progesterone levels increase after ovulation. And they are maintained until before menstruation (day 15-28).

How does the menstrual cycle affect a woman’s voice?

Changes in a woman’s voice during the menstrual cycle are due to the effect of varying levels of estrogen (mainly in the first phase) and progesterone (mainly in the second phase). The action is exerted on receptors present in the larynx and vocal cords.

In this way, hormonal variations cause changes in the mucosa, vascularization and mucus production of the vocal folds. On the other hand, hormones also hinder the arrival of nerve signals that are sent to the folds of the cords.

Estrogens change a woman’s voice, because increase mucous secretion from glands above and below the edges of the vocal cords. This provides greater viscosity and facilitates mobility. In addition, they increase the permeability of the capillaries, favoring the oxygenation of the tissues.

It occurs in the follicular phase, close to the ovulation period.

Later, in the phase in which progesterone predominates, there is venous dilation, inflammation of the vocal folds and the consequent fluid retention. You can notice congestion, swelling in the vocal cords, presence of microvarices and they could even bleed.

How are hormonal changes manifested in the voice?

During the period when progesterone predominates, a woman’s voice tends to be thicker, deep, serious, coarse, brittle and even monotonous. This is due to water retention.

When the progressive increase in estrogen occurs, excess fluid is eliminated, giving rise to a clearer, sharper voice, with the ability to reach higher notes and maintain a higher vibration and frequency. We would say that the voice tends to sound more attractive.

Singing women know very well that their voice is not the same throughout the month.

The voice of women evolves throughout life

From childhood to menopause, a woman’s voice is influenced by hormonal variations. At the time of puberty, the impact of estrogen and progesterone causes deepening of the voice.

In menopause, due to the decrease in estrogen and progesterone, there is a decrease in the range and frequency of the voice. It becomes hoarse and serious, with difficulty reaching high notes and vocal fatigue appearing.

There is also the so-called premenstrual vocal syndrome. In this, associated with progesterone levels, there is fatigue, decreased range, loss of power and some harmonies.

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