The menstrual cycle has four unique phases and getting in touch with how your body works is key to revolutionizing your cycle. Did you know each phase brings out different physical and emotional strengths in you? Learn to work with your cycle, not against it.
Phase 1 - Menstrual Phase
The menstrual phase is commonly referred to as your period. The first day of bleeding is considered day one of your menstrual cycle. This is when the hormone progesterone plunges causing the uterine lining to shed. Typically periods can last between 3 and 7 days.
Fun Fact: Progesterone is one of the two female sex hormones. Its main functions are regulating menstruation and supporting pregnancy in the female body.
Your energy is the lowest during this week of your cycle. You may feel tired, withdrawn, and wanting to rest more than usual.
Clear your calendar this week and spend time with yourself and make time for deliberate rest. Spend time reflecting on the events of the past month and be gentle with yourself. Try journaling, meditation, and yoga.
Phase 2 - Follicular Phase
This phase happens right after menstruation. Your pituitary gland, located at the base of your brain, releases a hormone called Follicle Stimulating Hormone. This stimulates the growth of eggs in the ovaries.
During this phase you’ll get an energy boost and your mood will improve. You may even feel more assertive and willing to take risks. This is because estrogen and testosterone start to rise during this phase. Testosterone stimulates your libido and estrogen makes you feel more extroverted and suppresses your appetite.
Major strengths during this phase are brainstorming and problem solving. This is a great time to start new projects, make big decisions, speak up in meetings, and hang out with friends. Vigorous exercise will feel extremely good during this time too.
Phase 3 - Ovulatory Phase
Your body is rewarding you with the fruits of its labor by releasing an egg! It gets released from its follicle in your ovary and will survive for 12-24 hours. If you’re wanting to get pregnant, now's the time.
The effects of the follicular phase are boosted because estrogen and testosterone rise to peak levels. You’ll feel more confident, it will be easier to verbalize thoughts and feelings, and your sex drive will be at its highest.
Energy levels are at their highest. This is a great time for networking, public speaking, and going out on a date. Continue enjoying lots of physical activity during this phase.
Phase 4 - Luteal Phase
This phase starts off feeling just like the ovulatory phase until estrogen and testosterone levels start declining. Now your body begins producing progesterone. This hormone helps prepare the body for pregnancy and causes the uterine lining to thicken.
Now is a good time for nesting and winding down.
This second half of this phase is what most women dread. This is when you’ll experience PMS symptoms like cravings, moodiness, bloating, and hormonal acne.
Consume herbal tea that helps alleviate luteal phase symptoms the week before your menstrual phase. Try eating less processed food during this time and spend extra time alone. Try practicing yoga, getting a massage, or acupuncture. By honoring your body’s need to rest during this phase you will enhance your ability to get more out of the active phases of your cycle.
Getting in touch with your personal cycle maximizes your true potential in all areas of your life