HEALTH

MENSTRUAL CYCLE PHASES

I did a poll on my instagram not too long ago asking “did you know there are 4 phases to your menstrual cycle?” not surprisingly the higher percentage of women did NOT know.  I was one of those women and it wasn’t too long ago that I was totally clueless.

See my story with my menstrual cycle is far from being in touch with it.  When I was 12 I had my first period, it happened to be the weekend my mom was out of town and I only had my dad and brother around, neither of which I was eager to have a conversation about my period with.  So I dug around the cupboard in the bathroom to see what kind of feminine products my mother had laying around and slapped that on.  I didn’t have a conversation, I didn’t have a celebration, there was nary some education.  It was just that. It happened, something inside me was changing but I really didn’t know what.

When I was 14 I went to my doctor because I was having irregular periods.  I barely got the words out of my mouth before she was writing me a prescription for the pill and off I went on my 11 year journey of being a slave to the pill.  Manipulating my cycle with daily hormone pills.  Skipping my sugar pills and going right on to the next pack because I didn’t want to have my period when I was camping or because my period fell on a weekend.  Forgetting my pill for 2 days and popping 3 at a time in hopes I didn’t screw things up too bad.  You get the idea.  That lead to a pregnancy at 19 so don’t do what I did!

Onward to my late 20’s and so done with the pill that I decided to get an IUD.  That resulted in not having a period for 10 years. 2 back to back IUD’s.  This was the most out of touch I was with my period, because I didn’t have one. I had no idea what my cycle was, what my hormones were doing, if they were doing anything at all.

When I started to focus on my health, weight and overall wellness I started to learn about my hormones and how important they actually are for my overall health.  I realized that not just for sexual function but for overall health. I had spend the better part of my life manipulating and ignoring the signals that my body was trying to give me.

So I started to learn. I read blogs and books about hormones and sexual health. Woman’s cycles and how they impact us and I decided that was enough. I was taking back what was rightfully mine.  I got my IUD removed and I prayed to the moon gods that I would get my period back.  It took a few months but it eventually came back and now I am more in tune with self, my body and my spirituality then ever before.  So how did I get here?

Let me start with the best book that I have ever read on women’s cycles.  WOMAN CODE BY ALISA VITTI this book changed my life. It taught me that my period is way more than just a nuisance. It is my power source, my personal compass to my overall health, a guide to my energy and so much more.  Now in her book she suggest you follow a nutritional protocol to heal and I don’t follow that all the time, I’m pretty loosy goosey about it. So take what you like and leave the rest.

One of the most profound things that I learned is that we have 4 phases to our menstrual cycle and that we can cycle sync.  What does cycle syncing mean?  We work with our hormones and energy levels instead of fighting against them.  We live in a world that is so male driven and we are encouraged to go hard and never stop.  Our society celebrates that never quit drive that puts people in mental health or physical health crisis.  Cycle syncing is listening to your body and actually acting, or not acting based on the information it is giving you.

PHASE ONE: Menstrual (day 1-5)*

  • hormone levels are their lowest
  • energy will be at it’s lowest at the start of your period its normal
    • focus on lighter exercise such as walking, easy yoga or pilates
  • your body needs lots of nutrients during this time because mensuration is an intense process feed yourself well

PHASE TWO: Follicular (day 5-13)*

  • hormones are at low levels but are slowly starting to increase
  • you will have a bit more energy and are more apt to try new things
    • focus on cardio based exercises dance, zumba, etc.
  • focus on fresh vibrant light food like salads, lean proteins, lots of veggies and moderate grains

PHASE THREE: Ovulation (day 14)*

  • a rise in FSH, followed by a rise in LH hormone stimulates the follicle to release an egg
    • estrogen increases to further thicken the uterine lining
    • testosterone surges driving desire then drops off around ovulation
  • you will have energy to burn so choose HIIT, bootcamps, or high impact workouts
  • fill up on raw veggies, fruits and lighter grains like quinoa and corn

PHASE FOUR: Luteal (day 15-28)*

  • estrogen, progesterone and testosterone reach peak concentrations and then begin to fall to their lowest levels right before menstratruation
    • estrogen thickens the uterine lining and progesterone keeps the lining in place in anticipation of a fertilized embryo
    • pms is a common but not necessary part of this phase resulting from too much estrogen in relation to progesterone
  • you will still have lots of energy in the first part of this phase so focus on slow strength training or intense yoga
    • scale back later in the week to lighter activities like walking, pilates and easy yoga
  • focus on foods rich in B vitamins to fight of sugar cravings

*days are approximate

With that being said there are so many things that our period can tell us about our overall health and wellness, thats why I designed a CYCLE TRACKER planner page. This CYCLE TRACKER is perfect for getting to know your menstrual cycle better and listening to your body. Areas for phase, flow, cervical fluid, temperature, mood related and physical symptoms.

Letter Size 8.5″ x 11″
BUY HERE

Perfect for 3 Ring Binders, Arc Notebooks and Discbound Inserts, Daytimer Folio, Franklin Covey Monarch, etc.

Half Size 5.5″ x 8.5″
BUY HERE

Perfect for Filofax A5 size binders, kikki.K personal planners (personal & large), Arc Notebooks, Half Size 3 Ring Binders, Discbound Inserts, Franklin Covey (classic), Daytimer (notebook, journal & desk), Color Crush, etc.

Personal Size 3.7″ x 6.7″
BUY HERE

Perfect for Filofax (personal, compact & slimline), kikki.K planners (medium), daytimer (portable & pocket) and Kate Spade personal planners, etc.

Seven By Nine Size 7″ x 9.25″
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For use in Happy Planner, Erin Condren Planner, Arc Notebooks, Discbound Planners, etc.

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