Most who menstruate can agree we feel like a different person every week. The swift shift in our hormones can have us feeling like a ball of energy, self-confident and motivated, and the next week we may uncontrollably move into a state of insecurity, sluggishness, and irritability. Despite trying to fight our hormones, all we really can do is master them and work with them. Learning the phases of our cycle and what they mean is the best way to understand our intricate & beautiful bodies and to work with our natural energy flow. Our cycles are our power, not our obstacles!
This phase represents the days between the first day of your period and ovulation. It usually lasts for 14 days, but will vary for each person. Estrogen levels usually start to balance out at this time and your body starts to prepare itself for ovulation. Most will feel more energized, sexually driven, an increase in confidence, and some will experience heightened cognitive function and skin clarity.
- Recommendations: Increase activities, exercise, dance and movement. Socialize, meet new people, go on dates and try new things. Eat a healthy diet to prepare and nourish the body for the next phase, especially if you are trying to conceive. Fertilization happens easier in healthy, nutritive and mineral dense bodies.
This is the phase when fertility is at its peak. Ovulation occurs when an ovary releases a mature egg and waits to be fertilized by a sperm for 24-48 hours. At this time, internal body temperature increases, our pheromones change and often times our mood is positive and our energy is outward. The cervical fluid will change at this time and will usually be waterier and clearer. This helps the sperm reach the egg easier. Some will experience mild pelvic cramping or discomforts and bloating.
- Recommendations: This is a great time to be social, creative, active, to take action on goals, begin new routines and plant seeds for the future. Most will feel more energized at this time with an increased libido. If you are trying to conceive, this is the best and most optimal time to get busy! Fertility Prep Conception Support can be used in all phases to further support fertility during the ovulation phase. If you are not trying to conceive, then this is the time when birth control methods are the most important.
When ovulation occurs, the luteal phase begins and it ends when your next period begins. It is also roughly 14 days long. If the egg was fertilized during the ovulation phase, this phase will increase the progesterone levels in the body and helps to maintain the thickness of the uterine lining to support the fetus. If the egg was not fertilized, progesterone levels will drop, and your body will prepare for menstruation. This phase can cause some to feel breast tenderness, bloating, fatigue, appetite changes, cramping, increased physical and emotional sensitivity, moodiness and anxiousness.
- Recommendations: Supportive herbs such as P.M.S. Emotional Mood Support (if not pregnant), Magnesium to help calm the nervous system and support sleep. Solitude and gentleness are important during this time. Allow yourself to speak your mind and your needs to loved ones and give yourself grace to let your emotions flow through you so you may release them.
The shedding of the uterine lining after the ovulation phase occurs when the egg was not fertilized. Estrogen levels are usually higher at this time. It’s important to observe the color of your menstrual blood, as brown/old looking blood can indicate a sluggish hormonal system and a lack of thorough uterine shedding. Menstruation usually lasts 5-7 days. Some can feel tired, discomforts throughout the body, heavy menstrual cramping, loss of energy and emotional upset.
- Recommendations: Cramp Release Menses Soother to ease menstrual discomforts, giving yourself permission to rest and eat without guilt. Internal reflection, hot baths, setting goals or intentions for your daily routines, lots of water and vitamin C to support thorough lining shedding. Mineral and iron rich foods are important to support mood and energy. Hormone balancing herbs such as Cycle Harmony Hormone Support can be taken throughout the cycle to help make menstruation week easier and more manageable.
By embracing the rhythms and fluctuations of our hormonal systems, we empower ourselves to cultivate self-care, understanding and compassion for our bodies and those around us. Please keep in mind, everyone’s experience with their cycle is unique. When deciding the best cycle supportive regime for you, it’s best to consult with a practitioner as they are qualified to guide you in a way that supports your individual needs and health history.
Rebecca Younger is passionate about herbs and women's health. She aspires to plant seeds of inspiration within her community about plant medicine and healthier ways of life. She studied Herbal Medicine at Herbalism Roots in Denver and is a certified Doula through the Matrona Foundation. She is the customer journey lead at WishGarden Herbs.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, or sell any product.