A woman will experience approximately 450 menstrual cycles in her lifetime–that means hours, days, weeks, and months of changing hormones. This monthly ebb and flow of hormones is a complex cycle controlled by intricate communication networks between the brain and the glandular system. A woman’s menstrual cycle is divided into four phases:
- menstrual phase (bleeding phase)
- follicular phase
- ovulation phase (fertile phase)
- luteal phase
What Is The Menstrual Cycle?
Phase 1 — Menstrual Phase
The first day of bleeding is considered day one of your menstrual cycle. Typically, the hormone progesterone plunges, which causes the uterine lining to shed, and the bleeding time of your cycle starts (lasts for 3 to 7 days). With this drop in progesterone, symptoms you may experience are feeling extra bloated, breast tenderness, headaches, water retention, and emotional sensitivity. Happy Healthy You offers a range of health products that can assist with natural period pain relief such as Happy Period.
Emotionally, during this week you may take some extra time to rest as your energy is the lowest in your cycle. Clear your calendar and spend time with yourself, limit exercise, and concentrate on slow and gentle movements such as stretching, yoga, and walking.
Phase 2 — The Follicular Phase
This is the phase that follows menstruation, from day 6-13. It's called the follicular phase because your body is working to stimulate follicle growth in the ovaries. This leads our bodies into ovulation (ovarian release of an egg to be fertilized) and is regulated by the pituitary gland and the release of a hormone called Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH). Oestrogen and testosterone start to rise during this phase which will bring you a boost of energy and mood as well as libido!
Emotionally, you may feel more extroverted and experience a suppression of your appetite. This is a time when you feel ultra self-sufficient and alive! Creation of new projects, physical prowess, social scheduling, and decision-making are your superpowers during this time. This is further explored within Happy Healthy You’s article which discusses the seasons of the menstrual cycle and indicates where period pain supplements may be able to help.
Phase 3 — The Ovulatory Phase
The whole month of changing hormones and hard work by the glandular/ reproductive system is highlighted in this moment of ovulation (12-24 hours) around day 12-14. Oestrogen and testosterone rise to peak levels, boosting sex drive and confidence. The ultimate result for your body is the fertilization of an egg if you are hoping to conceive. If not, then protective measures are required if you engage in sexual activities because you are ultra fertile during this phase.
Emotionally, you are confident, sexy, display clear and effective communication, can network well, and have high energy for physical activities and to get out there and take down what you want!
Phase 4 — The Luteal Phase
Moving away from the high levels of oestrogen and testosterone (during ovulation), the body starts producing more progesterone during this stage. The second half of this phase can be difficult for many women. PMS symptoms start to rise and we may feel a defiant shift in our mood, energy, sleep, and physical symptoms. This is why Happy Healthy You has developed innovative supplements such as Happy Hormones to assist with general well-being and hormonal balance during this time.
This time is a time for winding down (progesterone is an anti-anxiety hormone) so it's a good time to relax, nest and finalize chores you began in the luteal phase when you were busy. It is a time to start to withdraw as we may feel more sensitive and require more quiet time (self-care time). Symptoms related to this time are cravings for carbohydrate-heavy comfort foods, bloating, breast tenderness, headaches, anxiety and moodiness.
You may also be wondering how to reduce PMS symptoms naturally? Try one of Happy Healthy You’s proven and beneficial products such as the Happy Greens to fight symptoms.
Being aware of the fluctuations in these hormones during the body and the way that they influence our physical and mental state can help us transition from one phase to the next with minimal concern. Learning to honor these internal cyclical phases creates a deeper understanding of our feminine power as we lean in deeper and maximize our potential in our lives.