GETTING TO KNOW THE 4 STAGES OF YOUR MENSTRUAL CYCLE

21 / JULY / 2021
SHEREE'S HEALTH DIARIES

When it comes to hormones, the first step to healing is to know your cycle! (Not just your period)

We are brought up to believe that the period is the main event, and even then it is not something that is closely examined when it comes to our overall health, yet your menstrual cycle has been deemed the *fifth vital sign!! – need to confirm this 

As females, ‘that time of the month’, has become something dreaded and a taboo topic, because I mean who wants to talk about a heavy flow and cramps! 

But ladies! It is time to empower yourself and your health, by knowing your body, and your cycle! 

When we understand how each phase works, and that there is more to the monthly cycle than just a bleed for roughly 3 – 7 days (if it bothers to show up)… we can actually learn to eat, train, and live in SYNC with our cycle! 

Yup… and when you do so in accordance with your body, your awful period symptoms will be no more! But before we dive into that, let’s understand what’s actually going on during each of the phases (and if you want me to share with you how to sync with your cycle, let me know in the comments below and I will do more of a write up for you) 

So let me break it down, starting at what your average cycle should look like…

Remember, that there is normal, and then there’s ‘normal’, the difference being what we should have to deal with (a bleed with potentially minor cramps every month and a little tiredness), and what we shouldn’t (all the other hormonal symptoms you can think of; PMS, acne, weight gain, mood swings, cramps, heavy flow). 

A healthy cycle should last between 26 – 35 days and be regular give or take two days for you each month. This has recently been termed your ‘infradian rhythm’ which lasts the entirety of the length of your cycle. 

Anything outside of this is considered ‘irregular’ and worth having a chat to either myself or trusted nutritionist/health practitioner about if it is a common occurrence. 

Your cycle consists of your four phases, each has ebbs and flows in regards to your hormones, energy levels, moods and hunger… once you start to tune into the magic your female body has to offer you’ll be amazed by what you notice! 

THE 4 PHASES

MENSTRUAL PHASE: (inner winter)

During this time, most of your sex hormones are low (estrogen + progesterone in particular), so it is normal to notice a dip in energy levels, you may feel slightly more tired than other times in your cycle and just want to curl up with a good book or chill out over this time.

This is your monthly release, shedding away your last month and getting ready for the next cycle. So if you feel a little introverted, that’s fine, it’s important to listen to what your body needs.

The shedding of the uterine lining roughly days 1 – 5, but the bleed can last anywhere from 3 – 7 days. If the bleed is any shorter or longer, it’s a sign your hormones might be out of balance. Taking note of your colour and flow can also be great indicators of what’s going on in the body (later posts to come on that). 

FOLLICULAR PHASE: (inner spring)

This is where we see our energy levels start to pick up, as our hormones estrogen and testosterone start to rise gradually. You may feel more inclined to get active, socialise or get creative on a project you’ve been working on! 

This phase is roughly days 6 – 13. If inspiration hits or you feel like you could tackle a few more cardio sessions, this is the time to do it! Estrogen gives us a lovely boost of energy at this time, and you will most probably have a tendency to feel more extroverted.

You may notice that any hormonal symptoms you had have disappeared by this time, and you are feeling lighter and happier within yourself. 

OVULATION (OVULATORY) PHASE: (inner summer)

Not going to lie, this is my favourite time of the month (if ovulation occurs… remember there are a number of stresses that can make you skip over this phase completely *sad face*). 

During this phase, you are likely to feel incredible, confidence is boosted, curvaceous, glowing, high libido you is ready to take on the world and tackle anything during this time, thanks to our good friend estrogen (if she is in balance). 

Somewhere between days 14 – 20 our beautiful egg is being released into a fallopian tube and our bodies are trying to make ourselves as attractive as possible to a mate… Yup! Whether you like it or not, your body’s goal every single month is to fall pregnant! (So be careful if you are getting busy!)

Whilst fertilising the egg might not be your goal (this month, or ever), you can still use this energy, and momentum to your advantage! Put your mind to things that you really want to push yourself in, a great time for social events or powerful conversations, along with hitting the gym hard (testosterone is also at a high here). 

LUTEAL PHASE: (inner autumn/fall): 

The phase where we quite often cop the brunt of the symptoms if our system is out of balance, it is here where we should get a dip of our estrogen and testosterone and a beautiful rise of progesterone (if you have ovulated), and although more introverted, a feeling of being calm and grounded leading up to your next release… 

However, it is very common for there not to be progesterone produced, or if there is, not enough of it to calm down our system. This phase lasts roughly from ovulation day to the end of your cycle (anywhere from day 16 – 35), so it is no wonder so many women feel like the second half of their cycle is a nightmare! 

During the luteal phase it is often a time to unwind, wrap up your things on the to-do list and prepare for ‘hibernation’ of the inner winter that is to come, so some extra TLC and self-care during this time will be super supportive. If you are someone who struggles with any symptoms such as PMS, insomnia, anxiety, mood swings or irritability during this phase, the self-care routines are even more vital for you! 

FINAL THOUGHTS

It is important to understand YOUR body, and YOUR normal, and YOUR cycle, we are all magnificently unique and it is important to give yourself grace for where you are. 

If you do feel like your hormones may need a little more love and support, or are feeling a little out of balance, check in with me on Instagram or check out RYR to see if you need a bit of a hormonal reset! 

Yours in Health,
Sheree xo 

SHEREE BEAUMONT

Holistic Nutritionist, Personal Trainer & Wellness Coach I empower women like you to transform their lives, understand their bodies and feel their best from the inside out!

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