This year, I went on a journey of understanding my menstrual cycle. What I did not know, as many people do not, was that folks who menstruate go through four phases every single month! They include the menstrual phase (bleeding). follicular phase, ovulation, and the luteal phase (you may have heard this as PMS). Each cycle is like a season, as many menstrual health educators call it. Let me give you a brief run-down of all of these seasons!
In a 28-day cycle, this occurs around Day 1 to 6. During this phase, all hormones are at a low. This phase is also called the Inner Winter phase. Energy is low, and this is a great time for intuition and dreaming.
In a 28-day cycle, this occurs around Day 7 to Day 12. Remember that cycle lengths vary from person to person! During this phase, estrogen begins to rise. Maisie Hill calls estrogen the "Beyoncé" hormone: confident, fertile, flirty, fun! This phase is also called the Inner Spring phase. Energy is rising after being low in the menstruation phase. This is a time of creativity and planning.
In a 28-day cycle, this occurs around Day 13 to Day 20. During this phase, both estrogen and testosterone rise. Maisie Hill calls testosterone the "Serena Williams" hormone: active, ambitious, sexy, competitive! This phase is also called the Inner Summer phase. Energy is at a high! This is a great time for being social.
As ovulation grows closer, the luteinizing hormone (LH) is released. LH stimulates your follicle to produce more estrogen and follicle-stimulating hormones (FSH).
In a 28-day cycle, this occurs around Day 21 to Day 28. During this phase, both estrogen and testosterone begin to drop. Progesterone begins to rise, then falls again at the end of the cycle. Maisie Hill calls progesterone the "Kristen Stewart" hormone: edgy, a loner, a home-body! This phase is also called the Inner Autumn phase. Energy is beginning to decrease and will continue to drop as menstruation nears. This is the perfect time to complete projects, do some admin tasks, and stay in!
Some people are surprised to know that, through tracking our cycle, we can alter what we eat, how we exercise, the working tasks we prioritize, the social events we commit to, etc!
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