Your cycle is more than just your period

Did you know men reset every 24hours and women reset every month? The world is set for those of us who aren’t living cyclical lives, for the most part, it’s based on a structure where a working week is set up for those with a steady-state of testosterone and do not have many fluctuations in their hormones. When a man wakes up in the morning he will have a peak of testosterone and depending on the activities in his day that will slowly diminish and this goes on repeat every day for the duration of his life.

This is not the case for menstruating women. We experience life through our physicality we are a body and our hormones are ebbing and flowing, the endocrine system is like a highway in our body and it impacts so many different parts of who we are. Our hormones are all connected and our menstrual cycle is not a separate part of who we are it is relevant for all of us.

What is the Menstrual Cycle?

The Menstrual cycle consists of the time between the first day that your period begins to the day before your next period. On average a cycle lasts 28days, many women can have longer or shorter cycles.

Day 1 is the first day of your cycle the first day of your bleed.

The time in between your periods is really where all the magic happens. This is when fluctuating hormones drive how you feel physically, emotionally & energetically throughout the entire month.

Let's look at the science -

The menstrual cycle occurs in three phases that coincide with hormonal changes:

Follicular phase

The first day of a period marks the beginning of a new menstrual cycle. During a period, blood and tissue from the uterus exit the body through the vagina. Oestrogen and progesterone levels are very low at this point, and this can cause irritability and mood changes.

The pituitary gland also releases FSH and LH, which increase oestrogen levels and signal follicle growth in the ovaries. Each follicle contains one egg. After a few days, one dominant follicle will emerge in each ovary. The ovaries will absorb the remaining follicles.

As the dominant follicle continues growing, it will produce more oestrogen. This increase in oestrogen stimulates the release of endorphins that raise energy levels and improve mood.

Oestrogen also enriches the endometrium, which is the lining of the uterus, in preparation for a potential pregnancy.

Ovulatory phase

During the ovulatory phase, oestrogen and LH levels in the body peak, causing a follicle to burst and release its egg from the ovary.

An egg can survive for around 12–24 hours after leaving the ovary. Fertilization of the egg can only occur during this time frame.

Ref - https://www.womenshealth.gov/menstrual-cycle/your-menstrual-cycle

Luteal phase

During the luteal phase, the egg travels from the ovary to the uterus via the fallopian tube.

The ruptured follicle releases progesterone, which thickens the uterine lining, preparing it to receive a fertilized egg. Once the egg reaches the end of the fallopian tube, it attaches to the uterine wall.

An unfertilized egg will cause oestrogen and progesterone levels to decline. This marks the beginning of the premenstrual week.