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Women's Health strategy: The Smart Guide to Understanding Your Period

Updated: Jun 27

Feeling out of whack? Your period might hold the answer! Understanding the menstrual cycle hormones, its stages and symptoms, like ovulation (with its discharge!) and the luteal phase (hello, mood swings!), can empower you to create a personalized women's health strategy. From ovulation pain to emotional ups and downs, knowledge is power!

menstrual cycle stages app tracker

Women's Health Strategy: Master Your Cycle, Optimize Your Wellbeing

Let's start by exploring the menstrual cycle stages and what happens to menstrual cycle hormones during each phase. 

By understanding this hormonal dance and how it impacts your body throughout the month, you can unlock valuable insights into your fertility window and develop strategies for managing period symptoms.

Phase 1: Menstruation (Period): The Bleeding (Day 1-7) 

During this menstrual cycle stage, sex hormones (estrogen and progesterone) levels are at their lowest, as it is BBT (basal body temperature).

The lining of the uterus (womb) and the unfertilised egg is shed.

It is considered healthy to bleed between 4-6 days and then stop abruptly.

The blood should be bright red (like when skin repairs after a cut), and the texture should be a combination of watery and fibrous tissue (like dead skin).

When the colour is more brownish or clots are present, this may indicate some blood stagnation (according to Chinese medicine). 

Self-Care Tips:

  • Rest or at least slow down! In some Asian countries, such as Japan, Indonesia, and Taiwan, the law recognises the Menstrual Leave policy. Women are entitled to take time off work for this period and still get paid.

  • Let the blood flow! We recommend to avoid using tampons as part of your women's health strategy. Because they not only block the natural flow but also add unwanted chemicals to your body that mimic estrogen, called xenoestrogens. Explore different options for managing your flow, like pads, menstrual cups, or period panties!

  • Know Your Medications: Be aware that some contraceptive pills suppress ovulation, making the uterus lining very thin; they may also disrupt the cervical mucus and often contain copper, which is toxic to the body.

  • Try Fertility Acupuncture: If you suffer from menstrual cycle symptoms such as heavy & irregular periods, you may try Acupuncture. This alternative medicine could be a natural way to enhance your women's health strategy as it can effectively help you restore healthier bleeding.

woman with ovulation pain on bed hugging a pillow luteal phase symptom

Phase 2: Follicular Phase: Post Menstruation (Day 8-14)

As your period ends, the pituitary gland secretes FSH (Follicle-stimulating hormone). As a result, FSH initiates the development of the ovarian follicle, which matures and secretes estrogen.

These follicles contain eggs, and the dominant one will eventually mature for ovulation.

As estrogen rises, the endometrium (the womb's lining) is stimulated to re-grow and get thicker to prepare to potentially receive a fertilised egg.

In addition, the cervix (the lower, narrow end of the womb) opens and secretes fertile mucus to help the sperm survive and reach the egg.

Self-Care Tips:

  • Nourish Your Body: Pay attention to what you eat. You need to support the renewal of your energy and blood (especially if you are feeling weak). Include fertility boosting foods such as plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein and stay hydrated. In addition, consider hormone balance supplements that can help you fill the nutritional gaps in your diet.

  • Boost Your Energy: in this phase, it is important to engage in activities that can fuel your body. Also, prioritize sleep and aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night to support healthy hormone production.

  • Track your cycle: Monitoring your cycle fluctuations can help you understand your body's natural rhythm and identify your fertile window.

Phase 3: Ovulation: The Fertile Window (12-48 hours between Day 14-21)

During this phase, Estrogen levels are at their peak. A surge in luteinizing hormone (LH) triggers the release of the mature egg from the dominant follicle.

In addition, the cervix secretes a stretchy mucus to help sperm reach the egg. BBT peaks a couple of days after ovulation. 

Self-Care Tips:

  • Pain relief: If you experience pain during ovulation, apply a hot water bottle to your abdomen or back to relax the pelvis and rest!

  • Embrace Intimacy: Research confirms that you might experience a natural increase in libido during ovulation. Embrace intimacy with your partner and explore your options for conception.

  • Uncover Your Fertile Window: Track your cycle using a period tracker app or basal body temperature charting. This knowledge empowers you to identify your most fertile days for conception, which is essential for any preconception women's health strategy.

  • Celebrate Your Cycle: Ovulation is a sign of a healthy reproductive system! So, celebrate this fertile stage of the menstrual cycle and prioritize your well-being. And, if you don't ovulate regularly, make sure you book an appointment with one of our fertility acupuncturists. Regular Acupuncture treatments Can Enhance Ovulation and help stimulate egg production.

Phase 4: Luteal Phase: Post Ovulation (Around Day 21-28)

The luteal phase can bring a wave of changes: Expect symptoms like breast tenderness, bloating, and mood swings.

After ovulation, the remaining follicle transforms into the corpus luteum, which starts producing progesterone.

Thanks to a rise in Progesterone, blood increases, and the lining of the uterus thickens to prepare for a potential pregnancy.

If pregnancy doesn't occur, progesterone and estrogen levels drop significantly, leading back to menstruation and the start of a new cycle.

Self-Care Tips:

  • Move! If you become aware of patterns of PMS symptoms such as Cramps, Irritability, and Mood swings, this may mean there is an excess of built-up energy. Hit the dance floor and unleash endorphins, nature's mood-lifters, that can help combat irritability and mood swings.

  • Embrace a Natural Approach: Lifestyle choices such as prioritizing a healthy diet, incorporating regular exercise, and embracing sunlight exposure can all significantly enhance your fertility care plan and manage the symptoms typical of the luteal phase.

Menstrual Cycle Hormones Graph

Take a look at this menstrual cycle hormone graph during the various stages to visualize the hormonal changes and take charge of your women's health strategy.

understanding Menstrual Cycle Hormones Graph (woman health strategy)

The rise and fall of estrogen and progesterone influence each stage of your menstrual cycle.

As you can see, these hormonal fluctuations can help you predict your fertile window and understand period symptoms.

Notably, the surge in luteinizing hormone (LH) just after ovulation indicates the release of a mature egg for fertilization.

By tracking your cycle and referencing this menstrual cycle hormone graph, you can gain valuable insights into your body's natural rhythm. This knowledge can be used to optimize your chances of conception or find relief from PMS symptoms.

Conclusion: Your Cycle - Your Superpower!

This guide has hopefully empowered you to view your menstrual cycle as a powerful tool for understanding your body and optimizing your overall health.

By becoming familiar with the different phases and the hormonal dance that unfolds throughout the month, you can unlock valuable insights into your fertility window, manage period symptoms, and celebrate your unique cycle.

Here's a quick recap of the key takeaways:

  • Know Your Phases: Each menstrual cycle phase (menstruation, follicular, ovulation, luteal) has distinct characteristics and hormonal fluctuations. Understanding these phases can help you anticipate and manage symptoms.

  • Track Your Cycle: Monitoring your cycle with tools like basal body temperature (BBT) tracking or period tracking apps allows you to identify patterns and pinpoint your fertile window.

  • Embrace Natural Methods: Techniques like the cervical mucus method offer natural ways to understand your fertility signs.

  • Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to physical and emotional changes throughout your cycle. This self-awareness can be a valuable tool for managing PMS symptoms and optimizing your well-being.

  • Seek Professional Support: If you have concerns about your cycle, irregular periods, or difficulty getting pregnant, consult a healthcare professional or explore treatments like fertility acupuncture.

Remember, your cycle is a unique roadmap to your health. By understanding its language, you can unlock its power and create a personalized women's health strategy that works for you.


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