A Guide to Understanding Your Menstrual Cycle

Understanding your menstrual cycle is an important step in making peace with your period.

By learning about the different phases of your cycle, you can start to see it as a natural process rather than something to dread. Armed with this knowledge, you can take steps to prepare for each phase and make the most of your period.

In this article, we'll discuss the basics of understanding your menstrual cycle, including the different phases and what to expect during each one.

What Is the Menstrual Cycle?

The menstrual cycle is a natural process that occurs in the reproductive system of humans and other mammals. The cycle is necessary for the production of eggs and the preparation of the uterus for pregnancy.

The average menstrual cycle lasts 28 days, but it is not unusual for it to last 21 to 35 days. The first day of bleeding is considered day one of the cycle. The cycle begins with the follicular phase, during which the ovaries produce follicles (fluid-filled sacs that contain eggs). Ovulation (the release of an egg from a follicle) typically occurs around day 14.

If fertilization does not occur, the lining of the uterus is shed during menstruation, and the cycle begins again. If fertilization does occur, the egg implants in the lining of the uterus, and pregnancy begins.

The Different Phases of the Menstrual Cycle

There are four phases to the menstrual cycle: the follicular phase, ovulation, the luteal phase, and menstruation.

During the follicular phase, your body is preparing for ovulation by producing estrogen. Estrogen levels peak just before ovulation and then drop sharply afterward. This drop in estrogen signals to your body that it's time to release an egg.

Ovulation is when the egg is released from the ovary and starts its journey down the fallopian tube. This usually happens around day 14 of your cycle, but it can vary depending on the length of your cycle.

The luteal phase begins after ovulation and lasts until menstruation. During this phase, your body produces progesterone, which thickens the lining of the uterus in preparation for pregnancy. If you don't get pregnant during this phase, progesterone levels will drop and you'll get your period.

And last but not least is menstruation, which is when the lining of the uterus is shed through your vagina. This usually lasts around three to seven days.

Common Period Problems and How to Solve Them

If you're experiencing any of the following period problems, don't worry—you're not alone, and there are things you can do to feel better.

  • Painful cramps: This is the most common period problem, and there are a few things you can do to ease the pain. Take a cup of tea (Red raspberry leaf tea is n.1 for cramps relief), use a heating pad on your lower abdomen, and try to relax. Castor Oil Packs: When the pack is applied to the belly, the oil is absorbed through the skin into the gut-associated lymphatic tissue. Then it circulates, easing menstruation cramps, which are frequently brought on by clogged lymph veins. Castor oil packs can be very messy, but I have a non-messy method and if you're interested I'm very happy to share it with you.
  • Heavy bleeding: It's normal to have a heavy flow on the first day or two of your period, but if it lasts longer than that or is so heavy that you're soaking through pads or filling your cup every hour, it's worth talking to your doctor. Iodine is a wonderful supplement for lower bleeding. I personally take Organic Kelp every day and it helped a lot. You have no idea how heavy was my flow before.
  • Irregular periods: There are a lot of things that can cause irregular periods, from stress to hormonal imbalances. If your periods used to be regular and suddenly become irregular, it's worth talking to your doctor to see if there's an underlying cause. In some cases, irregular periods can be a sign of something more serious, like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). But if you learn how to chart your menstrual cycle and design your days accordingly, you will see a big improvement. You can ask me for direct instructions if you want, I'm happy to help.


Now that you know a little more about your menstrual cycle, it's time to start making peace with your period. This doesn't mean that you have to like it, but it does mean that you can start understanding it and working with it instead of against it.

If you want to learn more about how to chart your menstrual cycle, The Menstrual Journal will guide you!

Categories: : Inner Seasons, Menstrual Cycle, Menstrual Harmony, Yoga