PHASES OF YOUR CYCLE
YOUR GO-TO GUIDE FOR EACH STAGE OF YOUR PERIOD
A person will have approximately 500 periods in their lifetime, yet since that human biology class way back in high school, when was the last time you truly thought about what is going on down there each month?
Your menstrual cycle is so much more than the 3-5 days you are bleeding. In fact, you have four distinct phases that your body cycles through every 28-35 days that can be an indicator of your overall general health and wellbeing.
Understanding each of the unique phases of your menstrual cycle gives better insight and intuitive wisdom so you know how to take greater care of yourself during our constant cyclical journey’s.
CONSIDER THIS YOUR REFRESHER ON THE FINAL DETAILS OF YOUR MONTHLY CYCLE.
The Menstrual Phase/Winter Season
The first day of bleeding is considered to be the first day of your menstrual cycle. On Day One, the hormone progesterone (which has been increasingly elevating over the previous month to support the possibility of pregnancy) plummets. This causes the uterine lining, known as the endometrium, to shed. This shedding results in the discharge of lining via your vagina, which you know commonly refer to as your period!
The Follicular Phase/Spring Season
The second phase of your cycle – the follicular phase – follows just after the bleeding phase of menstruation. During this phase, the pituitary gland, which sits within the brain, releases the Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) which stimulates between 5-20 follicles in the ovary, which contain immature eggs, known as ova, to develop. During the maturing process, the follicle causes a rise in estrogen, which enables the thickening of the lining of the uterus with nutrients and blood – effectively preparing the body for fertilisation if it were to take place and pregnancy to occur.
These rising levels are recognised by the body and soon after the pituitary gland will produce raised levels of luteinising hormone (LH) and FSH. Once these elevated levels of LH are recognised in the body, ovulation will be triggered. Leading us to...
The Ovulation Phase/Summer Season
During the ovulation phase, one mature egg will get released from the follicle into your ovary. This released egg will survive for 12-14 hours and gets swept into the fallopian tubes towards the uterus for fertilisation to take place. Estrogen and progesterone rise, boosting the effects of ovulation phase
The Luteal Phase/Autumn Season
Once the egg has been released from the follicle, the ruptured follicle itself (known as the corpus luteum) continues to stay on the surface of the ovary. This structure starts to release progesterone and some estrogen. This particular combo of hormones ensures the lining of the uterus is maintained, just in case fertilisation were to occur, so a healthy pregnancy could take place. If impregnation doesn't occur, then the corpus luteum will begin to disintegrate. In doing so, there is a sharp decline in levels of progesterone which causes the lining of the uterus to fall away.
AND THEN WE COME FULL CIRCLE BACK TO THE MENSTRUAL PHASE.
Written by Rosie Hope
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