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The 4 stages of the menstrual cycle

Understanding the 4 seasons of the menstrual cycle

Menstrual cycles are tough!

So let's set the record straight. Maybe you should get comfy first. The menstrual cycle creates life. I'll repeat that once more to make sure you understand the magnitude of what it means: THE MENSTRUAL CYCLE CREATES LIFE! It's the whole reason you're sitting there reading this article. Nevertheless, they can be pretty tough, right?

Basically, your menstrual cycle means that you have the "natural technology" to create a human being inside your belly.

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Menstrual cycles are unique to each person, but at the same time, nearly half of the people on the planet have them in common. There's not much else people share to that degree, is there? Not even Instagram has that superpower!

Did you know that menstrual blood can save lives? It contains stem cells that can be used to repair a diseased organ or treat diabetes, Parkinson's syndrome, and Alzheimer's disease!

The 4 phases of the cycle and their superpowers

The average duration of a menstrual cycle is 28 days, but don't worry if yours is longer or shorter! It can also vary between 23 days, 35 days, and even 40 days. We like to say that there are as many variations in the menstrual cycle as there are menstruating people!

Just like the seasons, your cycle is divided into 4 phases during which it's normal for you to feel different, both in your body and in your head (thanks to the fluctuations of hormones). Here are some ways to live in harmony with your 4 seasons instead of just bearing them in discomfort.

The seasons

The winter of menstruation: Introspection mode

During the winter, everything's dormant and in slow motion. That's kind of how you feel in your body too. You probably want to be in your pajamas and coziest socks, dug in on the couch and covered in blankets, a warm herbal tea steaming nearby. Generally speaking, this is a time when we might feel the need to be introspective and stay in our own little bubble. Energy is at its lowest, and it's time to take care of yourself. Here's the most important thing: don't feel the slightest bit guilty about doing it!

Did you know that menstruation causes an average of 4 to 10 tablespoons of blood loss? Yeah, but don't worry: you're not going to bleed out!

Winter's superpowers

  • Your ability to get rid of what's no longer needed is at its best (it's time to sort through your wardrobe!)
  • You possess a huge capacity for introspection
  • Your intuitive abilities are at their max!

What's going on in your body?

  • Day 1 of the cycle begins with the first day of your menstruation, and this chapter lasts an average of 3 to 7 days;
  • Your body's already preparing its next little egg! We let go of blood and everything that no longer serves us, but life continues to be created

What you can observe and write down in a journal

  • The amount of blood (light, medium, or abundant flow)
  • Color (bright red, brown, pink)
  • Texture (thin, thick)
  • The presence of clots
  • The number of days you bled.

What should you do during your winter?

  • Set your limits: it's ok to refuse invitations; you don't need to force yourself to go to the party of the century or run a marathon
  • Move (but not too much): this includes walking, stretching, and gentle yoga
  • Take a bath or read your favourite book
  • Honour your moments of solitude
  • Take naps
  • Get in touch with nature
  • Wear your Mme L'Ovary undies with pride!
  • Eat a variety of foods rich in calcium and Vitamin E.

Spring, or the pre-ovulatory phase: New eyes on life

Spring is the regeneration of nature, the return of sun and heat. After menstruation, like a rebirth, you come out of your cocoon. Gradually, you feel a boost of energy that will build until ovulation. You might feel fearless and up for taking risks. In short, Taylor Swift can beat it; you’re the one on stage now!

Spring superpowers

  • Your energy gradually increases
  • You feel more self-confidence
  • You have clarity of mind and the willingness to plan projects
  • This is the time to launch an intention for something you'd like to see in your life.

What's going on in your body?

  • From the end of your menstruation (about day 8) to day 13, everything's going well!
  • The egg grows in the ovary
  • The body secretes more and more estrogen and a dose of serotonin (the happiness hormone, we love that one!)

What you can observe and write down in a journal

  • A creamy cervical mucus in your undies (white and opaque, much like yogurt)
  • A boost of energy and lots of good moods!

What to do during your spring?

  • Play sports
  • Plan projects
  • Learn something new (Spanish, porque no!)
  • Go out and have fun with your friends!
  • Communicate and resolve conflicts (you'd probably rather settle them now with greater clarity of mind than during your menstruation when you're more testy!)
  • Consume foods rich in iron and Vitamin C

Summer, or the ovulatory phase: The sun shines high and proud

As during the summer, the weather is nice, so you shine(shine bright like a diamond,as Rihanna would say). You're at the peak of your beauty, shiny hair in the wind, peachy skin. Your energy is at its highest, and you might feel like changing the world. You're in love with everything, and everything is in love with you, including your friends, the trees, and that cute little lady who feeds the pigeons. In short, life is beautiful!

Summer superpowers

  • You have the ability to carry out the projects you planned during the pre-ovulatory phase (example, if you wanted to find a job, now is the time to interview!)
  • Your energy allows you to be more active in the different spheres of your life
  • You rock and you know it!

What's going on in your body?

  • Day 14 (approximately) marks the start of an awesome stretch that lasts one or two days!
  • The egg comes out of the bag, literally The ovary expels the oocyte that will be caught by the fallopian tube and will move towards the uterus
  • It's a race against time to fertilize it! This is when you're most likely to get pregnant

What you can observe and write down in a journal

  • Cervical mucus is abundant, transparent, and spinning like an egg white (to help sperm get to the egg)
  • Occasional pinching on the left or right of the lower abdomen
  • And your awesome mood still going strong!

What to do during your summer?

  • Why not go a little crazy?
  • Be active in your community
  • Have an interview
  • Carry out projects
  • And if you want to create a new life, this is a great time to have sex!

Autumn, or the luteal phase: The return to calm

Autumn is a grey, rainy, windy season. Your energy level goes down, and you let yourself gently slide into hibernation. It's time to slow down and take care of yourself.

Here's where pre-menstrual syndrome becomes a thing, which you may be going through or have at least heard of.. Caused by hormonal chaos, PMS puts us through a guantlet of emotions and physical sensations. Emotionally, it can manifest as anxiety, obsessive thoughts, irritability, hypersensitivity, and depression. Physically, the symptoms can be varied: acne, headaches, lower back aches, stomach cramps, increased sensitivity to pain, nausea or cravings, insomnia, sensitive breasts, and digestive disorders.

Autumn superpowers

  • Often unloved, this phase is a gift It offers sensitivity to the world around you and intuition (say hello your little inner voice!)
  • You have the ability to highlight the things that need to be sorted out in your life
  • You're super creative

What's going on in your body?

  • From day 15 (approximately) until the end of your cycle
  • Estrogen gives way to progesterone, which is when you might start decorating your fufutre baby room (in other words, it allows the walls of your uterus - the endometrium - to thicken to accommodate your little egg if it's been fertilized!)
  • Finally, if your egg hasn't been fertilized, the levels of all hormones drop, which triggers menstruation The endometrium lining the uterus slowly flows out of the vagina, and another cycle begins!

What you can observe and write down in a journal

  • Cervical mucus is either absent or pasty and thick (like cake icing) and of a whitish or yellowish colour
  • A gradual decrease in energy
  • A mood more ... abrupt!

What to do during your fall?

  • Recognize and communicate your emotions, and take the time to name and explain what's happening in you
  • Go hug a tree while you let your emotions flow so you can better understand them
  • Your emotions are valid! Never let anyone minimize how you feel because you're on your period. Your emotions are legitimate, and your menstruation should never be used against you. Period.. Because the infamous "what're you on your period?" is a question we've heard way too many times!
  • Prioritize slowness and gentleness, and write in your journal
  • Take a bath or crawl in bed with your hot water bottle
  • Clean up your things
  • Make some art and express yourself!
  • Eat healthy foods
  • Avoid caffeinated or theine-containing beverages (the Menstrual Diary contains a variety of soothing beverage recipes!)

In short, L'Ove your cycle!

L'Ove your cycle!

Knowledge of your cycle = power and freedom

  1. LOVE your body and your cycle!
  2. Learn to listen to yourself
  3. Implement all the superpowers of each phase you now know
  4. Communicate your needs and emotions to others respectfully
  5. Harmonize your life with your cycle
  6. Find out about the different menstrual protection options

Mother and daughter

To go even further...