Confused about what’s happening during your menstrual cycle? This post is for you! See the end of this post for a graph demonstrating the hormonal fluctuations over the course of a normal menstrual cycle (for a woman who is not using hormonal birth control).
⚡️Day 1-14: Follicular phase (Day 1 is the first day of menstruation. We typically ovulate around day 14 which marks the transition from the follicular phase to the luteal phase)
⚡️Day 15-28: Luteal phase
⚡️During menstruation (first half of follicular phase), both estrogen and progesterone are very very low.
⚡️Estrogen tends to rise around day 8.
⚡️Around day 9-10 testosterone elevates- hellooooo sex drive- because ovulation is around the corner- which is the only time during our cycle when we can get pregnant. Sperm can survive for 3-5 days, so this timing is brilliantly planned by our biology :))
⚡️Estrogen spikes around day 12-14 triggering the release of luteinizing hormone (LH) which tells our ovaries to release an egg- hello ovulation. Most of us ovulate around day 14 of our cycle. Ever have egg-white like vaginal discharge?? This is just one of several ovulation signs! Other ovulation signs include 0.5 degree increase in basal body temperature, shift in cervical position (yes you can actually track the position of your cervix), and ovulation pain (mittelschmerz).
⚡️Both estrogen and progesterone reach their peak levels about 6 days prior to menstruation which is when you might start having PMS symptoms. More on this in an upcoming post.
⚡️If a fertilized egg isn’t implanted in the uterus, progesterone and estrogen levels fall, you shed the lining of your uterus and hello day 1 of menstruation. And we start the cycle all over again.
⚡️Estrogen comes from the word “estrus” which means a recurring period of sexual fertility
⚡️Progesterone “pro” + “gestare” meaning a substance which favors “gestation” (aka carrying a baby). Progesterone’s primary role is to thicken the lining of the uterus to prepare for a fertilized egg. If we think about the timing of the progesterone peak in the cycle, this makes even more sense :))
⚡️Questions?? Cruise over to my IG and send me a DM!