Being curious about how your body works is completely normal; in fact, it is good for you. The more up and personal you are with your body, the more comfortable and familiar you will be with it. The more keenly attuned you will be to any changes that occur.
If you have wondered about your periods, where the blood comes from, your emotions during the menstrual cycle, and the hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle that occurs, you are certainly not the only one. In this blog, we are telling you everything you need to know about your periods and menstrual cycle phases. Keep reading!
Menstrual Cycle Phases
The female body goes through a lot of changes during the reproductive years. Every month the body prepares itself for a potential pregnancy. These changes that occur on a monthly basis in anticipation of a fetus are called your menstrual cycle.
Hormonal Changes during Menstrual Cycle
Your body goes through a lot of hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle. In fact, the interaction of different types of hormones regulates the menstrual cycle. These include hormones such as luteinizing hormone, estrogen and progesterone, and follicle-stimulating hormone. Let’s understand which hormones dominate during which phase.
Menstrual Cycle Phases and Symptoms
There are four phases to your menstrual cycle:
- Menstrual phase
- Follicular phase
- Ovulation phase
- Luteal phase
Menstrual Phase – The first phase of your menstrual cycle, which generally lasts about 3-7 days, is also the time when you get your periods. The uterus has a comfy place prepared for the baby. When the fertilization does not happen, the uterus lining sheds itself in the form of blood and blood tissues through the vagina.
Symptoms of this phase can include:
- Abdominal cramps
- Bloating and mood swings
- Food cravings, etc.
Over-the-counter pills should work for most of these symptoms; if not, schedule a visit to your ob-gyn.
You need good sanitary pads for your menstrual phase. You need RIO pads for your periods. RIO pads are ultra-absorbent, super- comfy and gentle on your sensitive skin. It contains Japanese SAP, an antibacterial top and deep channels to soak blood. RIO pads are built to ensure you have a better period!
Follicular Phase – There is a little overlap between the menstrual phase and the follicular phase. The follicular phase begins as soon as you start your period and ends when you start ovulating. It can last for up to 16 days.
During this phase, the production of estrogen, the female reproductive hormone, increases. Your ovaries start producing small sacs known as follicles due to the follicle-stimulating hormone. These follicles contain immature eggs. The lining of your uterus also thickens to prepare for the baby. When a nutrient-rich environment has been prepared for the baby to grow inside the uterus, the follicular phase ends.
Ovulation Phase – The ovulation phase begins with the release of luteinizing hormone (LH).
Your ovaries release a mature egg to be fertilized by the sperm. This is where the ovulation phase actually begins.
The ovulation day falls right in the middle of your menstrual cycle. If your cycle is 26 days long, your ovulation day is around day 13. The egg has to be fertilized on the ovulation day; otherwise, it dissolves itself and dies. This can make the process of conceiving a little tricky.
A clear sign that your ovulation day is here is the presence of mucus. If you see clear and sticky mucus right in the middle of your menstrual cycle, it’s your ovulation day.
Luteal Phase – This is the post-ovulation phase of your menstrual cycle and lasts for about 12-14 days. The follicle through which the egg was released earlier stays on the surface of the ovary and transforms itself into a structure called corpus luteum. The corpus luteum further prepares the uterus for pregnancy by releasing a number of hormones. If the sperm does not penetrate the egg during this phase, the corpus luteum disintegrates itself.
After the completion of your luteal phase, the menstrual cycle begins again, starting with the menstrual phase. These phases keep recurring during each menstrual cycle till you reach menopause, which is the end of your reproductive years.
How to Control Emotions during Periods?
Does a little less ketchup on your fries make you want to bawl your eyes out, or are you experiencing road rage that is unparalleled to anything you have ever experienced? Does it feel like you’re riding a rollercoaster of emotions that is about to crash really bad? Blame it on your hormones, ladies. How does your period affect your mood? Read on
Wondering how to help with emotions during the menstrual cycle? Here are a few things that can help regulate your emotions better during periods:
- Sweat it out – Exercising has been shown to help with depression and to alleviate the mood. Exercising releases feel-good hormones and endorphins. It also helps with cramps, bloating, boosting energy, etc.
- Small meals – Make your meals smaller but more frequent. A large meal that is high in carbohydrates can cause fluctuations in blood sugar levels. This, in turn, can worsen your period symptoms.
- Supplements – Taking calcium supplements have shown to help with depression and fatigue in a number of studies, although the reason why still remains a mystery to experts.
- Avoid sugar, caffeine and alcohol – Stay away from caffeinated drinks because caffeine triggers anxiety, nervousness and insomnia. Alcohol acts as a depressant. Drinking alcohol when you’re already feeling miserable is exactly like washing your car during heavy rains. Not helpful at all. Steer clear of sugary foods and drinks to avoid blood sugar fluctuations.
- Manage stress – Try yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises to help with stress. Stress triggers your body into a fight or flight mode, causing extreme hormonal changes. These changes could affect your body adversely and also increase the chances of worsening your menstrual cycle moods.
How do you deal with emotional upheavals during your menstrual cycle? Let us know down below!
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