That’s the estimated number of times a woman will have a period in her lifetime.
Yet, even though we bleed this many times, a lot of us still remain completely unsure of what happens in our bodies during this time.
What Happens In Your Body:
- Follicular Phase: This is the phase from end of bleed till end of ovulation. The goal of the body at this point is to make sure it is ready for a baby! All things working optimally, your body gives you with a juicy amount of hormones that make you look good, have more energy, and feel confident enough to take on the world.
- End of Bleeding: About the 3rd – 4th day of your bleed, it almost feels like your body resurrects from a time of rest and back into action. The transition from the inward energies of your early bleeding time to outward activity begins to be more noticeable. If you have taken some time to rest, reflect, and nurture yourself during your early bleed, you begin the last few days of your cycle with more energy and feeling like a brand new women. This is a good time to set goals, to create intentions, to plan your calendar for the month.
- Ovulation: This is a time of peak receptivity. As our bodies work hard to make us more attractive, in hopes of a getting us pregnant, we may notice higher levels of energy and a desire to connect deeper with others. This desire to connect is often emotional as well as sexual. Emotional and mental creativity are at its peak here. You may find yourself feeling really confident and enjoying the simultaneous peak of testosterone and estrogen.
- Luteal Phase: Absent pregnancy, this is the point where the body moves from being outward in its energies to being intuitive and reflective. It is at this point that the body starts to slow down, process, re-assess. You will often be more in tune with your intuition enough to easily pick up on things that are working and those that aren’t.
This happens from end of ovulation to onset of your bleeding time.
- Pre-menstral Phase: While the symptoms of this phase often make women feel a bit more irritable, the reality is that this a time where we get to have access to parts of ourself that we often don’t pay attention to during the other parts of the month. During this time, your body demands that you pay attention – either through emotional outbursts, by breaking out, or showing several other symptoms that we often try to medicate away as PMS. The only goal here should be to pay attention and be gentle with yourself.
- Onset of Bleeding: This is the time to literally clean house – biologically and mentally! It is at this time that your body sheds all the uteral lining it prepared in anticipation of pregnancy. You may notice that energetically around this time you would prefer to expend less energy, to spend time de-cluttering and ridding yourself of things that no longer serve you. You may find yourself feeling a bit more withdrawn, a little more physically drained after work, and may be craving foods that give you an instant hit (like chocolate, sugar, cheese). Note that all of these are normal and are your bodies’ attempt at getting its needs met. Maybe substitute some of the regular chocolate for dark chocolate, and nourish yourself with simple foods that are rich in iron to help replenish your energy levels.
Working with these rhythms rather than against them can help us as women step more into our power and relate with ourselves from a place of kindness rather than blame and shame.
For further reading on what goes on in your bodies during this time, check out the following recommended readings:
- Christaine Northrup’s Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom
- Alisa Vitti’s Flo Living