The female cycle
With this article we would like to shed light on why it is so beneficial to track your cycle with breathe ilo. To be able to use the full potential of your cycle, it is essential to know where you are in your cycle and understand the changes, which take place in your body during this natural, cyclical pattern.
All too often the female body and cycle are still considered a mystery. This is not surprising, since many women themselves do not know the full extent of what is going on in their bodies each and every month. It’s especially important for women to understand their own body and to be able to interpret their body’s signals correctly. Most of the internal processes of the female body take place in a cyclical pattern.
The female cycle affects: our energy and our immune system, our mood and emotions, our creativity and so much more. In this article we’d like to provide you with more insight on the different phases of the female cycle and offer education on what happens in the body during the individual phases of the female cycle.
Please note that the described, natural processes in the female body cannot take place when hormonal contraceptives are used.
The hypothalamus signals the pituitary gland to send follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) to the ovaries in order for them to prepare the release of another egg. In preparation for this several follicles begin to swell. Estrogen increases to thicken the lining of the uterus so that it can host an egg.
During this phase your physical energy increases. You may even feel restless at times. Initially there is little to no vaginal secretions, then they begin to increase. Cervical mucus appears yellow or white in colour and is usually sticky in texture.
A strong increase in follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), followed by an increase in luteinizing hormone (LH) stimulates a follicle to swell further and burst, releasing an egg into one of the fallopian tubes. This egg then travels into the uterus. Estrogen levels continue to rise. This further thickens the lining of the uterus and supports the growth of immune system cells in the uterus. Testosterone levels rise rapidly and fall immediately around ovulation.
Cervical mucus increases and appears clear, moist, slippery and stretchy (similar to raw egg white) on the day of highest fertility. After the peak of fertility the discharge of cervical mucus decreases again and becomes drier. You may notice an energy boost as well as a pulling sensation in your lower abdomen with the release of the egg or feeling a sense of exhaustion, along with increased appetite or cravings or headaches.
The corpus luteum (the follicle from which the egg bursts) grows on the surface of the ovary and causes it to produce progesterone. The increase in progesterone signals the body to keep the lining of the uterus intact. It also signals the pituitary gland, to no longer produce FSH and LH, which ensures that only one egg is released at a time into the uterus. Estrogen levels continue to rise. Towards the end of the cycle, if the egg has not been fertilized, the corpus luteum is reabsorbed into the body. Progesterone production will soon come to a halt as a result. Testosterone increases towards the end of this phase. Towards the end of your cycle, physical energy decreases. You may notice PMS symptoms – such as bloating, irritability, headaches, mood swings and cravings.
Progesterone production decreases with the disappearance of the corpus luteum. This is what triggers menstruation a.k.a. the shedding of the uterine lining. Estrogen production reaches its peak and then falls again. That’s stimulating the hypothalamus to get ready for another cycle of ovulation.
A combination of brown spotting and cherry-red bleeding characterizes this phase. You may also experience cramping, back pain, tiredness and cravings. Sometimes you may feel a sense of relaxation and relief while your estrogen peak passes.
breathe ilo helps you to learn where you are in your cycle. That way, you can get to know your body better and understand your unique cycle ♡