At Isla Wand, we believe that knowledge is power, especially when it comes to our bodies. That’s why we want to share with you the four phases of the menstrual cycle, which we like to think of as the four seasons.
Most people are only taught about menstruation (or a period), but there’s so much more to the menstrual cycle than that. Each phase of the cycle is an eb and flow of hormones, which can have different emotional and physical effects on us. By understanding these phases, we can predict how we may feel at a certain time and plan our work, social, and life events to better suit our needs.
The four phases of the menstrual cycle and their corresponding seasons are as follows:
- Winter/Menstruation (period): Hormone levels are at their lowest as bleeding starts, so it’s time to rest and conserve energy. You may feel withdrawn, calm, and unmotivated, but your libido may peak.
- Spring/Before ovulation (follicular): As estrogen increases, you may experience a boost of serotonin that suppresses your appetite. Your energy starts to build, and you feel lighter, with an increased urge to exercise. Emotionally, you may be more outgoing and social, and feel spontaneous.
- Summer/Ovulation: Your libido peaks, and you’re at your most fertile. You may experience a boost of serotonin that suppresses your appetite, and your cervical fluid (discharge) may be more copious, stretchy, and clear. Your focus and productivity increase, and high-intensity workouts are beneficial. Emotionally, you feel confident, outgoing, and can cope with a heavier workload and longer days. You may enjoy networking, socialising, pleasure, and fun.
- Autumn/Pre-menstrual: You may experience increased appetite and food cravings, and your body can feel swollen. Your energy starts to dip, and you may crave space (alone time) and have a desire to declutter, clean, and organise. Emotionally, you need self-care, and your inner critic may surface.
By understanding these four phases of the menstrual cycle, you can embrace your cycle and make the most of each phase. Remember to listen to your body, prioritise self-care, and use your cycle as a tool to enhance your productivity, creativity, and overall well-being.