The science of Happier Cycles

The Science of Happier Cycles Apart from the fact that we have periods, few of us will have grown up with the knowledge of how the menstrual cycle actually works and how important each phase is to our overall health and well being! Here are just a few tips on how to optimise your current cycle phase, but this is only one piece of the period health puzzle…

Keep your eyes on your inbox in the coming weeks as we’ll be moving through your cycle with you and sharing advice from our holistic menstrual health handbook.

Your Current Phase:

Ovulation

Summer

What's happening?

It sounds like you may be close to ovulating! Ovulation usually arrives at the midpoint of your cycle - but this can vary from person to person. If you struggle with irregular periods, it’s likely because you are ovulating early or late - or in some cases not at all. 

Timescale:

Typically 10-14 days.

Symptoms:

Increased cervical mucus and a higher sex drive.

So what’s going on in your body right now? 


Oestrogen levels will be at their peak right before ovulation, as the follicle reaches its final maturity. When the egg is ready, the body releases a surge of luteinizing hormone (LH) which will trigger the release of the egg down the fallopian tube - this is the process of ovulation! 


The days leading up to - and the day of - ovulation are the days you are most likely to get pregnant and there are lots of physical signs that you’re in your fertile window! Your cervical mucus usually becomes thinner and wetter and your cervix becomes softer and higher all to help the sperm travel up to the egg. 


As soon as ovulation happens you will notice a spike in your body temperature - which is why you can confirm ovulation if you are tracking your Basal Body Temperature daily. 

As this is your most fertile window, it’s unsurprising that your libido will likely be at its peak! Aside from feeling pretty sexy, you might also notice a boost in your confidence and communication skills - ovulation is a great time to take on that big work presentation.


However, ovulation can be a phase of two halves. As our oestrogen peaks, some people struggle with painful symptoms like breast tenderness or ovulation cramping. You might also find that as soon as your egg is released you feel a plummet in oestrogen and a rise in progesterone, which can make you feel very fatigued and more sensitive. 

Movement 


Studies indicate that around ovulation we get a surge in our testosterone levels. This is part of the reason your sex drive might increase around that time - but it’s also a great opportunity to channel your hormonal rush into your workouts! Testosterone helps our muscles repair faster and stronger - so why not make more time for strength training and push yourself with weights or kettlebells. 


Food


Our oestrogen levels reach their peak during this phase and excess oestrogen can have some negative side effects - including breast tenderness and skin issues. Now is a great time to include foods that help the liver process oestrogen  - like kale, broccoli, garlic, radishes and onions.


It’s always a good idea to eat a diet full of Omega-3 fatty acids, but around ovulation, it’s even more important, especially if you are hoping to get pregnant as studies indicate they could help with egg implantation. Even if babies aren’t on your mind right now, Omega-3s have lots of other benefits including improving our skin and our brain function!   

Ovulation is the perfect time to delve into pleasure - with yourself or with a partner - so explore those fantasies and try new things! If you are trying to conceive, there can often be a lot of stress and urgency around ovulation - so try to go easy on yourself and have fun along the way.  


Also, remember that the ovulation phase is a transition - we’re going from the happy high-energy vibes of the follicular phase to the more sensitive and introverted luteal phase. Don’t push yourself too hard and ensure you’re getting enough rest so that you don’t burn out post ovulation.    

The Science of Your Cycle

So what’s going on in your body right now? 


Oestrogen levels will be at their peak right before ovulation, as the follicle reaches its final maturity. When the egg is ready, the body releases a surge of luteinizing hormone (LH) which will trigger the release of the egg down the fallopian tube - this is the process of ovulation! 


The days leading up to - and the day of - ovulation are the days you are most likely to get pregnant and there are lots of physical signs that you’re in your fertile window! Your cervical mucus usually becomes thinner and wetter and your cervix becomes softer and higher all to help the sperm travel up to the egg. 


As soon as ovulation happens you will notice a spike in your body temperature - which is why you can confirm ovulation if you are tracking your Basal Body Temperature daily. 

How you might be feeling

As this is your most fertile window, it’s unsurprising that your libido will likely be at its peak! Aside from feeling pretty sexy, you might also notice a boost in your confidence and communication skills - ovulation is a great time to take on that big work presentation.


However, ovulation can be a phase of two halves. As our oestrogen peaks, some people struggle with painful symptoms like breast tenderness or ovulation cramping. You might also find that as soon as your egg is released you feel a plummet in oestrogen and a rise in progesterone, which can make you feel very fatigued and more sensitive. 

How to nourish your body

Movement 


Studies indicate that around ovulation we get a surge in our testosterone levels. This is part of the reason your sex drive might increase around that time - but it’s also a great opportunity to channel your hormonal rush into your workouts! Testosterone helps our muscles repair faster and stronger - so why not make more time for strength training and push yourself with weights or kettlebells. 


Food


Our oestrogen levels reach their peak during this phase and excess oestrogen can have some negative side effects - including breast tenderness and skin issues. Now is a great time to include foods that help the liver process oestrogen  - like kale, broccoli, garlic, radishes and onions.


It’s always a good idea to eat a diet full of Omega-3 fatty acids, but around ovulation, it’s even more important, especially if you are hoping to get pregnant as studies indicate they could help with egg implantation. Even if babies aren’t on your mind right now, Omega-3s have lots of other benefits including improving our skin and our brain function!   

How to nourish your mind

Ovulation is the perfect time to delve into pleasure - with yourself or with a partner - so explore those fantasies and try new things! If you are trying to conceive, there can often be a lot of stress and urgency around ovulation - so try to go easy on yourself and have fun along the way.  


Also, remember that the ovulation phase is a transition - we’re going from the happy high-energy vibes of the follicular phase to the more sensitive and introverted luteal phase. Don’t push yourself too hard and ensure you’re getting enough rest so that you don’t burn out post ovulation.