Did you wake up this morning living your best life and feeling like a queen? Were you ready to take on the world? Or did you wake up, take one look in the mirror, cringe, and seriously consider going back to bed?
We’ve all experienced days like this. It also turns out that it’s totally normal. If these periods (no pun intended) feel like they last for a few days to a week, you’re not imagining this. Our menstrual cycles have a major influence on our hormonal health and everything that comes along with it. So should you plan to sit and watch Netflix tonight, or hit the gym and run errands? Here's how to plan your life around your cycle.
Bleeding Phase AKA “That Time Of The Month”
The first day of our cycle isn’t normally a surprise (unless you’re wearing white, then it’s ALWAYS a surprise). When we have our periods, the level of the hormone progesterone starts to drop and the lining of the uterus sheds, which causes bleeding.
If you’re planning on getting a lot done, like running errands or going to the supermarket, don’t force it because your energy is going to be at its lowest. Time to call for Postmates! Go ahead! Do it and don’t feel guilty!
Your energy is going to be at its lowest.
This phase starts when your period ends (which is an automatic energy boost) and can last from seven to thirteen days. During this time, Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) is released. Your body is also releasing Luteinizing Hormone (LH) in preparation for ovulation.
Welcome to the best three days of your entire month! Body, mind, and spirit are at their best. If you’ve noticed more attention from the opposite sex, there are some very good reasons for this. Because estrogen spikes, your skin is looking great. Better yet, this hormone gives your face a more symmetrical shape. Additionally, your body also releases pheromones, which naturally attract men. Isn’t nature perfect? It’s time to swipe right or head out for date night!
You should also feel an increase in both energy and smell during ovulation. So, feel free to sign up for that boot camp class, but skip the perfume and apply a little extra deodorant instead.
Because estrogen and testosterone levels are at their highest, you will be at your most fertile.
There’s also one more thing you need to keep in mind. Because estrogen and testosterone levels are at their highest, you will be at your most fertile. If you’ve been trying to have a baby, this is the time to do it (literally), but if you’re not, you need to be super vigilant about birth control.
The luteal phase lasts about two weeks, and it's when estrogen and testosterone begin to decline and progesterone starts to rise.
If you notice you’re feeling a bit overheated (no, it wasn’t just that closed window in barre class), you can blame it on the progesterone, which can raise body temperature.
This is also the phase when PMS happens. While you might feel out of sorts (to say the very least), know that driving 20 minutes to your favorite taco truck, feeling majorly bloated (not that those tacos helped), and crying when there isn’t a new episode of This Is Us isn’t unusual. So just give in! Enjoy that extra guac and pass out on the couch during a Hallmark movie. You’ll start to feel better in just a few days.
If you notice you’re feeling a bit overheated, you can blame it on the progesterone, which can raise body temperature.
We all know it’s best to work with your body and not against it. Instead of wondering when your period is coming, why your energy is low, or what caused that breakout, try tracking your period and knowing where you are in your cycle. Then plan your life (and sex life) with all of this in mind. Remember, knowledge is power!