I have been experiencing a menstrual cycle since about 13 years old on and off between hormonal birth control and pregnancies and now, 20 years later I am finally feeling more confident in my understanding and appreciation of the natural ebbs and flows of a menstrual cycle. TWENTY YEARS. That’s FAR too long!
The different phases of our cycle can impact SO MUCH about how our body functions. It can play a role in strength, stiffness, power output, mood, motivation, how we process different nutrients, how our temperature regulates and more. This intricate dance of hormones is what sets up our body for a potential pregnancy, but can also be an important thing to consider for optimizing athletic performance, supporting healing/recovery and simply maintaining our OVERALL health.
I will be back with more blogs on these topics... but for the time being…
If you want to learn more RIGHT NOW Join the “Train with Your Cycle” Masterclass with Addie Holzmann Sept 12th at 8PM EST
A Recording will be available if you cannot attend LIVE
The menstrual cycle starts with, you guessed it! Menstruation! Typically lasting 4 to 6 days. This is when all of the sex hormones are low and stable.
In the Late Follicular Phase there is an increase in estrogen and each follicle which holds an egg matures. When Estrogen rises to a certain critical point, there is a spike in Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) which triggers Luteinizing Hormone (LH) to spike this triggers the mature egg to release into the uterus
The follicle which has now release the egg, becomes the corpus luteum and it secretes progesterone and estrogen.
This phase hosts the progesterone peak and second estrogen peak to prepare the endometrium for implantation of a fertilized egg. The mid luteal phase will end with a pregnancy if the egg is implanted.Follicles and Corpus Luteum within the OVARY
If the egg remains unfertilized. The corpus luteum (former follicle) will degrade causing a decline in progesterone and estrogen during this phase. The uterine lining detaches and the cycle prepares to start all over again with menstruation!
It is normal for this cycle to vary in length from 21 to 35 days and so learning to track these phases in our own body can be very helpful! - Much much more on this with our TRAIN WITH YOUR CYCLE MASTERCLASS with Guest Expert ADDIE HOLZMANN DPT, PRC September 12th 8 PM EST
Reference: Carmichael, M. A., Thomson, R. L., Moran, L. J., & Wycherley, T. P. (2021). The impact of menstrual cycle phase on athletes’ performance: a narrative review. International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(4), 1667.