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The four phases of your menstrual cycle

Many of us are well aware that the day you start your period is the first day of your menstrual cycle. What a lot of us don't know is that there are actually four phases your body goes through beginning on that day. After all, this thing is called a cycle for a reason, right?

While we've simplified these phases into a few bullets, remember menstruation is a natural and extremely complicated process. It's important to us that you have an overview and general understanding of what's happening to your body and when. Knowing this information, even if just a general understanding, is your power as a woman equipping you with the tools to maximize your potential every area of your life.

If you're seeking a detailed explanation about the four phases of the menstrual cycle, please consult your physician or health care provider.

Menstrual Phase (Day 1-5)

  • The uterus sheds its inner lining and blood vessels resulting in menstrual fluid

  • Cramping can occur due to contractions in the uterus helping your uterus to shed the lining

  • You will lose up to 3 ounces of blood during this phase

Follicular Phase (Day 1-13)

*NOTE: this phase also begins on day one of your menstrual cycle but ends on the 13th day

  • Your pituitary gland releases Follicle Stimulating Hormone which stimulate an egg cell in your ovaries to grow and mature

  • It takes up to 13 days for the eggs to mature

  • At the same time, the uterus begins to form a new endometrium to prepare for pregnancy

Ovulation (Day 14)

  • The egg is released and enters the fallopian tubes

  • The egg will survive for 12 to 24 hours

Luteal Phase (Day 15-28)

  • Your body starts producing progesterone

  • If the egg gets fertilized, it will attach itself to the endometrium and pregnancy begins

  • If the egg is not fertilized, the endometrium will begin to break down

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