The menstrual cycle: Why menstruation does not have to be a nuisance29.9.2021 · 5 min reading
The menstrual cycle is usually considered a nuisance, not something that can enrich us - it is not just a few days of menstrual bleeding, but a month-long run with a number of mental, emotional and physical changes that have a significant impact on the way we experience things and our behavior. It helps for women to understand their cycle, and here's why.
Is a woman’s superpower hidden in her menstruation?
If someone told you that your period gives you several superpowers, you’d probably just smile sarcastically. Mood swings, changes in energy levels, menstrual pain, migraines, etc.; that’s really not enviable. Our cycles also hide our natural potential that can change our classic experience of menstruation as something annoying. How is this possible? First, we have to be familiar with the four phases associated with our cycle.
Phases of the menstrual cycle
Phase 1: Menstruation, time to reflect and rest
The first day of menstrual bleeding is usually not very pleasant – it’s as if someone suddenly took all the energy and desire to do new things out of you. When you add the “blues” to this and lower abdominal pain, it truly isn’t a pleasant experience. However, this phase is giving us an important signal – don’t do anything now, it’s time to take a break and rest. If we give ourselves enough time to rest and find inner peace, we will prepare our body for the surge of energy that comes in the next phase.
The advice for this phase is: rest, meditate and leave all the things that burden you (tasks, plans, ambitions and goals) behind. Notice when you have less energy and when you have more, and adapt your daily regime to this. Rest will rid you of the emotional burden and help you naturally distance yourself from it, and therefore also from stressful thoughts and circumstances. Don’t be afraid to indulge in daydreaming and don’t blame yourself for doing nothing.
Phase 2: The period before ovulation: welcome new energy
Close your eyes and imagine how you feel after a long winter when the first grass turns green and you are awakened by the morning sun and birdsong. Yes, this is what the follicular phase is like; the time when a new egg (or eggs) ripens and when our body and soul literally wake up from hibernation. We have energy to spare and a strong need to catch up with everything we missed. And why not? This dynamic phase is the ideal time to tick off all our items on our “to do” lists, launch new projects, training, meetings and important decisions.
This is also the perfect time to clarify your plans for the coming month and the specific steps you will take to meet them. Plan and create, but make sure you do everything in moderation: don’t forget about empathy and warm human contact.
Phase 3: Ovulation – the time for relationships and building confidence
Around the 14th day of your cycle is the time when you can become a mother – during ovulation (lasting roughly 24 hours) a mature egg is released into the fallopian tube, where it meets with sperm if you have unprotected sexual intercourse. Then the fertilised egg travels to the uterus, where it nests and continues to develop. Psychologically, during the ovulation phase a woman is focused on relationships and nurturing; she has enough strength and empathy, she seeks the company of people, and she experiences feelings of success and self-confidence thanks to the positive emotions that accompany this phase. You should therefore spend time with your loved ones, but you should also think about what you have succeeded in and what you have been doing well for a long time.
Ovulation – this is the perfect time to build a foundation for confidence and self-esteem, so don’t forget to give yourself a pat on the back and be in the company of people you feel good with. However, some women should be careful to respect boundaries and not give too much, they should also think about themselves.
Phase 4: The luteal phase: the awakening of inner muses
The menstrual cycle also brings about changes in creativity, i.e. alternating phases when you are creative and when your imagination stagnates. It is the time after ovulation, in the luteal phase – lasting the longest of all cycles (13-14 days) – that provides the perfect opportunity for the joy of creation. They say it is at this time that women radically change their hairstyles or decide to buy new home accessories and rearrange the furniture in their home. Although this time is associated with lower energy and many women experience melancholy or mood swings, taking yourself to a safe environment where you can avoid anything that might throw you off helps you deal with PMS (premenstrual syndrome).
In addition to crying spells, some women also feel bloated, large and unattractive, so it is important to recognize this part of the cycle and know that it is just a short period of hormonal changes. Withdraw from social activities, find a soothing activity that will help with your current introversion, and allow yourself plenty of time for creative pastimes.
Calculation: How is menstruation calculated?
As you can see, the cyclical nature of women brings a range of changes that affect our psyche, body and relationships. But riding this cyclical wave doesn’t have to be so difficult if we correctly identify our menstrual phases and adapt our daily (and monthly) regime to them.
To start, keep a menstrual calendar – the whole menstrual cycle is about 28 days long (but it can be longer or shorter), while the first day of the menstrual cycle is the first day bleeding, followed by 4-6 days of menstruation. The ripening of the egg, or the follicular phase, lasts another 6 days. Then, around day 14 of the cycle, ovulation occurs. Ovulation is followed by the luteal phase, lasting 13-14 days. Today you don’t have to use a pencil and paper, there are many applications that will keep track of your cycle and recommend suitable activities.
Menstrual symtpoms: Recognize the signals and tune in to your cyclicality
The monthly cycle is an important biological process controlled by a number of hormones, leading to changes in the ovaries, uterus, fallopian tubes and vagina. Most women know when menstrual bleeding is approaching – they have crying spells, they are irritable, bloated and experience back or lower abdominal pain. Symptoms can also include a lack of appetite or, conversely, insatiability, as well as a change in sexual appetite. Some women have more sensitive smell or tender breasts, and some experience insomnia.
The advantage of keeping a menstrual calendar or cyclical monthly plan is that you adapt the rhythm of your life to your cycle and reap the benefits of your cyclical nature, which can not only enrich your life, but also change your whole perspective – menstruation will become something you no longer perceive as a lifelong burden, but as an advantage that can help you become a happy and fulfilled woman.