Brittany Cheeks of Peaceful Periods: When we talk about periods, we have to differentiate between women on hormonal birth control and those who are not. The last week of hormonal birth control consists of sugar pills, and that's when women bleed. The bleeding isn't an actual period; it's a withdrawal of the synthetic hormones that are in your body. You do not ovulate when you're on hormonal birth control, and you need that ovulation cycle to have a regular period. Men have a circadian rhythm which focuses on their 24 hours testosterone cycle. But women should focus on the infradian rhythm, taking into account our hormone fluctuations throughout the month. That's where our four phases of the menstrual cycle come from.
Nae of Wombman's Entuition: Talking about periods was always such a taboo, so in my opinion, it's always been the more politically correct thing to say "I'm on my menstrual cycle" vs. saying "I'm in my period." Our period is simply that, the period that we're bleeding and releasing what is no longer serving the uterus. We can't be on our menstrual cycle because they never end. They just rotate every 28 days.
Brittany Cheeks: Menstruation, The Follicular Phase, Ovulation, The Luteal Phase, taking 28 days, essentially the whole month, is called the Menstrual Cycle. During the Menstruation phase, we bleed. Our progestin and estrogen are typically at their lowest point. You may start feeling fatigued and have low energy, which is normal. Bleeding is a very energy-intensive process. It's okay to listen to your body and rest during that period.
The second phase is the Follicular phase, and that's when after you bleed, your estrogen is beginning to rise, and your brain is telling your follicular tubes to go ahead and start producing the next egg. Estrogen is continuing to rise, and your uterine lining is beginning to thicken in preparation for the cycle to go through. During this time, it's good to start doing heavier workouts if you'd like, and eat more proteins and fats.
The third phase is the Ovulatory phase. If you are trying to get pregnant, this is the time to focus on conceiving, and if you're not trying to get pregnant, then don't engage in sexual intercourse. If the egg isn't fertilized by sperm within that 24-hour window, the egg will dissolve, and you'll enter the last phase.
The fourth phase is the Luteal phase. Eating unhealthy foods during this phase is not ideal as it may lead to more cramping. During the first half of the Luteal phase, our hormones are at their highest, and you may start to feel more sexually aroused. PMS may begin to come in at this point too, which includes cramping, mood swings, and food craving. According to Web MD, 75% of women typically experience PMS. That's normal during this phase. Then during the second half of the Luteal phase, hormones drop, and you may begin to get more cranky as the period preparation begins for you to enter the Menstruation phase again. The Menstrual Cycle is a 28-day continuous cycle.
Brittany Cheeks is the founder of Peaceful Periods, a period lifestyle brand that is changing the way the world thinks and talks about menstrual cycles and inspiring bleeders to live fully throughout all phases of their cycle. Regardless of nationality, economic status, race or religion, menstrual cycles are a natural part of a womxn's body. Yet oftentimes, there is little to no education about what is happening in the body, pain, cramps, and similar symptoms are considered "normal," and healthy and clean products aren't affordable. Through eating, education, and lifestyle shifts, Peaceful Periods is showing menstruators how to reclaim their bodies and their periods one cycle at a time.
Nae is a S.H.E.O/Owner, Certified Pelvic Steaming Practitioner, Intuitive Womb Healer, and Pelvic Steam Facilitator Instructor. She is a certified "Steamy Chick" through the Persisteam Hydrotherapy Institute located in California, under the teachings of Keli Garza. She developed a passion for womb healing while taking her own womb healing journey in 2017. Through healing herself of imbalances in the menstrual cycle, Wombman's Entuition was born! Nae has served over 2,000 women and counting and even several men. She is dedicated to helping you reconnect to the body from withEN!