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Women's Guide To Understanding Your Period Cycle

Updated: May 3, 2021

For many of us, we have our first period around age 11-14 and do that every month unless we are pregnant or begin menopause around age 50.

Most women are unaware how their menstrual cycle works. I truly believe that understanding female hormones empowers women to take their health and their happiness into their own hands.

So here is some information I think is important for you to learn about and understand about your cycle.

Estrogen and progesterone are the main female sex hormones. Estrogen is predominantly responsible for the physical changes that turn girls into women: the growth of the breasts and pubic hair and the beginning of the menstrual cycle. Your ovaries are the main point of the production of estrogen, with the adrenal glands and fat tissue acting as some secondary points of production. Estrogen is higher during days 1-14 of your cycle.

Produced mainly in the ovaries and the adrenal glands (and the placenta when pregnant), progesterone is known as the more "calming" hormone of the two.

Progesterone "counters" the effects of estrogen in the body, reducing anxiety, increasing sleepiness, helping to build and maintain bone, and promoting appetite and fat storage, among other things. Progesterone ramps up and is higher during days 15-28 of your cycle.

Both estrogen and progesterone help to regulate the menstrual cycle.

The menstrual cycle is defined by the first day of bleeding (day 1) and lasts until the first day of your next period. Cycles are highly individualized and there is quite a range of what can be considered "normal," but the average cycle is about 28 days.

Now let's understand the Phases.....

Follicular Phase: AKA first half of your cycle

Your Period Cycle
  • Rising Estrogen

  • High Energy

  • Feeling Awesome

Luteal Phase: AKA second half of your cycle

  • More Introverted

  • Less Energy

  • Slightly more irritable

Understanding The Phases

Menstruation Phase Feels

What's Happening

The first part of your menstrual cycle is menstruation, when your period starts until it ends. (The shedding your uterine lining). Estrogen and progesterone are at their lowest. The average period usually lasts around 2 days to a week.


May feel emotional sensitivity, irritable, less focused, lower energy and mood. Desire for more feel good foods like chocolate.

Support Yourself By:

  • Taking it easy. Carve out time for yourself. Set boundaries for your introvert time, as needed.

  • Move your body.

  • Get outside and breathe in fresh air

  • Eat more protein rich foods

  • Prioritize sleep (eliminate screen time 2 hours before bed)

  • Reduce caffeine or take L-theanine supplement with your coffee to counteract the caffeine effect and mellow you out.

  • Passionflower tea or supplement is a great one for emotional support

  • take a magnesium supplement (magnesium malate, glycinate or threonate)

  • Get an acupuncture treatment or massage treatment to support the movement of lymphatic fluid and other body systems.

Follicular Phase Feels

What's Happening

Estrogen is on the way to its monthly peak


You feel better about yourself

More optimistic

Support Yourself by:

  • Date nights, events, social outings

  • Productivity, strategizing, new projects, brainstorming

  • more intense exercise.

Ovulation Phase Feels

What's happening

Estrogen peaks, Testosterone peaks

This is the time when pregnancy can occur

Occurs around day 12-14 of cycle


Energy at its peak

Higher Confidence

Libido Boost

Support yourself by:

Being in Creation mode,

date nights,

Increasing productivity,

being more social.

Luteal Phase Feels

What's Happening

Estrogen takes a nose dive and progesterone rises


May feel more introverted, moody/sensitive.

May feel more insecure than the two weeks prior.

Desire and cravings for more feel good foods (low serotonin)

Support Yourself by:

  • Getting an acupuncture or massage treatment

  • Detail oriented tasks ( meal prep, organize pantry, financial plan)

  • Lower exercise load (especially pre period)

  • Focus on restorative movement

  • Prioritize sleep (eliminate screen time 2 hours before bed)

  • Reduce Caffeine replace with scullcap or passion flower herbal tea

  • Stay hydrated with water and electrolytes.

  • Eat Higher protein foods to feel satiated

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