Understanding the Four Phases of the Menstrual Cycle

Jul, 17, 2023

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Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the four phases of the menstrual cycle. As women, it’s crucial to understand the intricacies of our bodies and embrace the natural ebb and flow of our menstrual cycles.

In this article, we will explore the follicular, luteal, ovulatory, and menstrual phases, highlighting their impact on our bodies and offering valuable insights on how we can harness this power to enhance our overall well-being, including the realm of sex.

It’s A Man’s World…Literally

It is important to address that the world is built on a man’s 24-hour biological clock, which can lead to women feeling burnt out. While societal norms and expectations have historically prioritized a linear, productivity-focused schedule, it is crucial to recognize that women’s menstrual cycles operate on their own unique rhythm. Embracing the menstrual cycle as a source of power and understanding its impact on our lives can help counter the effects of burnout.

By honoring our bodies’ natural fluctuations and needs throughout the different phases of the menstrual cycle, we can design lifestyles and work routines that promote self-care and well-being. Recognizing the strengths that come with each menstrual phase allows us to tap into our potential and find a better balance between productivity and self-care. It is essential to advocate for inclusivity and foster environments that acknowledge and support the cyclical nature of women’s bodies.

The Menstrual Phase

The menstrual phase, also known as menstruation or the period, is the first stage of the menstrual cycle. It lasts approximately three to seven days and involves the shedding of the uterine lining that was built up during the follicular phase, aka your period.

While menstruation is often associated with discomfort and inconvenience, it also presents an opportunity for self-care and introspection. Prioritizing rest, practicing self-compassion, and engaging in gentle exercises like yoga or walking can alleviate cramps and improve mood. Exploring your sexuality during this phase, whether through solo pleasure or intimate experiences with a partner, can provide comfort, release endorphins, and enhance feelings of well-being.

Do This:

Clear your schedule and avoid people! This is your time to hibernate, aka rest and reflect. Prioritize a date with yourself, and a relaxing Epsom salt bath can be a wonderful way to begin. If you’re feeling low on energy, focus on gentle activities such as yoga and walking, which involve gentle movement and stretching, to support your well-being. Or don’t do shit. Whatever feels good for your body.

phases of menstrual cycles
That’s exactly how to hibernate!

Don’t Do This:

Make big decisions! You’re hormones are fluctuating, and you may be more emotional. It’s better to wait until you are done bleeding to revisit those decisions.

Related Article: Period Sex: Is it Safe & Everything Else You Need to Know Before Surfing the Crimson Wave

The Follicular Phase

The follicular phase follows the menstruation phase, typically lasting around 10 to 14 days. During this phase, the body prepares for potential fertilization. The pituitary gland releases follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which stimulates the growth of follicles in the ovaries. These follicles house the eggs, and as they develop, they produce estrogen, promoting the thickening of the uterine lining.

The follicular phase can considerably impact a woman’s mood, energy levels, and sex drive. As estrogen and testosterone levels rise, many women experience a surge in energy and a heightened libido.

Do This:

This phase offers an excellent opportunity to explore and enjoy sexual intimacy with a partner or to engage in self-care activities that boost confidence and self-esteem. Express yourself creatively and try new things. Moreover, “brainstorming and problem-solving will be major strengths during this phase, so initiate new projects and make big decisions.”

The Ovulatory Phase

The ovulatory phase is the shortest, lasting approximately 24 to 48 hours. It occurs around the midpoint of the menstrual cycle when a mature egg is released from the ovary. This phase is triggered by a surge in luteinizing hormone (LH) from the pituitary gland.

The ovulatory phase is a prime time for fertility, and many women experience increased sexual desire and lubrication during this period. Understanding your body’s signs of ovulation, such as changes in cervical mucus or a slight increase in basal body temperature, can help you optimize your chances of conception if desired. This means that this is the time if you want to get pregnant.

phases of the menstrual cycle
Many women experience increased sexual desire and lubrication during this period.

You will feel more confident during this phase, so it’s time to get back out there! Additionally, embracing your heightened libido during this phase can lead to heightened pleasure and intimacy with a partner.

Do This:

Go for job interviews, attend networking events, and participate in public speaking engagements. It is also a perfect time to plan a special date night with your partner or take the initiative to ask someone out. Also, engage in regular workouts, outdoor adventures, or new fitness routines!

Alicia Silverstone Flirt GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Related Article: Best Period Products of 2023: These Products Will Change Your Period!

The Luteal Phase

Following the ovulatory phase of the menstrual cycle comes the luteal phase, which typically lasts between 10 and 16 days. During this stage, the ruptured follicle transforms into the corpus luteum, a temporary endocrine gland that secretes progesterone. Progesterone helps prepare the uterus for implantation and maintains the uterine lining.

The luteal phase can bring about a variety of physical and emotional changes. Some women may experience premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms like mood swings, bloating, and breast tenderness. Despite these challenges, the luteal phase offers an opportunity for self-care, stress reduction, and emotional well-being.

Do This:

Engaging in activities like gentle exercise, meditation, and journaling can alleviate symptoms and promote a sense of calmness and balance.

I Am a Woman…Hear Me Roar!

Screaming Season 5 GIF by Broad City - Find & Share on GIPHY

By understanding and embracing the four phases of the menstrual cycle, women can harness the power of their bodies to optimize their overall well-being. From embracing heightened libido during the ovulatory phase to practicing self-care and relaxation during the luteal phase, each phase offers unique opportunities for growth, self-discovery, and pleasure.

By utilizing this knowledge, women can confidently navigate their menstrual cycles, empower themselves, and unlock the potential for enhanced sexual experiences and self-fulfillment. Embrace your body, honor its natural rhythm, and embark on a journey of self-discovery within the four cycles of the menstrual phase.


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xoxo, Mia


  1. MBGHealth| Get To Know The 4 Phases Of Your Menstrual Cycle
  2. Leeor Alexandra| Cycle Syncing


Hi, I am Mia! I am Sex Education Enthusiast and I love bringing people the knowledge they need to make their sex lives better! I always preach that having a healthy sex life is a part of a healthy life overall.

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