Us women – we’re a powerful, magnificent and outrageously
Our bodies are amazing powerhouses of life-giving energy…but many of us have no idea.
Unfortunately, after years of trying to avoid pregnancy – with the contraceptive pill amongst many other things – we’ve completely lost touch with our bodies.
It’s not too late. Let Angea help you reconnect with your inner goddess.
Understanding your menstrual cycle is the first step to understanding your fertility and your fertile period.
Traditionally, a normal menstrual cycle is considered 28 lunar calendar days. There’s a big BUT here – only 15 % of women actually have a 28-day cycle. That means you’re completely normal if your cycle is between 24 and 35 days. Praise! Rejoice!
However, if your cycle is shorter than 24 days, or longer than 35 days, this might indicate that you might not be ovulating regularly.
Regular ovulation and fertility go hand-in-hand, but that’s just the start of getting to know all about your period and fertility.
The Four Phases of Natural Conception
A healthy, regular menstrual cycle is very important for women, because it indicates that everything is in working order. There are four phases in your menstrual cycle, and each phase relates to a dynamic change within our divinely perfect feminine forms.
Different hormones are triggered with each phase, and these cause the body to respond in different ways. Ever wondered why you’re on top of the world when your period ends? Or why you break out one week before your period is due? It’s all connected to your period cycle and the hormones made by your ovaries – estrogen and progesterone. In Western medicine, we talk about their actions on the follicles, the tubes, the uterus and the endometrium (the lining of your uterus). In Chinese medicine we talk about the involvement of Qi and blood, and the influence of Yin/Yang.
Your menstrual cycle and fertility explained
Day 1-5: Menstruation
Day 1 is the considered the first day of the 28-day cycle. If an egg has not been fertilised, it disintegrates. Low levels of both estrogen & progesterone during this phase cause the endometrium (lining of the uterus) to break down and shed in the form of menstrual blood. Bleeding lasts an average of 5 days.
Note: if your period begins in the evening or during the night then Day 1 is taken from the next day.
The nature of your menstrual flow and its symptoms are all important factors for pinpointing if there’s a hitch between he movement of Qi and blood. Any obstructions to the menstrual flow can have implications on fertility. A regular period that arrives on time is crucial to the transition, growth and decline between Yin and Yang, the interplay of Qi and blood and the rise and fall of your hormones.
Days 5-13: Follicular Phase
Think of this phase as the pillar of your menstrual cycle. During this phase your endometrial lining in your uterus builds and you grow what is called a dominant follicle. This is all thanks to a hormone called the Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) – produced in your brain – and estrogen.
FSH acts on the ovaries to promote the development of several follicles, each one containing an egg. Only one follicle will get to grow up big and strong.
Toward the end of this phase, the ovaries start pumping out estrogen. This makes your uterus lining thick to prepare it for a potential tenant – a fertilised egg! Around this time you’ll also experience an increase in cervical fluid, which is essentially just a bit of discharge.
Days 10-18: Ovulatory Phase
This is everyone’s favourite time of the month – because it’s time for action! Ovulation is THE BEST time to turn up the heat because it’s when you’re most fertile. Remember that lone, mature follicle? She’ll release an egg around about now, and that little egg will travel down your fallopian tube into your uterus.
The journey starts around 24-hours after your brain starts churning out a little something called the lutenising hormone (LH). This surge causes the mature follicle to bulge out from the surface of the ovary and burst (without any pain!) and release an egg. This usually happens on day 14 of your cycle.
Day 15-28: Luteal Phase
After releasing the egg, the ruptured follicle develops into a fancy structure called the corpus luteum (an endocrine body), which secretes the hormone progesterone. Progesterone causes the endometrium (the lining in your uterus) to get even thicker. This is super important, because you want your new resident to have a safe and comfortable home.
Here’s the catch – Fertilisation must occur 24 hours after ovulation, or your egg won’t survive. If the egg is fertilised, the corpus luteum begins to produce the pregnancy hormone; human chrionic gonadotropin (HCG). This keeps the corpus luteum nice and happy and keeps your progesterone levels up. The egg will then move to the uterus and attach itself to the endometrium about six or seven days after ovulation.
After that, your egg will grow and grow into a new life!
If the egg is not fertilised, the corpus luteum degenerates after about 14 days. Your levels of progesterone and estrogen will drop. This causes the endometrium to break down and shed, and a new menstrual cycle begins.