From babies to puberty to menopause, your menstrual cycle plays a significant role in your monthly life. But it’s so much more than just that once-a-month bleed.
In short, the menstrual cycle is the hormonal cycle that your body goes through every month to prepare for a possible pregnancy (which occurs only during implantation when a female egg is joined and met with with a male sperm).
In fact it is actually made up of two periodic cycles – the ovarian cycle and the uterine cycle. These two cycles and their phases are interlaced to make up your entire menstrual cycle, the 4 phases.
The ovarian cycle controls the production and release of eggs and the cyclic release of estrogen and progesterone. The uterine cycle governs the preparation and maintenance of the lining of the uterus (womb) to receive a fertilized egg.
Each cycle occurs in phases based on events in the ovary (ovarian cycle) or the uterus (uterine cycle).
➕ The ovarian cycle consists of 3 phases – the follicular phase, ovulation, and the luteal phase. Ovulation is a one day event!
➕ The uterine cycle consists of the menstrual, proliferative and secretory phases which relate to the growth of the endometrium.
The menstrual cycle begins on the first day of your period and ends when your next period arrives.
In Chinese medicine, the average cycle is one lunar month (28 days long) but cycle lengths vary from woman to woman, and one that is between 26-35 days long is still considered normal. Your cycle can also change in length throughout your life.
Women & menstruators are cyclical beings. Your body reflects patterns and cycles found in nature. Just like the four phases of the moon or the four seasons, your menstrual cycle is also broken into four main phases.
Your uterus, ovaries, and your brain (specifically, the hypothalamus and the anterior pituitary gland) communicate with each other and release certain hormones (chemical signals) to keep these phases of your cycle going each and every month.
Have you heard off the menstrual cycle encompassing both the ovarian cycle and a uterine cycle? Let us know!
Amanda is the founder of Angea and has over 12 years of experience working with women to support their health journey. In addition to being a registered doctor of Chinese medicine, Amanda is a yoga teacher and founder of Mindful Pregnancy Yoga Training. Amanda offers acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and womb healing treatments at Angea.