4 Phases of a Woman’s Menstrual Cycle (And how to make the most of each!)

4 Phases of a Woman’s Menstrual Cycle (And how to make the most of each!)

Did You Know?

As women, our moods, energy levels, and overall physical feeling is not the same on a daily basis?  That’s right!  We go through varying levels each day of the month.

That’s because as women, God created us with a menstrual cycle, which has 4 phases.  Each phase is different, which explains why you don’t feel the exact same way every day of the month.

Understanding what phase you are in on any given day can go a long way to helping you understand your body and also provide it with the tools it needs to make the most of each phase.

Keep reading to learn how to care for yourself during each phase of your cycle and make the most it!

Phase 1: Menstruation (Duration: 3-7 Days)

What Happens in this Phase:

Also known as a woman’s period, menstration is when the uterus lining sheds and a woman experiences bleeding that can last anywhere from 3-7 days.  On average, this starts around age 13 and continues until around age 55, although this varies from woman to woman.  The first day a woman’s period begins is considered Day 1 of her monthly cycle.

Tips to Enjoy Menstruation:

*Self-care: Journal (Self-reflection & course correction are dominant in this phase); Review Your Dreams & Goals (Plan a “Reflection Retreat” each month to help you look forward to it!)

*Nutrition: Increase iron-rich foods (due to blood loss in this phase) like beef & dark leafy greens & enjoy healthy fats like avocados, nuts & seeds

*Exercise: Do Gentle exercises, like walking and yoga

*Lifestyle: Avoid major decision making; Spend time cozying up at home with a good book, your fave movie & close loved ones (you probably won’t feel super social during this phase)

*Supplements: Try Magnesium, B Vitamins, EFAs, St. John’s Wort, Chromium (these can help with cramps, mood swings, cravings, & fatigue

Phase 2: The Follicular Phase (Duration: 7-10 Days)

What Happens in this Phase:

The Follicular Phase begins the first day of your period and lasts on average 13-14 days. The pituitary gland in the brain releases a hormone to stimulate the production of follicles on the surface of an ovary.  Usually, only one follicle will mature into an egg.  During the follicular phase, the uterus lining thickens in preparation for pregnancy.

Tips to Enjoy the Follicular Phase:

*Self-care: Your energy & creativity are at their highest during this phase of the month, so this is a great time to tackle new projects, travel, or try new hobbies!

*Nutrition: Enjoy more complex carbs & protein to support the energy & activity you have during this phase.

*Exercise: This is a great time for strength, cardio, HIIT, or any kind of challenging workouts.

*Lifestyle: You’ll definitely feel more social during this phase, so it’s a great time to make plans with friends.  And you’ll have more energy to tackle those projects you put off during other phases!

*Supplements: Try Chasteberry, Multi-Vitamin & Mineral,  & CoQ10 (essential for reproductive health)

Phase 3: The Ovulatory Phase (Duration: 1 Day)

What Happens in this Phase:

Ovulation is when a mature egg is released from an ovary and moves along a fallopian tube towards your uterus. This usually happens once each month, about two weeks before your next period and typically only lasts for one day. This is the optimal time for pregnancy to take place (although it can happen outside that window).

Tips to Enjoy the Ovulatory Phase:

*Self-care: Your energy & creativity are still humming, and you will most likely feel your best (physically & emotionally) during this phase.

*Nutrition: Opt for fiber and protein-rich foods, which help improve this phase

*Exercise: This is still a great time for more challenging workouts (although you may want to opt for lighter workouts if you’re trying to get pregnant)

*Lifestyle: This is a great time to emotionally connect with others (you’ll feel happier & more patient with others 😊)

*Supplements: Chasteberry, B Vitamins (especially folate), CoQ10, Evening Primrose (all help support the body and improve this phase)

Phase 4: The Luteal Phase (Duration: 10-14 Days)

What Happens in this Phase:

The luteal phase starts when the egg begins its journey to your uterus. If the egg isn’t fertilized by a sperm and doesn’t implant, menstruation will occur. This phase ends when you get your period.

Tips to Enjoy the Luteal Phase:

*Self-care: Physical energy declines in this phase, and this is the phase when you experience PMS symptoms (if hormones are imbalanced) – Comfort is key!

*Nutrition: Opt for magnesium & calcium rich foods like pumpkin seeds, chickpeas, chicken, legumes, dark chocolate

*Exercise: Opt for less intense workouts that still boost mood (walking, pilates, & yoga  are great options in this phase)

*Lifestyle: Your “nesting” instincts will be high in this phase, making it a great time to cook, clean & organize)

*Supplements: B Vitamins, Vitamin C,  Magnesium, Calcium, and EFAs provide great support in this phase


The Essential Oils Hormone Solution – Don’t let the title fool you! This super helpful book on hormone health is about much more than essential oils! It’s a comprehensive guide to creating balanced, healthy hormones for women in their menstruating years.

The Essential Oils Menopause Solution – This is a follow up to the previous book, but it’s for women entering into their peri-menopause and menopause years. Excellent resource guide for women looking to thrive naturally during these years!

It’s not You, it’s Your Hormones – This is an excellent, straightforward guide to understanding your hormones and how nutrition plays a key role in each. Great resource!

Taking Charge of Your Fertility – This is THE resource to get if you’re in your fertile years and looking to understand your body and get pregnant naturally. Highly Recommend!

Natural Fertility Info – This website is a treasure trove of helpful information on healthy hormones and boosting your fertility naturally!

Seed Cycling for your Menstrual Cycle – Have you heard of seed cycling? This article helps explain why this nutritional trick could help balance your hormones!

Period Tracker + 4 Phases Cheat Sheet Downloads 👇🏻 (available in my Free Printables Library for Subscribers!)

Period Tracker
4 Phases Cheat Sheet
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