Female Cycle – Part 1
This post will possibly only be beneficial for the ladies out there, but I would say trainers and people working with women who are trying to transform their bodies NEED to know this stuff to.
I want to point out that this article will not go into great the depth of what happens on a monthly basis during the reproductive years of a women. I will neither go into details of all the effects of the female hormones and lack thereof, as for the common man there is no need to know.
This article is meant to give insight and merely an overview, so that the complexity of what actually happens on a monthly basis can allow people to look at the weekly changes in a women with less judgment. (
First of all, having a female cycle is a sign on good health.
I don’t care how annoying it is having this recurring cycle that gives you symtom that is less than flattering. It is still a super important process int the body, and without it longterm will only cause you more harm.
There are man hormones involved in female physiology, but the two main hormones that are important to talk about are Estrogen and Progesterone
Depending on where you are in your cycle, one of the two will be the more dominant one.
From day 1 of your menstruation until you ovulate (at around day 14) you are in the so called “follicular phase”. Here you will have an increasing level of estrogen being produced by the growing follicle inside your ovaries, while progesterone remains fairly low.
Once the egg has dropped and travelled down the Fallopian tube down into the uterus where it will be ready to fertilised you are entering the “luteal phase”.
The follicle which released the egg will form a temporary structure (called Corpus Luteum) that now is mainly producing progesterone, which will be the dominant hormone in this phase, and low levels of estrogen.
The rise in progesterone prepares the environment inside the uterus to be able to conceive a baby if the egg gets fertilised during intercourse. It does to by changing the acidity levels and thickening the falls.
However, if the egg wasn’t fertilised, signals will be sent out. The Corpus Luteum structure starts deteriorating, the hormones will drop and the body will start the cycle again.
It is with these falling hormones PMS symtoms arise and water retention and weight gain occurs). Which if you combine an irrational woman and an increase on the scale, usually results in negative thoughts about oneself. (Been there, done that)
It is important to note that both estrogen and progesterone are important for a woman health and wellbeing.
Estrogen hormone makes us feel pretty good and confident as it has an effect on the brain chemicals serotonin (mood and appetite control) and dopamine (rewards system). It also protects agains bone deterioration and cardiovascular conditions.
Progesterone also keeps us calm, and in fact it might the the lack of production and a too low drop at the end of the cycle that are causing women to experience pre-menstrual symtoms such as lethargy, mood swings and self-doubt. Progesterone increases the body’s temperature by up to 1degree Celsius, which speeds up the body’s metabolism.
Please note tat progesterone can only be produced if you are not on any hormonal contraception, as the nature of contraception is to prevent ovulation. So any bleeding you have if you a re using contraception (with exception from the copper IUD) is not a menses, but a withdrawal bleeding.
I will save going into details with this to another post.
A normal cycle is anywhere between day 25-35, depending on who you are.
If your cycle are longer or irregular that can be sings of something going on and you should probably go and talk to your gynaecologist. Again, this will be something to write about potential reasons in another article.
Final words on the female cycle.
It is such a delicate system that deserves respect and care.
If you are a woman, my wish for you is to track your cycle and start learning about how your body is at different times of the month.
Tune in and be curious.
Instead of judging, come to understand what is normal and celebrate that you have a reproductive system that will tell you where you are in your cycle.
As I said before, having a normal cycle alone is a good sign that things are working as they should.