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Here’s How Each Of The 4 Menstrual Cycle Phases Affects Your Mood

Your period isn't just a biological process, it's an intricate dance your hormones do each month that regulate your body’s reproductive function and significantly impacts your mental health. Throughout the month, your body undergoes four phases that make up your menstrual cycle. Each of the menstrual cycle phases - the menstrual phase, the follicular phase, the ovulatory phase, and the luteal phase - come with a distinct set of hormonal indicators that explain the emotional rollercoaster women experience. In today’s blog, let’s dissect the medical science of each phase and how they stand to affect your mood.

The 4 Menstrual Cycle Phases

1- Menstrual Phase (days 1-5)

The first menstrual cycle phase, aka the menstrual phase starts on the first day of your period and lasts until approximately the fifth day. During this time, your estrogen and progesterone levels decrease. This decline has a domino affect, in turn reducing the production of serotonin levels too. To explain, serotonin is the key neurotransmitter that produces positive thoughts and feelings. Thus, when the production levels for serotonin are low, this explains why millions of women report feeling sluggish, sad, or experience more severe waves of depression during the menstrual phase. The menstrual phase is also when period cramps are at their worst, adding physical pain on top of emotional discomfort. So if you find yourself in a sour mood for the first few days of your period, this is your reminder to give yourself some grace.

2- Follicular Phase (days 1-13)

Oddly enough, the next phase of your cycle actually overlaps with the first, but continues after the menstrual phase ends. The second phase in your menstrual cycle, called the follicular phase, is demonstrated by your pituitary gland releasing follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which generates activity in your ovaries that produces follicles. In the days that follow, one of these follicles will develop into a mature egg for potential fertilization. Meanwhile, estrogen levels start to increase, therefore stimulating increased levels of serotonin and dopamine. If you notice you’re in a better mood during the follicular phase, this is why.

3- Ovulatory Phase (day 14)

The third phase is called the ovulatory phase. It occurs in the middle of your cycle, and is marked by climactic estrogen levels. To this end, when estrogen levels peak, an egg is released from your ovaries. Another side effect of high estrogen levels is an increase in libido, making the ovulatory phase a good time to have sex- especially if you’re trying to conceive. What’s more, higher estrogen levels also have a positive impact on your emotional wellbeing. Oftentimes, this is when women report feeling their absolute best. Yet, for some, the turbulent hormonal fluctuation induces anxiety and/or sudden mood swings. With this in mind, it’s important to note that each individual reacts differently to any kind of hormonal change.

4- Luteal Phase (days 15-28)

Last but not least is the luteal phase, where your reproductive system prepares for a potential pregnancy. A temporary gland formed in your ovary, called the corpus luteum, produces higher levels of progesterone while estrogen production slows down. Although progesterone has a calming effect on your mental health, sudden increases during the luteal phase can also bring on common PMS symptoms we all know and love, like abdominal cramps, irritability, depression, and binge eating. Under these circumstances, don’t be surprised if that sour mood returns. However, if no pregnancy has occurred, these hormones take a sharp downward turn, which signals the uterus to start shedding its lining, cycling you back into the first menstrual phase again.

Knowledge is power

Each phase of your menstrual cycle comes with a unique set of hormonal changes that affect your psychological wellbeing. Thus, the mood swings you experience throughout the month can be attributed to the hormonal fluctuations outlined above- you’re not imagining them, and you’re certainly not alone. Understanding the physiological impact of each menstrual cycle phase empowers you to better prepare for and manage the emotional shifts that you will inevitably experience.

That is to say, if you’re experiencing more severe disturbances to your mood on an ongoing basis, we suggest consulting with your doctor to ensure there’s not a more serious, underlying health condition at play. If you do have a more serious condition such as endometriosis or Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD), a medical professional can provide a treatment plan that might include lifestyle changes, hormonal therapies, or other types of professional support to help you find relief and improve your quality of life.

On the other hand, if the hormonal indicators listed in this article resonate, there are natural women’s wellness solutions accessible to you right now. Ladykind products are designed to help you navigate the complexities of your menstrual experience and address the symptoms of each of the four menstrual cycle phases.

A Better Period Set contains three award-winning period care products: the Rise Up Daily Mind-Clearing Tincture for when you need a boost of energy, Wind Down Nightly Mind-Relaxing Tincture for when you need to relax and unwind, and the Tough Love Period Pain Relief Cream for when you need to manage sensations of pain. These three star products correct hormonal imbalance from the inside out to get pain, stress, and poor sleep back under control.

When you’re ready to to take a more informed, holistic approach to managing your mental and physical health, Ladykind is here to help. Use discount code ABETTERDAY20 to take 20% off your first Starter Set. Enjoy!


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