After our post on the four stages of the menstrual cycle, we wanted to look more into how each stage of the menstrual cycle affects us. To start, we’re looking at our Inner Spring, the Follicular Phase! Make sure to keep reading below to learn all about how this phase affects you and what you should be doing during it!
What is the Menstrual Cycle?
The menstrual cycle is the course that our bodies go through to get the body ready to be pregnant, resulting in our period if fertilization doesn’t occur. We tend to think of it as around 28 days, but everyone’s cycle is going to look different, and will probably change over time too. The menstrual cycle happens in four stages – the follicular phase, ovulation, the luteal phase, and menstruation. In this post, we’re taking a closer look at the follicular phase!
What is the Follicular Phase?
The follicular phase, also known as pre-ovulation or the proliferative phase of the menstrual cycle, is the stage our body enters right before it’s ready to ovulate. The goal of pre-ovulation in the physical and scientific sense is to release the hormones that will stimulate the follicles of your ovaries. This way the ovary will release an egg into your fallopian tube so you can get pregnant that month. Think of the follicular phase as your inner spring – everything is beginning to grow and bloom to be in full force for summer (ovulation).
The follicular phase begins on the day you start menstruating and get your period – so you might be surprised to learn that it’s also when we tend to feel energized, social, and ready for new things to happen. Keep reading below to find out how this phase of your cycle affects your life!
The Follicular Phase Explained
In the follicular phase, we normally start to feel like we have more energy, so we want to reflect that energy in what we eat. This means lots of fresh veggies and proteins (like fresh kale and salmon), and things that help to balance our bodies like yogurt. Summer salads and fresh fishes are going to be your best friend, and really help you to boost that already growing energy!
As you’re probably going to be feeling more energized in this phase, this means it’s a great time to get in some more intense workouts! Your more intense exercises, like weightlifting or long jogs, are going to be way easier to perform here than during some of the other phases of the menstrual cycle, so try and get some in while you’re feeling your best!
Like we mentioned before, the first days of your period are probably not when you think you’re going to be the most social. However, you might be more familiar with feeling like you need to plan everything on these days: plans with friends, things to do with the kids – your whole life basically. During this time of the menstrual cycle, try and get out to do some of the things you love and be around people you care about – you’ll probably feel better than you think!
Just because we’re on our periods doesn’t mean that we don’t want sex; and guess what, with all the hormones going on in the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle, you probably do. During this phase you might be feeling a bit more flirty and fun, and wanting to initiate sex with your partner – and if they’re willing, we say go for it!
Parenting when on our periods can always be a little difficult – sometimes we just need a minute alone and that’s hard with little kids. As we’ve mentioned, during the proliferative phase of the menstrual cycle you’re probably going to be having those creative juices flowing and your brain working overtime, so try to use that to your advantage! This is a great time to try new things with the kids, and plan other things and outings you want to do in the upcoming days. If it’s your turn to host a playdate, try and do it during this phase while you’re feeling more social!
Each stage of your menstrual cycle means something different for how you’re feeling and how much you want to do certain things. To help figure out which cycle of your period is best for what, we’re making an in-depth guide to all four phases of the menstrual cycle! We’ll be adding the next stage (ovulation) soon, so check back to learn even more about your cycle!