As explained within my video this month we are focusing on tracking your cycle with a difference!
If you already follow me you know that new moons are an excellent time for setting intentions for the month ahead or even for a season. Today, November 26th 2019 I have pulled 2 #fertilityinspiration cards for us to focus on this month.
Tracking your cycle
The 1st card is card 8 – menstruation. We shall focus on this within this article but overall this month we will be combining our focus with the second card – card 17 Gratitude. What a wonderful combination because we forget that menstruation is something to be truly grateful for.
Gratitude: This month I ask you to complete a gratitude exercise daily. In this instance, I would like it to relate to your cycle and the symptoms we are tracking. You can either do this as the card suggests, or complete a daily gratitude journal or use the creative womb mandala (see below) to place kind and positive words into it daily.
PUT SIMPLY we are filling our reproductives with LOVE.
Here are some examples
Even though I feel anxious today I love and respect myself. My emotions today highlighted my need for self love. I love giving myself a hug. Feeling sexy has made me feel great today. I love these days – when I feel energised and creative. Thank you for that great nights sleep!
Tracking your cycle
This month my focus invites you to track your menstrual cycle. I encourage you to try this because it helps listen to your monthly cycle and explore how it speaks to you.
This is really important because
- A healthy menstrual cycle has two very different and specific halves
- helps you realise what is “your normal”
- helps you identify where and when your cyclic imbalances may be arising.
- Helps you understand your ovulation window
- Understand your cyclic imbalances (such as extreme emotion, painful sex, cyclic vaginal bacteria, extreme blood loss, period pain; PMS and PMDD; erratic menses due to oestrogen drops i.e. peri menopause, polycystic ovaries, endometriosis, etc etc). These are becoming so common most people just accept it as a normal symptom of menstruation. But believe me – it is not normal so let’s find out where you are!
- Follow the immune system of your reproductive tract
- Connect with the sacred energy cycle and the personal power it brings.
I am post menopausal but I still continue to connect with a cycle. I may not bleed but still have energy flows. When I was having a monthly cycle I always knew when my period was due because I became manic around my house and clinic – re-arranging furniture organising and cleaning my home and clinic space. These days I connect with my “moon cycle” more energetically – moods, dreams, intuition, fatigue, libido, body heat and bowel movements.
Put simply the menstrual cycle is a symphony of hormones, with specific timing and levels. Each hormone connects to provide a cyclic hormone orchestra for you to be at your best. In order for the menstrual cycle to occur monthly, many other hormones need to be in place including, the adrenal hormones, thyroid hormones and insulin. As we age our egg reserve reduces and eventually our cycling appears to stop. Well – the bleed stops but I still believe we cycle!
The menstrual cycle begins in the brain with a signalling chemical released from the basal part of the brain called the hypothalamus which triggers a drop in the levels of the female hormones from the previous cycle.
Christine Northrup MD explains “The menstrual cycle is the most basic, earthy cycle we have. Our blood is our connection to the archetypal feminine. The macrocosmic cycles of nature, the waxing and waning, the ebb and flow of the tides and the changes of the seasons, are reflected on a smaller scale in the menstrual cycle of the individual female body. The monthly ripening of an egg and subsequent pregnancy or release of menstrual blood mirror the process of creation as it occurs not only in nature, unconsciously, but in human endeavor. In many cultures, the menstrual cycle has been viewed as sacred”
So how are we going to track this month? It’s easy.
menopause hormone tracker – for those of you who are peri-menopausal, post menopausal or who have had a hysterectomy.
If you have any symptoms that I have not added to my trackers please add them on!
Tracking your cycle with the moon
Studies show that peak rates of ovulation and conception tend to occur around the full moon. Generally more women tend to begin their menstrual flow around the new moon (interestingly I have found this is the total opposite for many women who come to see me with fertility concerns) and my Creation Fertility Toolkit and guidance cards connect with this cycle.
There is plenty of scientific research which has documented that the moon rules the flow of fluids (ocean tides as well as individual body fluids) and affects the unconscious mind and dreams.1 The timing of the menstrual cycle, the fertility cycle, labour and also death follows the moon-dominated tides of the ocean. Environmental cues such as light, the moon, and the tides play a documented role in regulating women’s menstrual cycles and fertility.
Tracking your cycle
The menstrual cycle governs the flow not only of fluids but of information and creativity. We receive and process information differently at different times in our cycles.
Tracking your cycle: The follicular/ estrogen half/before ovulation
Emotional follicular phase: Many women find in the first half of their cycle – that’s post bleed to ovulation their energy is high; they are enthusiastic, outgoing and upbeat. On the expanded level of ideas and creativity, this first half of the cycle is a very good time to initiate new projects.
Physical follicular phase: After the brain trigger is called into action, Follicle stimulating hormone, FSH is released from the pituitary gland into the bloodstream and stimulates the ovary to begin the maturation of a follicle. When the follicle begins to grow it produces estrogen, which is necessary to support the growth and maturation of the ovum and the follicle. Tiny concentrations of single hormones create multiple effects in various organs at the same time.
- Estrogen stimulates growth of the endometrial lining of the uterus
- switches off the FSH
- grows the follicle to maturity – There is a very intimate relationship between estrogen and the follicle because it needs estrogen to grow. As it grows it produces more estrogen which is why there is an exponential rise in estrogen as the follicle approaches maturation. It is these same high levels of E2 that cause the brain to release LH, which bursts the follicle to release the ovum at ovulation.
- The importance of the estrogen feedback prevents multiple follicles; allowing all the recourse to go to one single healthy dominant follicle.
- Estrogen is made from testosterone, which in turn is made from progesterone.
- During this time an egg grows and develops, while deep within the wall of the uterus circular collections of immune system cells, known as lymphoid aggregates, also begin to develop.4
Ovulation ideally occurs around midcycle.
- There is an abrupt rise in the neuropeptides FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and LH (luteinizing hormone).
- Stimulates the release of an ovum from the follicle which, if it meets with the sperm in the fallopian tube fertilisation takes place to form an embryo.
- At ovulation the empty follicle becomes the corpus luteum. The corpus luteum manufactures progesterone, which is necessary for the endometrium’s maturation, and which prepares it for embryo implantation around day 20
- Co-incides with a simultaneous peak in testosterone production which enhances visual-spatial ability while also increasing libido.
- Has been associated with a rise in left-hemisphere activity (verbal fluency) and a decline in right-hemisphere activity (visual-spatial ability, such as the ability to draw a cube or read a map).5
- Around ovulation mental and emotional creativity it at its peak. You are naturally more open to ideas – more “fertile.”
- Libido peaks and our bodies secrete into the air pheromones that increase sexual attractiveness to others.3
Tracking your cycle: The luteal/ progesterone half. Post ovulation
Luteal Phase: These weeks following ovulation lead up to either a confirmed pregnancy or menses.
- Progesterone builds to support endometrium lining and implantation.
- Progesterone is the source for the manufacture of many of the steroid hormones. It is necessary for all healthy reproductive function.
- Progesterone is produced in the adrenal gland in small quantities but mainly it is made by the ruptured follicle called the corpus luteum.
- Emotionally from about day 21 onwards we tend to begin to withdraw, requiring more sleep with lower vitality.
- We may start looking into the “rear view mirror” and for some, the more negative or difficult aspects of our lives or fertility journey (premenstrual/menstrual/menopausal phases).4 If you work with the moon like I do (luna) this energy is reflective and intuitive. It comes in our dreams, emotions, hungers and intuition. It is during this phase of the menstrual cycle that PMS or menopausal madness arrives. Studies demonstrate women’s dreams are more frequent and often more vivid during the premenstrual and menstrual phases of their cycles.1
I acknowledge the physical hormonal disturbances and cyclic bacteria imbalances that can cause this cascade of symptoms but women are most in tune with their inner knowing and with what isn’t working in their lives during this phase5
- If fertilisation has not taken place the corpus luteum dies after 14 days
- This causes progesterone levels to plummet.
- Resulting in the shedding of the endometrium and a bleed
- Menses ideally is bright red, with a moderate bleed lasting 2-3 days with some light bleeding on either side.
- A healthy cycle should be pain free
- Each cycle on average is between 26-30 days.
Print off your gratitude mindful womb template
Buy the Creation Fertility Toolkit #fertilityinspiration – Justine Evans
References or learn more
Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, by Christiane Northrup, M.D., Chapter 5, “The Menstrual Cycle”
Honoring Menstruation: A Time of Self-Renewal, by Lara Owen
A Time to Celebrate, by Joan Morais
Yoni Shakti – Uma Dinsmore-Tuli
Moonology – Yasmin Boland
Moontime – Lucy Pearce
Hartman, E., 1966. Dreaming sleep (the D State) and the menstrual cycle, Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, vol. 143:406–16; Swanson, E.M., Foulkes, D. 1968. Dream content and the menstrual cycle, Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, vol. 145(5):358–63.
Brown, F.A., 1972. The clocks: Timing biological rhythms, American Scientist, vol. 60:756–66; Gauguelin, M., 1978. Wrangle continues of pseudoscientific nature of astrology, New Scientist, Feb. 25; Menaker, W., 1959. Lunar periodicity in human reproduction: A likely unit of biological time, American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, vol. 77(4):904–14; Dewan, E.M., 1967. On the possibility of the perfect rhythm method of birth control by periodic light stimulation, American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, vol. 99(7):1016–19.
Michael, R.P., Bonsall, R.W., Warner, P., 1974. Human vaginal secretion and volatile fatty acid content, Science, vol. 186:1217–19; Cutler, W.B. 1999. Human sex-attractant pheromones: Discovery research, development, and application in sex therapy, Psychiatric Annals, vol. 29:54–59.
Wira, C., 1996. Mucosal Immunity: The Primary Interface Between the Patient and the Outside World in “The ABC’s of Immunology,” course syllabus, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, September 20–21, 1996.
Hampson, E., Kimura, D., 1988. Reciprocal effects of hormonal fluctuations on human motor and perceptual skills, Behavioral Neuroscience, vol. 102:456–59.
- Altemus, B.E. Wexler, and N. Boulis, “Neuropsychological Correlates of Menstrual Mood Changes,” Psychosomatic Medicine, vol. 51 (1989), pp. 329-36.
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Justine Evans ND – Hormone Alchemist is the founder of Creation Fertility and it’s products. She connects life with natural cycles and seasons, integrating Western science with nutritional therapy, traditional medicine and yogic philosophy. A Registered Naturopath, Nutritional therapist, Reiki Master/ Teacher, and well women yoga therapist Justine connects with Goddess energy and runs a private hormone health and fertility clinic in Surrey, London.