The Menstrual Cycle - the Fifth Vital Sign

There are so many incredible ways in which the female menstrual cycle can be used as a tool for empowerment. Imagine navigating each cycle with gratitude, knowing that you are equipped to honor each phase of the cycle.

The female menstrual cycle is the fifth vital sign because, like your pulse or respiratory rate, the menstrual cycle provides so much valuable information and insight into the state of a woman’s health.


Societally, we have normalized PMS when in reality, it is typically a sign of a problem. It could be hormonal imbalance, chronic stress, or something else: but long story short, your period can and should be a pain-free event when you are experiencing vibrant health!

The week before your period can be seen as a monthly report card: your symptoms, the quantity and quality of your blood, and your mood all tell the tale of what’s going on inside. And so, every month, you get the opportunity to tailor your lifestyle and get live feedback next month with your pre-menstrual and menstrual experience.


Each of the four phases of the menstrual cycle is marked by different moods, energy levels, and gifts. When you learn to chart your cycle and know which stage you are in, you can start to live in tune with each different phase.


Here are the four phases:


1. The menstrual (bleeding) phase starts and ends with your actual period. This phase requires more rest, stillness, and introspection. Ideally, you want to nourish yourself more, stay warm, and avoid socializing and exercise. This is the winter period of your cycle when intuition is highest. If you prioritize rest and nourishment, it will pave the way for a much healthier, more vibrant rest of the month. This is also the time to take inventory of the previous month and let go of anything not serving you.


2. The follicular phase starts when your bleed finishes and goes until you ovulate. After the bleeding ends, estrogen is on the rise, and you will feel more energized, social, and have a greater desire to be active. This is the time for more social events, exercise, and lighter meals. During this phase, you want to get stuff done, achieve goals, and focus on what you want to do in this lunar cycle. This is the spring of your cycle, and like in nature, the follicular phase feels like you are coming to life!


3. The ovulatory phase is the window in which you ovulate. This is when you are most expressive, sensual, communicative, and clear. This is the perfect time to schedule a date, an interview, or make a big presentation. You are energized and ready to take on the world; this is the summer phase of your cycle. Aim to complete your project, send it out into the world, and prepare yourself to slow down with the upcoming fall stage of your cycle.


4. The luteal phase is when estrogen starts to drop, and progesterone starts to rise. After you ovulate, the body wants to slow down, go inwards, and tie up loose ends. During this time, it helps to wind down the social events in favor of small, more intimate gatherings and ditch the cross-fit or intense workouts for gentle walks and yoga.

The power of the female menstrual cycle runs deep where you can learn how to honor your body as it fluctuates through the month.


Larisa Belote, Health Practitioner & Certified Detox Specialist is a strong believer that your body is a smart machine and can heal itself given a chance and the right set of tools. Call/Txt 732.996.6963 or email: larisa@stepbystep-wellness.com for a FREE 20-minute consultation.


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