The menstrual cycle & fertility is a universe in itself (like most of my blog topics!) In this post I’m going to introduce you to the basic building blocks of beginning to track your cycle, why this is a valuable piece to explore, and a few tools to get you started.
In the wide world, even though this is beginning to change, I still see the menstrual cycle & fertility signs being shamed / avoided / and at best, mysterious. This is a problem because if you live in a body that has a menstrual cycle, that cycle has a big impact on life, energy levels, relationships, sex, and more. The cycle and fertility is actually not mysterious if you learn what you need to know about it all. Learning to have a relationship to my own menstrual cycle & beginning to track the changes happening in my system was one of the first steps I took to empower myself and repair the relationship to my body. After years of immensely painful periods, a few pelvic health scares, overall disconnection, and a slew of other challenges, I can’t recommend this enough.
Follow these steps to initiate and connect with your own cycle & rhythm:
– learn about the phases of the menstrual cycle. The phases of the cycle all have gifts and challenges. When we learn to attune to them, it’s one of the most efficient & energy-saving ways to live. In my experience, it’s also less painful. Even if you’re on birth control, the body still has phases and cycles. Stay tuned for another blog post coming soon diving deeper into the phases of menstrual cycle soon!
– begin to chart your own cycle. I like to make a huge circle and divide it up so that there is one pie slice for each day in the cycle. In each space I do a simple journal entry for each day: mood / emotions, energy level, sleep, sex drive, food cravings, social tendencies, and anything else that stands out to you as important. You can also use any number of different apps that will track this for you on your phone.
– learn about the fluids in your body (mainly cervical fluid, the fluid that is released from the cervix throughout the monthly cycle is an important indicator of the fertile window). There’s a wealth of information out there about this fluid but the key words are: dry / crackling, sticky, egg-white, slippery. Once you start to notice this range of your own fluids, it becomes easier to notice the changes that happen like clockwork.
– notice changes in your body based on the movement of your system throughout the month. If you pay close attention you may start to notice shifts in the pieces that you’re tracking with your app / chart.
– look into breast massage as a way to help with hormonal regulation. A lot of hormonal regulation is dependent on the breasts and most people forget about this important place in the body (I’ll also come out with a more detailed post on this down the road, stay tuned).
Tracking fluids, changes, and living in rhythm with this cycle has been one of the biggest life-changers for me in terms of the day to day. I feel more permission to be where I am instead of trapped in the “be the same” / wear the same size / have the same energy levels / eat the same that I feel being pushed by society. Basically, I don’t feel pressured anymore to be in a static holding pattern throughout the month. The ebb and flow of the cycle is a beautiful thing if we learn how to attune to it and meet the needs of our bodies. If we blow past the needs of our cycle, usually our bodies will let us know with some kind of physical symptom, emotional reaction, conflict in relationship, etc. So much about learning how to attune & regulate the menstrual cycle is about self-care, bodily needs, boundaries, rest, and optimal usage of our energy at the times when it matters the most.
Making sense to you? Hitting home? Write to me, I love hearing from you and always love working with you on learning how to deepen your relationship to this rhythm in order to best serve your whole life! With love, Alicia