How to track your menstrual cycle using the Fertility Awareness Method (FAM)
What the heck is our menstrual cycle and is it important? Afterall, we have about 400 of them throughout our reproductive lifespan. Well let me tell you, as a women's hormone and reproductive expert, and as someone who has been tracking her own cycle for years, that it is the most vital data we can have on ourselves. Learning about our cycles allows for us to get to know and understand ourselves more and why we feel the way we do at certain times of the month. This being said (and I am so sorry if I sound like a broken record) but PMS is not normal or healthy. PMS is so common that we have been taught, as menstruators, that it is normal to be in pain majority of our reproductive years. This is a dangerous misconception. For more support with your PMS / hormone imbalances, listen to my podcast episode on Herbs for PMS here. You may also book a 1-1 appointment with me via my virtual private practice.
Ok, back to tracking your menstrual cycle. I won't get too deep into it here as I have a FABULOUS episode on it here AND an eBook here with printable trackers. However, I would l-o-v-e to walk you through the foundations!
Day 1 of your period bleed is day one of your entire menstrual cycle. After your bleed is over, you will transition into a phase known as the follicular phase which is governed by Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and rising estrogen levels. You will notice your energy starting to increase and even your motivation, confidence, sex drive, and more as you approach ovulation. The time around ovulation is our fertile window, also known as the ovulatory phase. After ovulating, we transition into the luteal phase, which is governed by progesterone. If you ovulated, and therefore are producing adequate progesterone, you will feel calmer, and more like going slow and inward. Then, you transition into your menstrual phase (your period) and the cycle starts anew!
If your hormones are healthy and balanced, then you will experience a beautiful flow of natural upshifts and downshifts of your hormones. You'll notice predictable changes in your mood, energy, social ability, cravings, workout preferences, sex drive, creativity, metabolism, and more! None of which should be extreme or painful. However, sadly, this is not the case for majority of menstruators. Over 80% of menstruators report experiencing symptoms of PMS. This is because we live in an incredibly unsupportive world when it comes to the health of our cells, our organs, and our hormones, which are really just chemical messengers that there is an imbalance going on within the body.
To learn more about your divine menstrual cycle and how to live in harmony with it, make sure to:
- Subscribe and listen to my podcast
- Subscribe to peace love hormones texts/email
- Follow me on social media / the PLH Instagram
To kick your PMS to the curb once and for all, check out my herbal nutraceutical here.