At Fri Period, we’re on a mission to make periods better. And one of the ways to have a better period is by understanding your cycle. As the fifth vital sign, your menstrual cycle can be a major indicator of your overall health and wellbeing. Your cycle is so much more than just your period: it's a complex symphony of phases, each with its own unique characteristics. By understanding these phases, you’re able to tune into your own body better and equip yourself with the knowledge to live your best life.
So, let’s dive in:
Menstruation Phase: Approximately days 1-5
Menstruation is the fancy word for your bleed phase.This is when your endometrium (uterus lining) breaks down and is released in the form of your period. During this phase, your hormones are at an all-time low.
Many report feeling depleted at this time, and more introverted and inwards-focused. Cramping is a common side effect, but should never be severe (talk to your doctor if this is the case). For many, the start of your period can yield an emotional release (surely we're not the only ones who cry at TV ads during this time?).
Better period: Your body is shedding the old to make way for the new. Sure, it might bring cramps, mood swings, and fatigue, but it's also a chance to focus on some deep self-care and self-love. Consider this your reminder to rest, hydrate, and pamper yourself (we’re talking luxurious long baths, sumptuous meals, and those little indulgences we might forego the rest of the month). And don't forget to try Fri Period's supremely comfortable period underwear designed for leak-free protection.
Follicular Phase: Approximately days 6-13
Embrace your inner zing!
During your follicular phase, levels of Follicular Stimulating Hormone (FSH) increase, which sends messages to your ovaries to ready some eggs for release. The follicles also release estrogen during this phase, which causes your endometrium to thicken again. And it’s that boost in estrogen that leaves you feeling so darn great!
Mentally, this is when you’re likely to feel as though your brain is sharper and more “switched on”. You'll feel more energized, confident, and bursting with creativity. This is the perfect time to engage in energetic workouts and outdoor activities (if that’s your jam).
Fri Period tip: Ever made plans for a wild Friday night out, but then come to regret making said plans when the actual day rolls around? We’re not saying to cancel everything, but be mindful that your luteal-phase self (more on that later) may not have the same zest for hosting dinner parties as your current follicular-self does.
Ovulation Phase: Around day 14
Now this is the time to shine! Ovulation is another phase of hormonal bliss. The changing estrogen levels from the follicular phase have caused levels of leutinizing hormone (LH) to rise, which in turn triggers one of your follicles to release a mature egg, which then makes its way to your fallopian tube and onward to your uterus. Signs of ovulation include slight cramping (usually on the side of the ovary releasing the egg) and increased vaginal discharge that’s noticeably goopy at this stage (pro tip: Fri Period underwear is great for mid-cycle discharge, too!).
Many women report feeling their most positive during this phase, and this is when you are likely to feel like the most confident and gorgeous version of yourself. Your skin is glowing, your hair is bountiful. You are unstoppable.
Fri Period tip: If you can influence your schedule, this is the time to ask for that promotion, to put on that big presentation, or to take up salsa dancing. Go slay!
Luteal Phase: Approximately days 14-28
The follicle the released egg grew in (a.k.a. corpus luteum) continues to produce progesterone, and a bit of estrogen, which keeps the endometrium healthy, and is necessary in supporting a healthy pregnancy. If there is no pregnancy, the corpus luteum stops producing hormones, which causes the uterus lining to shed and voila! you have yourself another period.
The plummeting hormones during this phase of your cycle is what causes PMS, so this is a time for self-care and nurturing. PMS symptoms can include stress, anxiety, bloating, and mood swings. This is also when those cravings tend to kick in. Others report feeling more absent-minded and tired around this time. In summary, don’t expect to be feeling your dandiest. But that’s totally okay. We like to see the luteal phase as the perfect opportunity to prioritize self-care and relaxation. Use it as your chance to say no with merry abandon to things you don’t want to do. Put your feet up, unplug, and unwind - your body will thank you when that period rolls around in the next few days.
Life is a rollercoaster
Don't forget to explore our range of supremely comfortable period underwear that can support you throughout your cycle. We made them free of PFAS and other chemical nasties that might mess with your hormones, because we’re enough of a rollercoaster as it is.