Hormonal Hotline: What Are the Different Phases of My Cycle?

Hormonal Hotline: What Are the Different Phases of My Cycle?

Welcome to the Hormonal Hotline—where our experts are always on call to demystify your symptoms and explain what's actually happening in your body.

Blame it on the Menstrual Knowledge Gap (or really, the culmination of factors that drive it), but too many of us have a limited understanding of our menstrual cycles—so much of what we're taught (and marketed!) revolves around our period and PMS symptoms, when in reality, our cycles are so much more than that. Suffice to say: Musician Lydia Night is all of us in craving more context for her symptoms throughout the month. 

Watch below as she dials the Hormonal Hotline and gets some much-needed insight from leading OB/GYN and Perelel's Medical Co-Founder, Dr. Bayati. 

While our menstrual phases are sometimes categorized in different ways, the 28(ish) day cycle can best be summed up as two halves (our follicular and luteal phases) punctuated by two additional moments: Our period, which bookends the entire cycle, and ovulation, which serves as the halfway point. While culturally we're taught that our cycle revolves around our period (or is even synonymous with it), it's actually more accurate to say that it revolves around ovulation: the fertile moment midway through our cycle that effectively determines whether the cycle will end in a pregnancy, or not. 

And of course, when we start to dig deeper into how our hormones rise and fall with each phase of the cycle, we start to gain really valuable context for our symptoms. We're not just moody—our hormones fluctuate a lot in the second half of our cycle, and those chemicals can impact the way we feel. We're not just tired—progesterone is a calming hormone, and when it spikes just after ovulation, it can impact our energy levels. Just knowing helps us give ourselves some grace during those changes, and might even inspire us to adjust our routines accordingly. (In fact, we recommend it.)

Want to learn more about the four phases? See how to sync your routine according to where you are in your cycle.

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