Our menstrual cycle involves a few days of bleeding, called menstruation, that occurs roughly every 28 days. The number of days in our cycles can be less than 28 days or more. The number can also change from cycle to cycle, sometimes with fewer days and sometimes with more.
We usually start counting the days of our cycle from the first day of bleeding – this is our ‘cycle day’ 1.
Our first day of bleeding is our cycle day 1
As well as bleeding, every cycle we also release an egg.This occurs around days 14 to 16 in our cycles. Many women don’t notice the event, but some women feel a slight pain or notice a difference in the mucus that comes from their vagina.
We release an egg around cycle days 14 to 16
After the release of the egg we enter the pre-menstrual phase and women can experience PMS or pre-menstrual syndrome. These are days when we can feel very emotional and have a number of physical symptoms such as food cravings, feeling bloated and irritable, or needing more sleep.
Our cycle can have an effect on:
- How we think
- How we feel
- Our level of physical energy
When we notice how we think and feel during our cycles we can start to look after ourselves better and to meet our emotional, mental and physical needs. And the good news is that this helps us to feel good about ourselves.
When we work with our cycles, we can:
- feel more comfortable with our bodies
- feel more in control because we know why we are feeling the way we do
- feel more confident about our abilities
- feel more empowered to create positive feelings about ourselves
We can divide our cycle into four phases, or groups of days, and imagine that they similar to the four seasons. Just as the land can go through the four seasons each year, we also go through four ‘seasons’ but once month in our cycle.
Our monthly cycles can offer us a whole range of helpful, enjoyable and exciting feelings, which we can use in practical ways to feel good about our lives.
Every woman’s experience of her cycle is individual to her, but there are some things we can have in common.
The Spring phase women
The Summer phase women
The Autumn phase women
The Winter phase women