Women who want to conceive need to know their bodies. Balancing the phases of your menstrual cycle will increase your chances of conception.
For some women getting pregnant is easy. For other women, it can be an emotionally long and drawn out process. Learning to balance the phases of your menstrual cycle to increase your chances of conceiving can help decrease your anxiety about getting pregnant and put you in the driver’s seat.
The Four Seasons
Just as nature produces four seasons each year for us to enjoy, the female body also goes through four different phases during the course of each menstrual cycle. Each of these phases is dominated by hormones and have specific purposes. We naturally know what to do in each season of the year such as drinking warm liquids and eating warm foods in the winter or drinking lots of water in the summer. However, most women do not naturally know what to do during each phase of their menstrual cycle.
Women who do know how to support each phase of their cycle can increase their chances of conceiving and having a healthy pregnancy. This is because a healthy menstrual cycle balances hormones and can increase the health of your uterine lining and eggs.
Menstruation: Phase One
Shedding the Uterine Lining
While each woman’s cycle can vary, each phase usually lasts for approximately seven days and a cycle is about 28 days. The menstrual cycle begins on the first day of your period. Some women may only experience their period for a couple of days, although the first phase is considered to last the entire week.
During phase one, the body works to rid itself of the uterine lining that was not needed for a pregnancy during the previous cycle. Not many women realize it but this phase is delicate and the body should rest as it requires energy to shed all of the old lining and to prevent problems at other points in the cycle.
Energy should be flowing in a downward direction and out of the body in order to make this phase of the cycle successful and to increase the chances of getting pregnant. You should drink plenty of water and focus on getting enough electrolytes. You should also stay away from foods that are heavy and greasy. Focus on exercise that is light such as stretching and short walks.
Follicular: Phase Two
Increasing Yin and Blood
The follicular phase starts at the beginning of the second week of the cycle and continues up until ovulation. At this point in the cycle, your body is working to increase the blood and nutrients in the uterine lining and to mature healthy eggs for ovulation.
The phase is also known as the yin phase of a woman’s cycle. Yin is the fluids and substance in the body. When your period ends you should focus on nourishing your body to help increase its blood and fluids. During all phases of the menstrual cycle, getting enough sleep is important, but it is the most important during the follicular phase. Getting quality sleep will help your blood supply to increase and ensure that your uterine lining and eggs are healthy.
As with the first phase, avoid strenuous exercise during the yin phase. You should also try to eat nutritious foods that are packed with iron to help in restoring the blood supply. Meats and vegetables are good options.
Ovulation: Phase Three
This phase lasts for a week after ovulation when the yin peaks and then gives way to the yang phase when the body is ready to ovulate. Yang stands for warmth and movement. Your basal body temperature will rise after ovulation. Warmth in yang increases blood flood and dilation to help the body release an egg and move it down the fallopian tubes.
To increase your chances of conception, focus on keeping your abdomen, back and feet warm. Stretches in the hips, lower back and pelvic region can help relieve congestion and open the way for the egg to freely come down. During the yang phase, you should also avoid dairy and high-sugar foods as these types of foods can cause congestion in the tubes.
Luteal Phase: Phase Four
Promoting Yang or Regulating Qi for Conception
You enter this phase one week after you have ovulated. This phase of post-ovulatory or pre-menstruation, ends on the day you start your period or when pregnancy is confirmed. The body’s temperature should stay high during this time and will dip right before the period begins. If you are pregnant, your body will continue with the warmth to increase blood flow to the growing embryo which needs to be nourished.
If you have not conceived, yang energy will top off and change back to yin when your period beings. At this time your hormones will re-adjust and energy in the body has the potential to backup causing PMS symptoms.