Woman touches her abdomen

This is how the female cycle works: process, hormones & co.

02. MARCH 2023


The female cycle refers to the menstrual cycle, which is regulated by hormonal changes. The menstrual cycle begins with the onset of menstruation and continues until the next onset of menstruation. The length of the cycle varies from person to person. On average, the cycle length is 28 days, but the cycle can be as short as 20 days or as long as 40 days.

The four cycle phases

The female cycle can be divided into four phases:

Day 1 to 6 - menstruation

When menstrual bleeding begins, a new cycle can begin. Now the upper layer of the uterine lining can peel off. In order to loosen the mucous membrane, the uterine muscles can contract and relax again. As a result, you may often experience period pains such as abdominal pain and cramps.

Day 7 to 13 - follicular phase

During this period, egg cells can mature in the ovaries. The egg cells are tiny and can be protected by so-called ovarian follicles. These are fluid-filled sacs that envelop the egg cells.

During this phase, a mucous membrane can build up in the uterus. Most of the time, only one egg succeeds in making its way to the uterus after maturation. The lining of the uterus would be the nest for the growing baby if that egg is fertilized.

Around day 14 - ovulation

The fertile days and ovulation (ovulation) usually take place on the 14th day. The covering of the follicle usually ruptures. 

Some women feel ovulation as a brief, stabbing or stabbing pain in their lower abdomen. Other women have no pain but a high desire for sex and a higher basal body temperature (body temperature in the morning after waking up). In addition, the cervical mucus is thinner and lighter.

If the envelope of the follicle has burst, the egg cell can be flushed into one of the fallopian tubes and from there migrate to the uterus.

If you want to have children, you should pay attention to the time before and shortly after ovulation: A study came to the conclusion that The likelihood of fertilization is greatest 3-5 days before and 12-24 hours after ovulation. Due to the passage of cervical mucus, sperm can reach the cervix a short time after intercourse.

Around day 15 to 28 - premenstrual period

This phase is also known as the luteal phase or corpus luteum phase. It usually lasts around 14 days. The egg may have reached the uterine cavity and the uterine lining may continue to build up.

If the egg cell was not fertilized, the hormone level in the blood can be reduced. The drop in hormone levels can signal the mucous membrane that it can bleed. And so a new cycle can begin: menstruation begins.

In most women, the premenstrual phase can be characterized by symptoms such as bloating, tiredness, depressive moods, irritability, headaches, abdominal cramps and other complaints. Our Harmony dietary supplement can support you with symptoms during your cycle. Before taking any dietary supplement, you should speak to your doctor.

What happens if the egg is fertilized?

If fertilization occurred on the way to the uterus, the egg cell can divide several times. The corpus luteum can remain and produce more progesterone. This allows the uterine lining to be preserved. It is therefore not rejected and the fertilized egg cell can nest in it.

The next bleeding usually does not occur.

At the beginning of pregnancy, the placenta usually forms and produces more and more hormones. Thus, the production of the hormone HCG and estrogen can increase.

How does the female cycle change during menopause?

When menopause is approaching, most women notice it from irregular menstrual cycles. The intervals between bleeding can no longer be the same, but the cycle shortens or lengthens.

In addition, cycles can occur with and without ovulation. The closer you get to menopause, the more often you can have non-ovulating cycles. The last menstrual bleeding is called menopause. On average, women are 51 years old at this point.

Does your lifestyle affect your cycle?

There are several factors that can influence the female menstrual cycle. These include, for example, the consumption of nicotine or alcohol as well as stress and diet. The cycle can also get confused when changing time zones. You may know this from long-distance travel.

Here are a few tips for your diet:

  • During the period, the body may need vitamin A, among other things, which is found in sweet potatoes, carrots and pumpkin, for example. 
  • Magnesium can work against cramps. 
  • As the body loses blood during menstruation, iron levels can drop. This can be noticeable in tiredness and dry skin. Therefore, you should consume iron-rich foods such as meat, nuts and whole grains.

Is the female cycle related to the lunar cycle?

The chronobiologist Charlotte Förster and her team investigated whether the moon can influence a woman's menstrual cycle. The study results indicate that the menstrual cycle was probably still in sync with the cycle of the moon in ancient times. Scientists are of the opinion that this synchronous mode was largely lost due to artificial light and other living habits.

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  • Asya - verified buyer

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