Every month, our bodies engage in a complex ballet of hormones, taking us through a rollercoaster of emotions and physical sensations. While CBD can be used to level out the worst symptoms of PMS (and later, of menopause), most women still go through a whole host of experiences throughout their cycle. But what’s really happening?
Most women go through four phases during their cycle – menstrual, follicular, ovulation, and luteal. Differing levels of hormones, including oestrogen, testosterone, and progesterone, all result in different physical and emotional symptoms. Here’s what you can expect throughout your cycle.
The Menstrual Phase
As you enter into the menstrual phase, your extreme PMS symptoms will start to abate as your body prepares to shed its uterine lining. Most women experience three to seven days of bleeding, ranging from light spotting to a heavy flow. You might feel tired, lazy, and lacking in motivation – does this all sound familiar?
The Follicular Phase
Now that your period is over, the second stage begins (it actually overlaps slightly with your menstrual phase). During this time, your follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) produces an egg, which is hard work! Your oestrogen and testosterone levels start to increase – a lot of women report looking and feeling their best during this phase. Your orgasms may be more intense, you might feel more creative, and you’ll feel relief from the symptoms of menstruation. But don’t get too comfortable, but ovulation is up next.
The Ovulation Phase
This is the time of the month where you can get pregnant – your luteinising hormone (LH) surges, and you ovulate around 24 to 36 hours later.
As your oestrogen and testosterone climb to their highest levels, it’s common to feel a boost of confidence and sexual interest. Some women even schedule important presentations during this phase of their cycle (not to mention romantic encounters). During ovulation, you might also experience some downsides, such as spots and water retention.
The Luteal Phase
This is the final phase of your cycle until the whole thing repeats… again and again until menopause! During this phase, your uterine lining thickens to prepare your uterus for implantation and pregnancy (which will then be shed during menstruation). During the luteal phase, you might feel warmer than usual – progesterone can raise your temperature by a few tenths of a degree. You might also feel (and look) more bloated than usual, as progesterone also relaxes the smooth muscles in your uterus.
Once your body realises no implantation has occurred, your progesterone levels begin to decline. As your progesterone and oestrogen become imbalanced, headaches are common, as are mood swings, anxiety, depression, and irritability. All of these symptoms together are commonly referred to as ‘pre-menstrual syndrome’ – you’ll get relief when you enter the menstrual phase. Back to the beginning of the cycle!
As we mentioned above, CBD can help to even out some of your more extreme mood swings and give you a sense of calm throughout the month. With all of these hormonal fluctuations, you deserve it!