The Follicular Phase: Holistic support during the cycles of your Womb
Aunty Flo has finally packed her bags went back from wherever she came from until her next monthly trip. Maybe she overstayed her welcome this month, or did a surprise pop in after months of being absent. Whether you rocked her stay with holistic practices that best worked for your unique relationship with her or she worked you over time, you are finally in the Follicular phase.
After your hormones being at an all time low, these next seven to 10 days your FSH and LH levels will slowly begin to rise to their peak levels. During this time the egg- containing pods called follicles ripen and one of the eggs matures. Estrogen goes to work at thickening and enriching the uterine lining to prepare for a possible pregnancy. This phase is typically the longest phase of the cycle depending on how long it takes for the follicle to mature. Shorter follicular phases can be a sign of infertility if the egg can’t fully mature. Once the egg is dropped you are then considered to be ovulating.
So spring has finally sprung within your uterus! It’s time to start using this time for fertility and creation. If you are trying for a baby, pour attention into the arousal phase to heighten your mental desires and physical desires for sex. Take more time for massage, touching and non penetration pleasure to get ready for penetration (also a great rule of thumb when having sex during any phase!). If pregnancy isn’t your plan, use this time to start a new project or set new intentions. You may naturally be open to new experiences, so say yes to that networking event, cookout or girls night out.
When we compare our womb cycles to the cycles of the moon, this phase resembles the waxing moon and the re-emerging of our shakti energy. Its best to pace yourself back into your yoga or exercise routine. Activities like zumba, cardio, and adding a few restorative practices to your dynamic yoga, will help ease your body back into heavy movement and balance the yang energy that is rising at this time.
If you choose to seed cycle, eating flax seeds and pumpkin seeds during this phase is best. Flax seeds contain phytoestrogens which adapt to the body’s estrogen needs during this phase. If estrogen levels get too high, the lignans in the flax seeds can bind to the excess so it can be eliminated from the body. You can also cycle with pumpkin seeds, which are high in zinc to support progesterone production in the next phase.
Some of my favorite Self care practices for this phase includes:
Breast massage to soften into your heart space, alleviate PMS Symptoms and enhance overall wellbeing.
Essential oils of: Peppermint to promotes energy, and improves focus and alertness; Wild Orange to Uplifts mind and body and Ylang Ylang to calms emotions and increase fertility
Finally, Adrenal Breathing decreases stress which studies have shown can directly effect your next period and fertility. A recent study found that added stress to women with relatively normal reproductive functions (consistent menstrual cycles) specifically around the time of menstruation to pre-ovulation, had delayed or suppressed ovulation (1).
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Akhter, S., Marcus, M., Kerber, R. A., Kong, M., & Taylor, K. C. (2016). The impact of periconceptional maternal stress on fecundability. Annals of Epidemiology.
Wang, L., Wang, X., Wang, W., Chen, C., Ronnennberg, A. G., Guang, W., … & Xu, X. (2004). Stress and dysmenorrhoea: a population based prospective study. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 61(12), 1021–1026.
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Light as a Feather values the natural rhythm and harmony our bodies align with when we listen and care for our bodies physical, spiritual and emotional needs for childbirth.