This series was created to help you tune in and harness the power of your menstrual cycle. Learn more: How To Live in Sync With Your Menstrual Cycle: Intro
The 4th and final phase is the luteal phase. It begins after ovulation and ends on the first day of menstruation. In nature, it aligns with autumn (yearly cycle), the waning moon cycle (monthly cycle), and sunset (daily cycle).
Typically lasts between 12 to 16 days.
What's happening Physically?
Progesterone dominates and causes the uterine wall to thicken, preparing for the potential of a fertilized egg to implant. If implantation doesn't occur, the body then prepares for menstrual shedding.
If you experience PMS, it is a sign of underlying hormonal imbalances asking to be addressed.
How it feels energetically & emotionally
You're less social & outgoing. Less interested in people pleasing. Prefer solo, detail-oriented tasks. You may feel isolated and things may feel convoluted. Your pain threshold is lower during this time.
How to tune in & flow with the phase
Rest & relax, especially towards the end of this phase leading into menstruation.
Take stock, listen to your intuition, let go of things that aren’t serving you.
Move your body with restorative exercise.
How to nourish and "feed" this phase
Metabolism increases, which increases appetite. Eat denser, grounding foods like roasted root vegetables/squash. Magnesium rich foods (almonds, spinach, soaked quinoa). Consume raw cacao.
If you experience PMS symptoms such as anxiety, depression, water retention, cravings, or pain, read: Nourish Your Moon Cycle & Reduce PMS.
If trying to conceive:
Consume anti-inflammatory foods to aid in uterine receptivity/implantation.
Consume antioxidant-rich foods to support rapid cell division of fertilized egg that would take place during this time.
While the luteal phase usually lasts between 12 to 16 days, a short luteal phase (one that lasts less than 10 days) negatively impacts fertility. This means that the body isn't producing enough progesterone, which is essential for implantation and a successful pregnancy.
Chart your fertility signs
Chance of conceiving: low.
Cervical mucous: Following the lubricating cervical mucous in the ovulatory phase, cervical mucous in the luteal phase may now be thick, creamy, or pasty to prevent sperm from entering the uterus.
Cervical positioning: is more closed, firm & lower also to prevent sperm from entering the uterus.
Basal body temp: A thermal shift follows ovulation and temperatures will remain higher during the luteal phase. If it remains high, you’ve likely got a bun in the oven!