Your period guide

Do you have questions about your menstrual cycle, how to adjust your exercise, or what diet is suitable during menstruation? We have summarized the most common questions about menstruation for you. Happy reading!

On this page you will learn more about:

• The different phases of the menstrual cycle
• Exercising during menstruation and how to adapt your training according to the menstrual cycle
• What to eat during menstruation
• Common questions about menstruation

Phases of the Menstrual Cycle

FOLLICULAR PHASE The first phase of the menstrual cycle extends from the first day of your menstruation until ovulation. During this period, estrogen levels are low, which can lead to hormonal migraines for those prone to them. You may also feel bloated, for example, around the breasts.

OVULATION Ovulation usually occurs around day 14 of the cycle. During this period, body temperature can rise by about half a degree, which is a sign that ovulation has taken place. It is also common to experience increased discharge during this phase.

LUTEAL PHASE The third phase begins approximately 14 days before the next menstruation and is known as the luteal phase. It is common to experience PMS (premenstrual syndrome) during this time. In fact, up to 80 percent of women experience some form of PMS. During this phase, you may also suffer from hormonal acne, which is due to a decrease in progesterone.

MENSTRUATION The first day of menstruation marks the beginning of your cycle and also initiates the follicular phase (phase 1). During this phase, you experience bleeding, and the length of menstruation varies between different women, but it usually lasts 3-5 days. It is common to experience cramp-like pains in the lower abdomen during menstruation. If the pain is severe and not relieved by painkillers like Ibuprofen, physical activity, or heat, it may be time to contact a doctor.

How to Adjust Your Training According to Your Menstrual Cycle

UNDERSTAND YOUR BODY’S PHYSIOLOGY Adapting your training to your menstrual cycle has many benefits! First of all, it gives you a deeper understanding of your body’s physiology. During the menstrual cycle, estrogen and progesterone levels vary, and these hormonal changes affect both your physical and mental health more than you might realize. You may have experienced days when you feel ready to conquer the world during a workout, while the next week you can barely get out the door. This could very well be due to your menstrual cycle!

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE DIFFERENT PHASES OF THE CYCLE Another advantage of adjusting your training according to your menstrual cycle is that you can benefit from different phases to optimize your performance. During periods when you feel extra energetic, it is perfect to challenge yourself because you are in a phase when your body is strongest. During these periods, endorphins are released, which have a positive effect on your mood and make you more resilient and strong. However, if it is a day when you feel exhausted and do not have the energy for intense training, it is important to listen to your body. Overexerting yourself can have the opposite effect and give you a sense of failure. Allow yourself to take it easy and do light activities like walking or yoga to keep your body moving.

ALLEVIATE MENSTRUAL PAIN Finally, tailored training according to your menstrual cycle can also help, believe it or not, alleviate menstrual pain! Exercise can influence the inflammation that causes the uterus to contract! It is during this contraction that you feel menstrual pain! That said, during the period when you don’t have the energy for a run, take a walk or do yoga instead! Keeping active is important regardless!

What to eat during your period

DAYS 1-5 During this time, your period has just started, and you usually have less appetite. It is important to listen to your body, so during these days it is perfectly okay to eat smaller portions and light snacks. If you feel tired during your period, it is good to eat an extra snack that contains complex carbohydrates! You lose blood during your period, making it important to get iron from sources such as meat, seafood, eggs, and also nuts or legumes. Fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C are also good as they help the body absorb the iron.

DAYS 5-13 During these days, many women feel an increased energy level, which can lead to more exercise. This also means a greater need for food, which is completely natural as the body needs to recover after physical activity. To support energy levels, it can be good to eat extra vitamin B12, which is found in lean meats, dairy products, and fish.

OVULATION During ovulation, women often feel even more energy. To keep the energy level high, you can eat a lot of fish, fruits, vegetables, and potatoes.

DAYS 15-28 This long period can be difficult for many women as they often experience fatigue, headaches, and mood swings. Appetite increases, and the craving for carbohydrates can become stronger. Try to eat whole grains, sweet potatoes, dark chocolate, and fruit. It is important to treat yourself to something nice, but in moderation.

Common questions about your Period

What is PMS and can a specific diet help?

PMS stands for premenstrual syndrome and it occurs before your period. PMS can involve mood swings, irritation, and bloating. Researchers believe that PMS occurs because some women are sensitive to the substances produced when progesterone is broken down.

Many unfortunately suffer from PMS, but you can alleviate it somewhat by adjusting your diet. Fruits and vegetables that contain a lot of B vitamins have a positive effect on PMS as they help stabilize hormone balance. For example, you can try eating more avocado and nuts!


Why Do You Get Menstrual Cramps?

Menstrual cramps occur because the uterus contracts to shed its lining. The uterus is a muscle, and the pains you experience can be likened to muscle cramps. These contractions are a natural part of the menstrual cycle and help to remove the built-up lining.

Pain can also be felt in other parts of the body, such as the back, groin, and thighs. This is because the nerves around the uterus are also affected by its contractions. These nerves can transfer the pain to nearby areas, such as the back.

For many women, this is a manageable part of the menstrual cycle, but for some, the pain can be significant. If menstrual cramps affect your daily quality of life, it may be a good idea to consult a doctor for help.

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