It’s vital when learning how to heal infertility that you understand what’s happening in your body during each week of a typical menstrual cycle – even if (and especially if) you’re doing IVF, or are having trouble ovulating. Knowing what’s “optimal,” how your cycle works, and having tools to work with along the fertility journey is not only smart, it’s super beneficial for your mental health and growing egg cells.
Here’s why: During each of the 4 weeks of a typical cycle, the body is instinctively changing its physiology. These changes affect hormones, emotions, nutritional needs and your fertility:
- Phase 1: It’s the first week of your menstrual cycle. You’re releasing.
- Phase 2: Your body is approaching ovulation. You’re full of potential!
- Phase 3: You’re not sure if fertilization occurred. You’re vulnerable.
- Phase 4: Your hormones are elevated. Are you balanced?
The fluctuations of estrogen and progesterone play an important role in your moods throughout each of these phases. With this information in mind, it’s totally possible to take better care of yourself throughout the process of trying to conceive according to where you are in your cycle.
For example: During Phase 4, when you’re in the challenging last week of your cycle and waiting to test for pregnancy, both estrogen and progesterone levels are elevated in order to maintain the uterine lining and nourish a fertilized embryo. This is the time you experience PMS, tender breasts, strong appetite, hormone-triggered headaches, snappiness, crying and impatience.
Phase 4 is also a time when there is a lot of subconscious self-evaluation happening (“Did it work? Am I pregnant? Did it not work? Will we have to try again?” and what either outcome means for you)… coupled with anxiety and mood swings. It’s not an easy time!
Therefore, the focus during Phase 4 is on creating emotional balance through nourishing and mood-stabilizing foods, meditation, emotional tools, and “Fertile Thoughts” exercises that will help calm your nerves and direct your thoughts to ideas you may not have considered, creating a more balanced perspective. And if you’re in Phase 4, these ideas will resonate strongly with you, because they’re speaking to where you are in your cycle – Mind + Body.
The more you understand the way your body has a natural, predictable flow, the more you can positively influence your fertility. How wonderful it is to have something predictable in such an uncertain process!
Using the tools found within each of the 4 phases, it can be easy to support your mind and body while trying to conceive: