Cycle Syncing Guide Part 3: Your Ovulation Phase - Decode Your Menstrual Cycle and Enhance Your Fertility with Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine


Welcome to Part 3 of our 4-part series: Decode Your Menstrual Cycle and Enhance Your Fertility with Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. This series is going to give you everything you need to understand your menstrual cycle and its phases, and how to support your body through it all! Be sure to check out Part 1: Menstrual Phase, Part 2: Follicular Phase, and Part 4: Luteal Phase of the series for the ultimate guide to your cycle!

What You Need to Know

Although ovulation is defined as the 14th day in a 28 day cycle (halfway point), when you look further, ovulation is not just an event but a process. Ovulation is a process where estrogen signals the rise of LH —> a mature egg is released and moves down to the fallopian tubes to be fertilized (a 24-36 hour process). 

The fertile window is an important topic to cover when looking at ovulation. “Ovulation” is a 24-hour event, however, the 5 days leading up to ovulation until 2 days after ovulation is known as the fertile window and is the ONLY time during the cycle where pregnancy can occur. An important note here, especially if you are trying to avoid pregnancy, is that sperm can survive in cervical fluid for up to 5 days. For patients trying to conceive, it is recommended to try every other day during this time but especially the day of ovulation (or LH surge) and when you are noticing cervical mucus in discharge (a sign of fertility).

Ovulation is known as “inner summer”. This is a time where LH, FSH, estrogen, & progesterone are at their highest, meaning energy is also at its highest. Opting for moderate/high intensity exercise will be best - yang yoga, HIIT, weight/strength training, cardio, or pilates are great choices. This is a time where we should feel the most confident, creative, social, and ready to take on the world. 

What else can we do to support the body during this time? Plenty! The whole idea behind ‘cycle syncing’ is to identify the naturally occurring ebbs and flows with our hormonal system, and learn to work WITH it. Our hormonal system affects everything in our body from energy levels, digestion, immune system, mitochondrial functions, etc. It's important to know where to support the body based on where hormones are at.

In terms of nutrition, there are plenty of things you can incorporate during this time whether pregnancy is your goal or not. 

  • Select as many nutrient dense foods as possible (greens, red/dark purple foods, red meat). This will support hormonal health in general and give your body the resources it needs at a time when energy and the hormonal system is at its highest.

  • Folate rich foods like leafy greens, citrus fruits, and legumes support cell division (pregnancy)

  • Omega 3 rich foods like salmon, chia seeds, flax seeds, avocado, and eggs. This is not only going to support hormonal health and energy in general, but also support a fertile uterine lining, which will have higher chances of implantation. The body can’t produce omega 3’s on its own, so it’s important to prioritize getting them in the diet - especially during this time.

Although this is a time when women should feel their highest and best, there are a lot of women who experience unwanted symptoms during this time. These are signs that there is some sort of ovulation dysregulation. Some signs include cramping, spotting, headaches, breakouts, fatigue and irritability/mood swings.

How to Support Your Body

Acupuncture is a great way to treat the root imbalances associated with follicular phase irregularities by identifying which organ systems need support and guiding them into functioning efficiently and optimally. Acupuncture can:

  1. Reduce pain and discomfort for any ovulatory cramping, headaches, joint pain, swelling or mood imbalances.

  2. Regulate the hypothalamus-pituitary-ovarian axis (HPO), which strengthens the connection between the ovaries and brain to address any hormonal imbalances.

  3. Optimize uterine environment - optimizes mitochondrial activity, blood flow and nutrient utilization for a higher chance of implantation.

Interested in getting to the bottom of your cyclical symptoms? Want to stop dreading your period? Want to learn how to use acupressure for period relief? Looking for no-BS strategies to balance hormones? Check out our on demand masterclass: How to Understand & Align With Your Menstrual Cycle

If you’re local to the Milwaukee area and you want 1-1 support, schedule a complimentary consultation at our clinic in Franklin and meet with one of our expert acupuncturists!

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