Good news: you made it to the final stretch of your menstrual cycle ⭐
Bad news: PMS is on the horizon 🤕
That’s the scoop on your luteal phase or, as we call it, the little phase that could. Typically lasting between 12 to 16 days, your luteal phase starts right after ovulation and ends with the first day of menstruation. During the luteal phase, progesterone levels rise to thicken your uterine lining, preparing for a possible pregnancy. If conception doesn’t occur, progesterone levels decrease, triggering the onset of your period, and thus the start of a new cycle.
Now that we’ve gone through the basics, let’s unravel the lesser-known, but fascinating facts about this crucial phase of our cycles.
The Progesterone Party 🥳
During the luteal phase, your body turns into a progesterone party! Why? The corpus luteum, the remnants of the follicle that released the egg, goes to work by pumping out progesterone. This hormone helps thicken and prep your uterine lining for potential pregnancy. But even if there's no baby on board, progesterone still has some super cool roles like acting as a natural antidepressant and promoting bone health. Cheers to that!
It's All About Consistency 🎯
Most phases of your cycle may shift and shimmy, but the luteal phase is consistent, usually lasting between 12 to 16 days. Unlike other menstrual cycle phases, the length of your luteal phase rarely changes by more than a day or two from cycle to cycle. So if you're a fan of regularity, raise a glass to this dependable phase.
Hot Stuff 🔥
Ever wondered why you feel warmer during the luteal phase? This is not just a feeling; your basal body temperature actually goes up by a half-degree or so post-ovulation, thanks to our friend, progesterone. It's a hot fact, right?
Unwelcome visitors: PMS + PMDD 😰
If you experience premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), you have the luteal phase to thank (or not). These conditions typically kick in during this phase, due to hormonal shifts. But remember, while we might occasionally feel like cursing these hormones, they're just doing their job. And there are many ways to navigate these rough waters.
Potential Impact on Asthma 🌬️
Here's a surprising one: studies have shown that the luteal phase may influence the severity of asthma symptoms due to the hormonal shifts happening during this time. So if you or your partner have asthma and notice a change in symptoms throughout your cycle, the luteal phase may be a contributing factor. Who knew?
Brain Boost 🧠
We're not finished yet! Research suggests that the luteal phase might actually give us a cognitive boost. Due to rising estrogen and progesterone levels, we might experience enhanced verbal abilities, memory, and fine motor skills during this phase. So, the next time someone accuses you of being "hormonal", just tell them, "Yes, and it's making me smarter!"
The luteal phase, like every phase of your cycle, is a testament to the intricate and dynamic nature of our bodies. By tuning into these changes and adapting our self-care routines accordingly, we can transform our cycles from something we endure into something we embrace.
🔄 More about Embody
Cycle syncing is about working with your body instead of against it, and that's Embody's ethos. It's the first fully-comprehensive cycle tracking app that gives you wellness recommendations for during every phase of your cycle, not just your period.Want to try it out? Sign up at Embody.Space to get early access to the beta version in July!