All through our fertile years, our bodies run through the ever-continuous menstrual cycle, which begins with the first day of your period and ends when your next period begins. Throughout this cycle, our hormone levels ebb and flow, which affects how we feel every day. Chica helps balance your cycle, helping your days feel more predictable.
Intro to Your Cycle
Our menstrual cycle guides our ovaries and our uterus to either accept a pregnancy, prepare for a pregnancy, or shed the uterine lining to refresh for the next eligible egg. These changes happen when our brain, uterus, and ovaries communicate via hormones. Hormonal birth control stops or disrupts this cycle to prevent pregnancy.
The first day of your period kicks off your hormonal cycle. In the first day of the period, the hormone, estrogen, is at its lowest, and with typical heavier bleeding, we tend to feel more fatigued and have our peak pain, if we experience any, on this day. Period bleeding lasts, on average, 3-7 days.
When our period ends, our brain produces a hormone (in the pituitary gland) called follicle stimulating hormone, which lets our ovaries know to produce an egg for ovulation. The ovary houses follicles, which are fluid sacs that host eggs. One follicle will begin to grow rapidly in preparation for ovulation, and the follicle produces estrogen as it grows. Estrogen helps our body and mind feel alert and energized. The Follicular phase lasts 10-20 days.
When the chosen follicle has produced a certain peak level of estrogen, our brain is triggered to release luteinizing hormone, which then tells our ovaries to release the egg. Our uterine lining has been rebuilding until this point, and it is now at its thickest and prepared to host a pregnancy. Following peak estrogen and testosterone levels, we tend to feel our horniest and most energized during ovulation. Ovulation lasts 1-3 days, but we can be fertile both before and a few days after ovulation.
After ovulation, the follicle that housed the egg begins to release both progesterone and (less) estrogen. After a few days, both progesterone and estrogen levels decrease, and these shifts bring with them typical ‘PMS’ symptoms, such as bloating, mood swings, acne, and breast tenderness. The drop in hormones alerts the uterine lining to begin breaking down, preparing for the next period. The luteal phase lasts 10-16 days.
Why Are Hormones Important?
Following our hormonal cyles will allow us to predict and understand the way we feel each day. In the pre-ovulation period, estrogen dominates with the benefit of higher energy and increased focus, while post-ovulatory feelings are often more introverted and reflective. Life often demands us to be out-going and aggressive every day. However, with our hormonal knowledge, we can know that nothing is wrong with us when we don’t feel this way. Our Luteal phase is a powerful time to rest. Despite societal PMS-shaming, your hormones cannot force you to perform poorly during your Luteal phase. For example(1), the US Women’s Soccer team closely tracked their menstrual cycle phases during this most recent World Cup, and made sure to focus on their nourishment and sleep during their luteal phases. Some trainers attribute this tracking as an important part of the US Women’s success. Case in point, Rose Lavelle scored a goal in the World Cup finals, and the next day she started her period! #imluteal.
When searching for how to improve your period, hormones are key. When we enter the menstrual cycle with excessive estrogen still present in the body, we feel higher levels of pain, along with other uncomfortable symptoms, and our uterine lining will not break down as well. Too much progesterone can make us feel especially cloudy and zapped while we are luteal. Excessive testosterone can lead to extremely painful and irregular periods, and heavy acne all over the body.
If you are looking to support fertility, supporting your hormonal health is critical. If your follicle does not produce enough estrogen, you will struggle to ovulate successfully and support a strong uterine lining.
How Does Chica Help Your Hormones?
Chica does not contain any hormones. Instead, our herbal formula nourishes the liver, which is our key hormonal regulator. Supporting your liver will guide you to the right balance for your body. The liver also regulates thyroid hormones, cortisone, and other adrenals; which means Chica can give you the bonus of supporting balanced mood and stress levels all month long.