What is cycle syncing you ask? Cycle syncing is that art of tracking your menstrual cycle—from feelings to phases, to cervical mucus. While at first, it may feel cumbersome or unnecessary, when you get into the rhythm of it all, you will learn so many “hidden” things about yourself that we, unfortunately, aren’t taught growing up. You may even realize your cycle is in alignment with the moon…but we can talk about that another time.
If you’re anything like me, the term “cycle syncing” sounds familiar because you read the book Woman Code—shout out to Alisa Vitti. I love that book and it was the perfect entryway for me to start tapping in and understanding my monthly cycle after re-regulating my hormones that were totally of whack after coming off of the pill. That said, the book mainly focuses on cycle syncing when it comes to food—particularly in the realm of seeds—aka seed cycling. Ring any bells? While I loved the thought philosophy there, the seeds didn’t stick for me.
So, what did stick? Connecting the dots between my cycle and other aspects of my life from working out to getting work done…both in a professional and sexual context *insert smirk.* Understanding your menstrual cycle and learning to lean into the ebbs and flows of energy, feelings, and wetness that come along with it all can actually work FOR you, not against you. Talk about a perception twist. You’re welcome. Here’s how to flip the script on your period woes once and for all.
Let’s break it down.
Day one of your cycle is the day you start bleeding…like a real bleed, spotting doesn’t count here. Pending how long your bleed lasts—“normal” is anywhere from 3-7 days, but varies from vulva holder to vulva holder (note: if you’re worried that your period is abnormal, please contact your doctor). After your bleed, you transition into your follicular phase.
The follicular phase
The follicular phase is the time of the month, if you will, for getting sh** done. I like to schedule my important meetings or events for this timeframe. I also increase my energetic output in the exercise department. Energy is higher, the mind is more focused and action oriented, and productivity is peaking. If you’re familiar with yin and yang energies, yin being the slower, flowier, feminine energy and the yang being the more direct, bang it out, masculine energy, the follicular phase is in alignment with the yang. So go on and knock out that to-do list.
Okay, okay we’ve talked enough about the productivity side of things here. I know what you’re really wondering is, what in the world does this mean for my vulva and my sex life? I’m about to tell you something that might be life-changing—ready? It’s quite possible that you might not be getting that wet down there. Sure, arousal with focus on foreplay could change that, but it also might not. It’s normal. There is nothing wrong with you or your partner. The rewarding thing about understanding your cycle is the care, compassion, and admiration for your body that comes along with it. Does that mean you can’t have sex during this time? Certainly not. But consider using lube and letting your partner know that it’s most literally a cyclical thing and has absolutely nothing to do with them nor your attraction to them. Also, do yourself a favor and always use a little lube. Let’s normalize the lube use.
After the follicular phase comes, you guessed it, we ovulate. Pending your cycle length—for reference a “normal” cycle is around 21-35 days—ovulation can happen as soon as day 11 or as late as day 18. It all depends on you and your body. A good way to get a grasp on nailing down your day of ovulation is to pay attention to your cervical mucus which you can read more about here. All of these “funny” body things happen for a reason.
Whether or not you are trying to conceive (TTC), your body is programmed to prime itself for potential conception of another being, so if you’re not on hormonal birth control that is inhibiting ovulation from occurring, you will notice a change in cervical mucus. This means you will likely get more wet when it comes to playtime than you do during other times of your cycle (note: that there are a lot of factors here including medications, day to day stress, etc.). You will also likely feel more sex forward and outgoing during this time. Think of it as a last hurrah before the slow down into the luteal phase.
The luteal phase
We’re now onto the latter half of the cycle, the luteal phase. The luteal phase is the time of the month to go inward. To move slower. I personally use this time to get quieter and do more brainstorming and creative activities. My exercise routine slows down as does my sex life—both self and partnered (both are equally important). It doesn’t stop or even lessen on a frequency basis, but it is approached with a different energy than it was in the follicular phase. It’s more tender and you guessed it, you may need more lube than you did around ovulation. I also give myself more grace from a work perspective. I make sure to let myself rest if I need and often indulge in slower self care activities like baths, meandering walks in nature, and self massage. I carry this with me into my bleed and we start the cycle all over again.
The good news!
The more you track, the easier this all is to understand, and the more “normal” it will feel. When I first started tracking, I literally felt like I found a key to a door that I was never able to unlock, or quite frankly that didn’t even exist. I always viewed my period as a chore, something I wish I could skip over. The more I focus on celebrating it (and the day or two on the couch with cramps that often come with it) the more appreciation I hold for my body.
I’d love to hear your journeys re: cycle syncing and what you’ve learned about yourself in the process. You’re always free to find me on IG and send me a message. Would love to hear from you.