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A follicular phase crash course!

A follicular phase crash course: for holistic feminists!

That’s right! At ThriVe+, we embrace feminism in a holistic sense. We care about your mind, body, and spirit. That’s why we take the time to break down tons of topics on women’s health. This is our Nurse’s Corner. We’ll dish out all the info you need about the follicular phase.

Why? We women should feel confident in our bodies. And that means having a great understanding of our cycles. This crash course won’t take long, but I hope you’ll leave feeling more empowered.

What’s the follicular phase?

It’s the opening chapter of your menstrual cycle. This phase kicks off on day one of your period and sets the stage for ovulation. Ovulation is a key part of your cycle.

In a typical 28-day cycle, the first 14 days are considered the follicular phase. That’s when the little egg is getting built up.1

 At the end of this stage, the mature egg is released from the ovary and goes down the fallopian tubes, where it can meet up with a sperm. If it does, that can be the beginning of a pregnancy.2

Worried that you might be pregnant? You’re always welcome to come take a no-cost pregnancy test at ThriVe+. We’ll be happy to help you out.

Your body, your unique cycle

Your lifestyle and health can influence your cycle. Things like stress, PCOS, weight changes, diet, exercise, and sleep disruptions can all play a role in changing your cycle.3 If you pay attention to things like stress and how your body reacts to it, it’ll help you monitor your cycle. And knowing more about your specific body and cycle can help you make decisions about your health, (which is huge!)

Aside from that, everyone’s body is different. Some women have really regular cycles. Others have more sporadic cycles. And some women have totally unique experiences in their fertility journeys. We also experience our periods differently. Some of us have very heavy periods or get really bad cramps. Others have light periods and can function as normal during our periods. 

This is why it’s valuable to learn about your specific body, your specific cycle. To get the best care and to help you plan for your future, learn the ups and downs of your menstrual cycle.

How Do You Know You’re in the Follicular Phase?

The follicular phase kicks off when your period starts – so that’s day one of bleeding. Easy, right? From there, you can tune in to a couple of signs that clue you into where you are in your cycle.

First up, let’s talk about cervical mucus. That’s the vaginal discharge you might notice throughout your cycle. During the follicular phase, your cervical mucus might start to change. It might become clear, slippery, and stretchy – kinda like egg whites.2 Lovely visual aside, this is actually a sign that your body is gearing up for ovulation. It changes to this consistency to help the potential sperm travel through your body easier.

Another clue? Keep an eye on your basal body temperature. That’s just a fancy way of saying your body’s temperature when you first wake up in the morning. Some women notice a slight dip in their basal body temperature right before ovulation. So, if you’re tracking your temperature and you notice a dip, it could mean you’re in the follicular phase and will soon (or have already) ovulated.4

By paying attention to these signs, you can get a pretty good idea of where you are in your cycle. And hey, the more you know, the more empowered you are to take charge of your health. As we talked about, your body goes through the follicular phase because it’s preparing for a potential pregnancy. 

If you’re concerned about avoiding pregnancy, it’s a good idea to postpone sex for now. It’s the only way to 100% prevent pregnancy.

You’re worth it.

Power through your period

Unfortunately, the follicular phase tends to come with some discomfort. Okay, maybe more than discomfort. Feeling crummy during your period is totally normal – but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer through it! Here are some tips to help you feel better:

1. Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water to help ease bloating and keep your body hydrated.

2. Eat Well: Reach for healthy, balanced meals and snacks. Foods rich in iron and magnesium can help ease cramps and boost your mood.

3. Exercise: I know, I know – the last thing you feel like doing is hitting the gym when you’re on your period. But trust me, gentle exercise like walking or yoga can actually help ease cramps and boost your energy.

4. Heat Therapy: Applying a heating pad or taking a warm bath can work wonders for soothing cramps and easing tension.

5. Pain Relief: Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help take the edge off cramps and headaches during the follicular phase. Talk to your doctor if you’re looking for more advice on pain relief.

6. Rest: Listen to your body and give yourself permission to take it easy. Curl up with a good book, watch your favorite movie, or take a nap – whatever helps you feel relaxed and comfortable.

7. Manage Stress: Stress can make period symptoms feel even worse. Be sure to take time to de-stress. Try deep breathing exercises, meditation, or whatever helps you chill out.

8. Stay Connected: Reach out to friends or family for support. Our culture might have tried to hide our periods in the past, but times have changed. Now, we women can talk about our periods. There’s no shame in reaching out for help.

Everyone’s period is different, so don’t be afraid to experiment and find what works best for you. Your cycle and your body are something to be celebrated! Congrats on finishing this crash course on the follicular phase! You’re beautiful, and deserve to feel confident in your body and your future.

If you’re worried you might be pregnant, please don’t go through this alone. Come see us at ThriVe+. We offer no-cost pregnancy tests, pre-abortion screenings, and STD screenings. It’s a safe place for women. You’re totally welcome any time.

Hang in there – you’ve got this!






Healthy • Safe • Strong

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