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Menstrual Cycle Phases: The Full Story Explained


The menstrual cycle is comprised of four phases. Keep reading to learn about each phase of the cycle and what to expect during that time.

Menstrual Cycle – Luteal Phase

Symptoms of the menstrual cycle’s luteal phase:

  • Progesterone increases
  • Estrogen level is high

Every woman knows when “it’s that time of the month”.  So many of us get irritable, emotional, and fatigued. Everything is tender and bloated. Ibuprofen, ice cream, tea, and Netflix are her best friends. And the last thing she wants to do is show her face in public.

Believe it or not, this state of misery, called the luteal phase, only represents the last two weeks of the menstrual cycle.

Menstrual Cycle – Bleeding Phase

Symptoms of the menstrual cycle’s bleeding phase:

  • Progesterone and estrogen levels decrease

The menstrual cycle also includes the bleeding phase, which occurs in the first seven days. This is the week when women become the largest investors in Playtex, Kotex, and Tampax.

Menstrual Cycle – Follicular Phase

Symptoms of the menstrual cycle’s follicular phase:

  • Progesterone stays low
  • Follicle-stimulating hormone increases
  • Estrogen is released
  • Testosterone level rises

Another menstrual cycle phase is the follicular phase. During this 2-week period, estrogen and testosterone levels increase. This segment of her menstrual cycle can leave her feeling energetic, fire up her metabolism, and put her in a good mood.

That last bit may seem like an oxymoron, but yes, her body is still on the menstrual cycle during those feel-good moments.

menstrual cycle phases

It is important that a woman is aware of the menstrual cycle phases and how it will affect her body. Being in tune with your body generates a better listener so that when things go wrong, she will know when to seek out help.



  1. Kennedy, E. (2015, November 28). The 4 phases of the cycle explained, courtesy of Health Quotient [Digital image]. Retrieved March 1, 2016, from
Lauren Dawkins

Lauren Dawkins

Lauren Dawkins is a Clinical Support Specialist. She received a Bachelors of Science in Neuroscience from Furman University, and completed a thesis project focused on dopamine and nicotine, and their role in addiction. Following her undergraduate career, she joined the team at Sanesco and has worked in the clinical department for three years. Starting in July 2016, she will be relocating to Boston, MA to peruse other research projects and continue medical school prerequisites.

Disclaimer: The information provided is only intended to be general educational information to the public. It does not constitute medical advice. If you have specific questions about any medical matter or if you are suffering from any medical condition, you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.

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