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Quelles sont les 4 phases du cycle menstruel ?-Gapianne
Cycle menstruel

What are the 4 phases of the menstrual cycle?

Better understanding our menstrual cycle can help us be more in tune with our body and adapt our lifestyle to each moment. Knowing that we have our periods around 500 times in our lives, we thought it wouldn't be bad to dust off our sex education classes by going over the basics of the so-called “feminine” cycle . Let's see together what are the 4 phases of the menstrual cycle.

What is a menstrual cycle?

First of all, do you know what a menstrual cycle is? Well, this is the natural process that most women and people with ovaries go through every month that prepares the body for possible pregnancy.

And now do you know what the 28 days of the menstrual cycle correspond to? This is the average duration between the first day of menstruation and the start of the next period. However, each of us is unique and the length of the menstrual cycle varies between people, some may have a shorter cycle (21 days) or a longer cycle (up to 35 days). Others may also have irregular cycles. Here, we therefore rely on averages to understand each phase of the cycle, but as you have understood, we are all different.

The menstrual cycle is made up of 4 phases: menstruation, the follicular phase, ovulation and the luteal phase. Let's take a closer look now 👀.

The 4 phases of the menstrual cycle

The menstrual cycle therefore has 4 phases. Internal phases that could be compared to the four seasons:

Phase 1 or "winter"

D1 to D6 – These are the periods, they last on average 5 days, again this varies depending on the individual, it can go from 2 to 8 days.

Phase 2 or "spring"

D7 to D14 – This is the continuation of the follicular phase which lasts approximately 14 days from the start of the period. This corresponds to the maturation of the egg until ovulation when it is released.

Phase 3 or “summer”

D14 to D20 – This is ovulation, the egg is released and ready to be fertilized. There are approximately 14 days until your next period.

Phase 4 or "fall"

D21 to D28 – This is the luteal phase, it lasts approximately 14 days, the egg is awaiting fertilization. This is the pre-menstrual phase.

Reminder: For people on hormonal contraception, the 'natural' menstrual cycle is put into “sleep”.

4 phases of the menstrual cycle diagram

The 4 phases of the menstrual cycle


What happens in our body during menstruation? This is the phase of elimination of the uterine mucosa, which sheds and is evacuated by the period to begin a new cycle.

More specifically, it is the hormonally influenced uterus, which engages in meticulous preparation to potentially welcome a fertilized egg. This involves the thickening of its inner lining, also known as the mucosa or endometrium, to make it suitable for implantation of an embryo. However, if the egg, once released by the ovary, does not encounter a sperm to fertilize it, no pregnancy occurs. In this context, the thickened mucosa becomes superfluous. The uterus, recognizing that it has no embryo to support, then eliminates this unnecessary endometrium. This elimination process results in vaginal bleeding called menstruation or period, a period which generally lasts 3 to 7 days.

This period invites introspection, rest and renewal.

Some tips for taking care of yourself during this time:

  1. Use heat to soothe pain in the lower abdomen and back: take a hot bath or shower to relax, use a hot water bottle, this can reduce the pain.

  2. Play on the power of plants with anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory and sedative properties to relax. Why not take them as a decoction during your period or take a course of food supplements to see the long-term effects. Find our special painful period herbal tea here . And our selection of effective products formulated with plants and vitamins to facilitate digestion and resolve hormonal acne problems, cramps and pain, mood disorders and fatigue.

  3. Turning to pleasure to produce these hormones that reduce pain, yes we are talking to you about dopamine and oxytocin. If you feel like it, masturbation and sexual intercourse can also be good pain relievers. We have many sex toys that might suit you 🥵

👉 Our naturopath Anne Guillerm has put together a guide to the foods to choose when you have your period.

Phase 2: The follicular phase – Spring

Here we are in the follicular phase! It marks the start of the menstrual cycle, beginning on the first day of menstruation and lasting until ovulation, which is approximately 14 days of a standard 28-day cycle.

The follicular phase is regulated by various hormones , mainly follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which stimulates the maturation of several follicles, small pockets containing eggs, within the ovaries. However, among this multitude, one follicle (or exceptionally two) emerges as dominant, continuing its maturation while preparing the egg it contains to be released. In tandem, the estrogen secreted by these follicles encourages the thickening of the endometrium, the lining of the uterus, thereby anticipating the possibility of implantation of a fertilized egg. This phase culminates with ovulation, the moment when the egg, released from its dominant follicle, migrates towards the fallopian tubes, ready for possible fertilization.

Estrogen rises, so does your energy and you feel in a better mood ! This is a time when we are in full bloom. Motivation returns and the desire to move is felt, we can focus on endurance and cardio sports at this time. It's time to stock up on superfoods (sprouted seeds, algae, etc.) to boost our dynamism.


Ovulation, unlike the follicular phase, is better known. During the ovulation phase, the biological process culminates with the release of a mature egg from the dominant ovarian follicle. This release is preceded by a notable peak in luteinizing hormone (LH), a crucial indicator that acts as a trigger for the release of the egg. After its release, the egg begins a journey through the fallopian tubes, opening a relatively brief fertilization window of about 24 hours. During this period, if a sperm manages to meet and fertilize the egg, conception can occur . However, in the absence of fertilization, the egg begins to disintegrate , signaling the body to prepare to begin the next phase of the menstrual cycle.

This is THE phase of the cycle where we shine and where we are the most fertile : 4 days before ovulation until one day after. It’s a phase of expression, we are full of desire, we feel powerful. It is therefore the time to do high-intensity sport but also to prepare your body to enter the pre-menstrual phase then, you can choose an anti-inflammatory diet, we focus on Omega 3 with fish, eggs and vegetable oils. Anti-oxidants with foods rich in vitamin E such as avocado, nuts, coconut, soy etc.


Following ovulation, the ovarian follicle, having previously released the egg, undergoes a transformation to become what is called the "corpus luteum". The latter has an essential hormonal role: it begins to produce mainly progesterone. This hormone's mission is to prepare the endometrium, the lining of the uterus, to potentially welcome a fertilized egg. Depending on the fate of the egg, two scenarios unfold: if fertilization occurs, progesterone contributes to the maintenance of a thick endometrium, essential to support the start of a pregnancy. On the other hand, if the egg remains unfertilized, the corpus luteum begins to decompose, leading to a drop in progesterone. This hormonal decrease is the prelude to the disintegration of the endometrium, thus leading to the onset of menstruation. Usually, this luteal phase extends for a duration of 14 days in a typical menstrual cycle.

One may experience nostalgia, increased sensitivity, and/or a decline in energy. But it is also a phase that will promote creativity, inspiration and self-affirmation. This is a good time to resolve issues. If you suffer from pre-menstrual syndrome , it is during this period that you will see certain symptoms appear, so you adapt your sporting practice towards more “gentle” sports such as yoga, walking or pilates. In addition to an anti-inflammatory diet, we favor foods that produce serotonin (yes, the happiness hormone is produced by the consumption of protein: turkey, chicken, beef, soy, cod, lentils, seeds of squash, etc.) and which is rich in magnesium (nuts, cocoa, almonds, wholemeal bread, bananas, shellfish, etc.)

We hope to have guided you on the 4 phases of the menstrual cycle that punctuate your life and to have helped you better understand your cycles. Find our podcast Pluriel.les and its episode by Julia Marconnet who explains to us the importance of following your menstrual cycle and adapting your lifestyle according to the different phases.

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