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2023 11 03 5 tips luteal phase header

The luteal phase: 5 tips to help you get through it well

Oh no, the luteal phase. If you've already done some research into your cycle and are familiar with the luteal phase, you may associate it with tiredness, mood swings and PMS. That's why today we're giving you 5 tips on how to get through your luteal phase well. It doesn't last forever, we promise 😉

What is the luteal phase anyway?

As Luteal phase is the phase immediately after ovulation in which your body prepares either for pregnancy or for your next period. The start of the luteal phase is also characterised by the post-ovulatory rise in your basal body temperature, which you can use as an indicator of whether you have ovulated and which remains elevated until the start of your next period. With our smart femSense Sensor Patch you can easily recognise this rise in temperature and know exactly when you are ovulating.

How long does the luteal phase last?

The luteal phase lasts around 14 days and ends immediately before the next menstruation. Good to know: If it lasts less than 10 days, it is too short and your body may not build up enough endometrium to hold a potential pregnancy. However, if it lasts significantly longer than 17 days, this may be due to hormonal disorders such as PCOS. It is therefore definitely advisable to have your Track cycleto pay attention to the duration of your luteal phase. Simply count the days from your ovulation to the start of your next period.

What exactly happens during the luteal phase?

During ovulation, the follicle ruptures to release the egg. This ruptured follicle closes again in the luteal phase after ovulation and forms the so-called corpus luteum (hence the name luteal phase). If the hormone oestrogen is primarily present around your ovulation, the corpus luteum now produces more of the hormone progesterone.

This progesterone, which is produced by the corpus luteum, prepares the uterus for potential embryo implantation. To do this, the lining of the uterus thickens and fills with nutrients and fluids so that it can nourish an embryo. The mucous membrane in the cervix also thickens at the same time, making it harder for bacteria or sperm to enter the uterus. This is because fertilisation has already taken place at this stage.

As you can see, progesterone ensures that your uterus is "ready to rumble" for the implantation of a fertilised egg. However, if no egg implants, the corpus luteum stops producing progesterone after approx. 12-16 days and regresses. This "progesterone standstill" now triggers your period and the excess mucous membrane that was built up during the luteal phase is shed during your period.

Hello PMS!

As already mentioned, oestrogen levels fall after ovulation. This and the regression of the corpus luteum before your period can also lead to physical side effects. Your physical energy decreases significantly (it's not you, it's the hormones!) and towards the end of your cycle you may experience premenstrual symptoms such as bloating, irritability, mood swings, sensitive breasts, water retention or cravings. PMS is actually quite common, it is estimated that at least 3 out of 4 women suffer from some of these symptoms to a greater or lesser extent.

1. take care of administrative matters & household

The special ratio of oestrogen and progesterone in this phase causes you to perceive things around you differently. For example, you start to prioritise administrative details more. You may also notice that you are a little more 'domestic' than usual during this phase (you can compare this to the potential implantation of the egg during this phase). It is therefore the ideal time to take care of activities such as tidying up the flat, doing the bulk shopping, etc.

2. shift down a gear & focus more inwards: Self-care hello!

As your energy dwindles in the luteal phase, it's a good tip to focus your remaining energy inwards. So pay even more attention to yourself and your inner peace than in other phases of your cycle. Now is the right time for self-care, be it a long bath, a good book or film or a visit to the spa, treat yourself to something nice! As your social capacities are not as high as usual during this time, try to withdraw a little during the luteal phase and not make too many social appointments so that you don't feel unnecessarily exhausted.

Even if you are already pretty sure, we would like to remind you once again that a healthy diet and sufficient exercise are the be-all and end-all on your Fertility Journey. Pro tip: Tailor your training to your cycleit will definitely increase your well-being.

3. gentle movement

If you have less energy, everything logically feels much more strenuous. This is particularly noticeable when doing sport. So if you've ever wondered why certain training sessions were suddenly more strenuous than usual, it may well be that you were in your luteal phase. That's why it's a good idea, Adapt your training to your cycle. For the luteal phase, this means that you should reduce the intensity of your training during this phase, as your strength and endurance performance will be lower than usual. Try to focus on more moderate training in this phase of your cycle, such as calmer yoga or Pilates sessions, stretching or lighter cross-trainer sessions, and don't take it too much to heart if your training isn't going as well as usual. Again, it's your hormones, not you!

4. power foods

Food cravings are also quite normal during the luteal phase and you may notice that you are hungrier than usual. However, did you know that there are certain foods that can help you get through the luteal phase more easily? B vitamins, calcium, magnesium and fibre are particularly essential. These nutrients can minimise sugar cravings, which can be a side effect of the progesterone surge. A calcium-magnesium combination, such as that found in leafy greens, can also reduce the effects of water retention. Healthy, natural sugars also help with the drop in oestrogen and can make you less irritable. One of the best ways to achieve this is to roast or bake vegetables, which increases the sugar concentration and makes the vegetables taste sweeter. Also make sure you get enough complex carbohydrates to stabilise serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain and avoid mood swings.

5. patience is key

Last but not least, we would like to give you a little mantra for your luteal phase: Patience is key. Try not to be so hard on yourself and be patient. During the luteal phase, you experience a lot of hormonal changes, which can unfortunately affect your general well-being and energy levels. So concentrate on yourself and on things that are good for you during this phase. And don't forget, the next follicular phase is sure to come.

Do you have any good tips for the luteal phase that we have forgotten to mention? Then please let us know on our Instagram know.

Sources:

Women's Health Issues (04.11.2023)

Abendstein (04/11/2023), The female cycle

Normal Periods (04.11.2023)

Vitti, Alisa: Woman Code (2013). 150-152, 243

Tina is the Marketing Manager at femSense and firmly believes that great things happen when women support and empower each other, because in this "men's-world" there clearly needs to be more sisterhood. She lives in harmony with her superpower aka her cycle and writes about all the topics that matter.

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