Know Your Cycle and Be Empowered in your Body
The world also benefits from your empowerment as you make choices that are life affirming, create self-reliance and are powerful for yourself and the people you love.
The issue is that so few of us really know our bodies and this is resulting in confusion, pain and suffering.
At LETS we want to change this. We believe that even one fully empowered person can transform the lives of others, their communities and the world.
If you’re a female,
this information will help you be in tune with the rhythms of your body and give you confidence that will affect and transfer into your everyday life. It will bring you one step closer to loving yourself and your body, in all its miraculous phases, and give you hope that you are completely in control of your destiny.
If you’re a male,
this information will bring you into the conversation about fertility so that you can respect and understand the power you have over your future and how your choices affect others. Healthy men are fertile every day of the month and there is a shared responsibility in understanding ovulation patterns. When the mystery is gone, we believe it will foster greater respect and boundaries.
Buy a LETS Bracelet and Track Your Cycle
“I talk to women every day and about 85% of them say they don’t know the phases of their menstrual cycle or how each phase affects them. They aren’t confident in tracking their fertility and are unable to talk to their partners or children in a concise and educated way. The men I talk to feel completely disconnected from women’s menstrual cycles, her moods and how to support her. They even feel helpless and frustrated with not being able to make pregnancy decisions as a couple. About 95% of them know nothing about when their partner ovulates or the characteristics of each phase of the menstrual cycle. This lack of understanding is one of the primary causes for unplanned and unwanted pregnancies and for lack of respect for people’s choices. The consequences of this lack of understanding are dire – opportunites and futures greatly altered and in some cases foster children, human trafficking, child poverty and abuse. This needs to change and can change now.”
— Kristin Van Wey, Founder & CEO, LETS
What Happens When People Don’t Know Their Bodies?
When people don’t know or understand their bodies and their fertility they can make decisions that cause themselves and others pain. The results of this can be unplanned and unwanted pregnancies and loss of innocence and hope. It can change educational goals and opportunities and completely alter futures. In communities and households in crisis this can also result in trafficking, poverty and abuse as children are born into households that don’t want them or don’t have the capacity to care for them.
Share this information with others
At LETS we’re committed to helping you to know and understand your body and your fertility. This page is for you and for the women, men, girls and boys in your life. It might be one of the most important things you’ll read. Send it to your friends, show it to the people that you love. It’s our goal for you to be more informed so you feel confident, empowered and able to understand how to communicate clearly about your cycle and decisions for your future.
Your menstrual cycle will have an influence on your emotions, fertility and how your body feels. When you feel confident and understand exactly how your cycle influences you, you’ll be fully equipped to deal with what comes up monthly. You’ll have power over your cycle rather than it having power over you. We’re also going to give you tips on how to make your cycle easier because we want you to love your body in all of its changes.
An average menstrual cycle is 28 days and most cycles range between 21-35 days. Menstrual cycles are sometimes called lunar or moon cycles as they are approximately the same length as a lunar cycle which is 29.5 days from new moon to new moon. That’s why we’ve called our bracelets Lunar Essential Tracker Bracelets.
There are 4 stages in the menstrual cycle. As we’re focused on preventing unplanned and unwanted pregnancies and want your tracking to be simple we combine them into three.
Menstrual – Menstruation – Days 1-7
Follicular and Ovulatory – Fertile – Days 8-19
Luteal/Post Ovulatory – Non-fertile – Days 20-32
The timing of the above phases works well for cycles from 26-32 days. If your cycle is longer than 32 days or shorter than 26 days the timing will vary slightly.
The LETS Lunar Essential Tracker has a 95% effectiveness rate with preventing pregnancy in cycles that last between 26-32 days as long as you don’t have sex during your fertile phase. Starting from day one of your period you move the charm each day to the next bead to keep track of where you are in your cycle. Your fertile days, including the approximate time of your ovulation, (larger bead) will be in a different color. To determine your exact ovulation day, count backward 14 days from the last day of your cycle. If your cycle is regular this will be generally accurate. It’s important for you to be in tune with your body’s other signals for ovulation to have even more accuracy.
Remember that every woman’s body is unique and different. By tracking your
monthly cycle and getting to know your body, you will recognize your “normal.” This is important so you will also recognize any changes that might indicate dysfunction.
The information below is for an average cycle, we are all unique so please see this a general guide.
Day one is the first day of your menstruation (or your period). Prior to menstruation the lining of your uterus has been building up to be prepared to receive a fertilized egg. If intercourse didn’t occur and there is no fertilized embryo and your period will begin when the lining sheds. You’ll see this lining and the extra blood coming out through your vagina.
Most women bleed for 2–7 days, but remember that each body is unique.
During your period, you may notice changes and sensations in your body such as:
- Pain or cramping from the muscles contracting and relaxing to loosen the lining of the uterus.
- Bloating: fluid retention due to the fluctuation of hormones
- Tiredness: low levels of estrogen, low in iron
- Mood shifts and swings starting a few days before you bleed. You may feel impatient or cranky at the beginning as hormones release.
This may not be your best time to make important decisions due to mood fluctuations, feeling uncomfortable and bloated and tiredness but it’s a fantastic time to nurture yourself. If you struggle during your period or have PMS consistently, a good reboot or cleanse can make all the difference. You may also feel inwardly focused, so it’s a good time for self-reflection. Stay hydrated, rest, have some you time and allow the hormones to transition gently. Spend time in nature, go barefoot on the earth, journal your feelings and do things that bring you joy. It’s totally natural and normal for this to happen each month, and is in fact, an essential part of monthly cleansing. Learn to honor yourself and the beautiful cycles and seasons you have as a woman. It is what makes you unique and also creates a global connection with all women.
There are many natural things you can do to support these symptoms such as:
- Applying heat to the abdomen.
- Massaging pure and therapeutic essential oils into the abdomen over the ovaries or adrenals. Lavender, Rose, Clary Sage and Ylang Ylang are all excellent choices for calming, hormonal harmony and reducing pain and the inflammatory response. Using your favorite oils in a diffuser can greatly benefit you as well.
Avoid foods that cause bloating and water retention such as processed foods, fatty foods, alcohol, carbonated beverages, salty foods and caffeine.
- Eat more fiber and a natural plant based diet.
- Drink organic red raspberry leaf tea or any calming teas such as chamomile or fennel and lots of water with a couple of drops of therapeutic lemon or citrus oil.
One of the ways you’ll know you are becoming fertile is the fluids being released in the vagina will have a creamy consistency and will progressively get more and more like the texture of egg whites or ochre. Before ovulation, you will notice the discharge becoming slippery and clear – it can stretch up to 4 inches or more. This fluid will create a safe place for sperm to swim and live as it migrates up to look for a released egg in the fallopian tube. Without this fluid the sperm will die. It takes time to recognize the subtle changes in this fluid, which is why we created the bracelet with a 12 day fertility window leading up to ovulation and a couple days after.
If you have a 28-day cycle you’ll usually ovulate around day 14. There’s a massive spike in estrogen and an egg leaves your ovary and travels down one of your fallopian tubes. Generally speaking but not always, each month you will rotate sides from which the egg is released. Some women can even feel when the egg is being released by a sharp pinching feeling or spotting a little bit of blood.
Here is a great guide to help you determine your ovulation day:
Probable Ovulation Day
The egg can live for up to 24 hours and sperm can live up to 5 days in the fallopian tube so you are likely to have the potential for pregnancy during the four or five days before or 24 hours after you ovulate. Pregnancy occurs with intercourse or can happen if sperm comes close to the vagina but the penis doesn’t enter in. A man’s sperm fertilizes your egg and the egg attaches to the wall of your uterus. If the egg isn’t fertilized it will break apart and disintegrate.
If you are not wanting to conceive you have to abstain or use other forms of protection such as condoms to avoid pregnancy. It’s safest to use this precaution during your entire fertile phase. If you are on the pill and take it according to the instructions, it’s unlikely you will ovulate at all because the chemicals send a message telling the body that you are pregnant. If you are wanting to conceive, your fertile phase is the best time for unprotected intimacy.
After you’ve ovulated, your body starts producing progesterone, which causes the lining of your womb to thicken in preparation for a fertilized egg.
Other signs during ovulation are:
- Increase in core body temperature. Think about it like your body is preparing to become an incubator. Many women use a basal thermometer and take their core temperature before getting out of bed each morning. This allows you to know when this spike happens as well as when the temperature drops when their period is about to begin.
- Your breasts may feel enlarged and tender.
- Your body may feel a little sexier than usual – that might be one of the best signs. Nature created us to reproduce and those hormones and feelings are strong.
- Smell sensitivity.
- Mild pelvic or abdominal pain.
- Vaginal tingles.
During this phase you may also feel very creative and have a lot of energy. This is a great time to dream and get things accomplished. You may feel happier and things that typically bother you may not have the impact they normally do. Some women notice changes in their skin clarity and texture.
The same essential oils detailed in the menstruation phase will also support your ovulatory phase. Wild Orange or any citrus oils can help enhance creativity and promote having a mindset of abundance.
From about day 20 onwards you are most likely safe from getting pregnant. However, if your cycle is longer than 32 days it’s possible to conceive because ovulation will occur later in the month. That’s why it’s important to track it carefully and consistently.
Twenty-four hours after ovulation, your egg breaks apart and it can’t be fertilized and create a baby anymore.
The challenge is that unless you are tracking your cycle very closely and know your body well, you may not know until AFTER you ovulate. This is especially true if you have an irregular cycle or signs are obscure due to a yeast infection. A drop of Tea Tree essential oil in your underwear a few times a day can be very helpful as well as eliminating sugar, alcohol, processed foods and grains.
The progesterone and estrogen in your body will be slowly increasing from now on. Symptoms of high progesterone can be breast tenderness, feeling bloated, mood swings, excessive sleepiness, dizziness and a susceptibility to yeast infections. Symptoms of high estrogen can be bloating, swelling, headaches, mood swings, feeling tired, difficulty with memory and trouble sleeping. These symptoms and feelings can be managed with a reboot or cleanse.
Toward the end of this phase your fluid may become dry, sticky, or pasty.
On the days just before your menstruation your progesterone and estrogen levels are high and some women can experience a spike in any of the challenging symptoms we’ve just talked about.
These can be supported and harmonized with lifestyle changes and will often be relieved the on the first day of your menstrual cycle as your progesterone and estrogen drop.
There are so many simple things you can do to support a healthy and happy menstrual cycle. One of the best and most gentle ways to support the transition is to support your liver and elimination organs.
Many people are unaware that there are four main elimination pathways. The primary pathways are the intestinal tract and the urinary system and the secondary pathways are the respiratory system and the skin.
When the primary pathways are overused and backed up the secondary must pick up the slack and often symptoms and illness are the result. The liver releases liquids through the kidneys and solids through the bowel. Your liver has an enormous job of breaking down, processing and filtering substances and chemicals in your body. It is the only elimination organ without its own exit route.
This is why it’s so important to make sure your bowels and kidneys are releasing properly. This means if you eat 3 meals a day you should eliminate 3 meals a day. Gut health is the single most important aspect of vitality and will support your hormone cycles greatly. In addition, the gut-brain connection is a primary contributor to nervous system and emotional health.
Your thoughts are also chemicals and one of the reasons you may feel moody and have PMS before your period is that the liver is having to process not only its normal functions, but also the increase in hormone activity. Thoughts and emotions, as chemicals, are stored in the liver from earlier times in the month are now dumped back into the blood and it’s possible to feel the same emotions you felt at their original onset. This is particularly true if the bowels are unable to release them before they are reabsorbed.
SEE OUR HEALTHY BODY TIPS FOR MORE ESSENTIAL INSIGHTS
Lavender, Rose, Clary Sage, Ylang Ylang, Fennel, Ginger or Clary Calm.
Massage over the abdomen, ovaries, hips and adrenals to calm, find hormonal harmony and reduce the pain and inflammatory response.
Wild Orange and Peppermint or Ginger
Instant Energy Blend: Mix 1 drop of each in your palms, rub together and breathe in the aroma of the blend with 3 to 5 deep breaths.
Roman Chamomile, Lavender and Clary Sage
Soothing Bath Blend: add a few drops of each to a bath and relax. Add 1-2 drops to 8 ounces of water to cleanse and purify your system.
Lemon or other citrus oils and Fennel
Relaxing Tea: Make your favorite tea and add 1 drop of citrus oil and 1 drop of fennel for a relaxing, detoxing drink.
Basil and/or Frankincense
Apply 1-2 drops over temples and back of neck to promote mental alertness, clarity and reduce anxious feelings.
Jasmine or Neroli or Whisper
Apply to back of neck, spine, wrists, temples and bottoms of feet to promote healthy libido and relax the senses and produce feelings of optimism and euphoria.
Lemon or other citrus oils
Add 1-2 drops to 8 oz. of water to cleanse and purify your system.
Apply 1 drop in palms and breathe in 3-5 breaths. Enhances creativity and promotes having a mindset of abundance.
Wild Orange or other citrus oils
Enhance creativity and promote having a mindset of abundance.
Grapefruit or Slim and Sassy
Add 1-2 drops in 8 ounces of water to reduce carbohydrate cravings, bloating and swelling.
Apply to liver to cleanse body and decrease body symptoms, such as head and muscle aches.
Clary Sage, Lavender, Geranium, Bergamot, Ylang Ylang
Bedtime Diffuser Blend: Combine 10-2 drops of each oil to help promote restful sleep and hormone balancing.
Empower Blend Rollerball
For a 10 ml rollerball, mix each oil and top off with a carrier oil. Roll over your ovaries, neck, ankles and wrists.
Clary Sage – 6 drops encourages to be open to new ideas.
Bergamot – 6 drops supports self acceptance and self love.
Geranium – 3 drops restores confidence in others and the world.
Ginger – 6 drops empowers to take responsibility for life.
Wild Orange – 6 drops inspires abundance and joy.
Ylang Ylang – 6 drops helps to release emotional trauma and encourages playfulness.
Foundational health supplements to support your cycle and greater overall wellbeing
Bone Nutrient Complex: Blend of vitamins and minerals that are essential for bone health in women beginning in adolescence and continuing through menopause. Bone Nutrient Essential Complex is formulated with bioavailable forms of natural nutrients that include vitamins C and D, plus calcium, magnesium, and other trace minerals that support healthy bone density.
Phytoestrogen Complex: Blend of standardized extracts of plant (phyto) estrogens and lignans to help create a balance of hormones throughout the body and eliminate unwanted metabolites. Helpful for hormonal imbalances and mood swings (PMS), menopause, perimenopause and andropause.
Lifelong Vitality: Full of essential nutrients, metabolism benefits, and powerful antioxidants designed to help promote energy, health, and lifelong vitality.
- General wellness and vitality
- Antioxidant and DNA protection
- Energy metabolism
- Bone health
- Immune function
- Stress management
- Cardiovascular health
- Healthy hair, skin, and nails
- Eye, brain, nervous system
- Liver function and digestive health
- Lung and respiratory health