Learning about your Menstrual Cycle…… :-)

For us in Aculife Acupuncture Cork, there are 4 phases, that we break the cycle into. We have the Follicular Phase and the Luteal Phase. Within those two phases there is a further breakdown. Menstrual phase, post menstrual phase, ovulation phase, implantation phase and then the pre menstrual if there is no pregnancy. We build our treatment strategies for our patients using acupuncture to get pregnant around these menstrual phases.

So lets start with the Menstrual phase, this is where a patient has her period. Every woman is different when it comes to what her period is like. There are a number of factors that you need to evaluate.

– Number of days of period, they can average from 1 day to 5 to 7 days

– Quality of period, the colour of the blood, going from red to brown to black in colour.

– Clots, small medium large, start of period, middle or end.

– Pain, is there pain, is it sharp or dull, where is it located.

Menstrual Cycle, getting Pregnant

So for example, lets say you have a period that has an initial brown spotting before your period one day of brown blood, the 2nd day the blood changes to red, the next day there are medium sized clots. And finally the last day you have dark blood. This may seem normally to most doctors. However for us this is a representation of the being a possible issue with the quality of the blood in the uterus. The period should be, pain free, red in colour and no clots.

A great treatment strategy here would be to use one of our hypnosis downloads in this phase of the cycle, that focuses on the free flow of blood during menstruation, supporting in the creation of quality of blood and helping to relax the mind body connection to the reproductive system and the removal of any pain during this phase. We would also recommend acupuncture in this phase if you have menstrual issues.


Post menstrual, is where we have a rebuilding of the endometrium, a stimulation of the ovaries and an activation of new hormones such as:

– FSH – normal result less than 10 – tested in day 3

– Estrogen

– Lutenising Hormone

– Progesterone – normal result over 40 – test 7 days post ovulation

With FSH, Follicule Stimulating Hormone, it is secreted from the Pituitary gland. and that inturn stimulates a number of follicules grown in this early phase, however one may respond the best and grow the largest, this is called the dominant follicule. This dominat follicule starts to produce estrogen, which in turn tells the pituitary gland to stop secreting FSH hormone and the other follicles in the cycle will not continue to grow any further. over the next 4 to 7 days this egg will be released for ovulation, however if the egg takes more than 10 days from this phase to develop, its not going to be a quality egg. So fertilisation may not happen and if it does, it may not spit correctly over the next few days.

This is an important phase for you as we are getting the egg ready for release and the potential fertilisation of sperm and egg. The building of the lining goes from 1-2mm to 9-10 mm by ovulation. Estrogen primes the endometrium.


In the ovulation phase, which happens over a number of days, the most important hormones are the Lutenising hormone, this comes from the pituitary gland and is a signal that you are just about to ovulate. You may use at this stage, ‘Ovulation Predictor kits’ which are looking to pick up this ‘LH surge’. You should also be looking out for a change in the ‘Cervical Mucus’ this an important indicator of the potential for ovulation, as it is doing a number of things, it is alkalising the cervix, normally the cervix is quite acidic, and provides nutrients for any sperm present. Once the follicle is released, it is broken into two components, the egg for fertilisation and the corpus leteum to secrete the progesterone hormone. In parallel, the follopian tube is now very active and moving over to catch the egg as it is released.

There are alot of things happening here, during the ovulation phase, so our treatment strategy is to help keep you nice and relaxed we dont want you experiencing too much stress around this time, as it will hinder ovulation and then possible implantation. So a great time to do acupuncture with one of our acupuncturists, we also add in hypnosis support for the ovulation cycle, with the aim of a healthy release of an egg. And within 36 hours the fertilisation of the egg. We want a healthy build up of progestorene from the corpus luteum, so again some acupuncture to support a healthy growth of the now fertilised embryo. And good progesterone to help the embryo continue to go. From this phase to the next is about 7 days.


The next phase is the implantation phase, and as you can appreciate this is an important part to the process for you in getting pregnant, so at this stage, an egg has been released, fertilisation of sperm and egg has occurred and now 7-9 days post ovualtion implantation is about to occur. Implantation can take up to three days to occur. Where the fertilised embryo will try to embed itself into the lush thick lining of the endometrium. A T-cell will activate to protect the embryo from the immune system, and communicate with the corpus luteum to continue its job of secreting progesterone. At this time its important to have a good level of progesteron, anything over 40 is considered normal.

So there you go…… Its not as easy as we thought.. 🙂 If you ever have any question, please do call us, and we would be delighted to help in any way we can.


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