One of the most common questions I am asked by women wanting to follow the WomanCode protocol and sync their diet, exercise and lifestyle to their menstrual cycle is: “How do I know where I am in my cycle?” If you’re not experiencing clockwork periods every 26-32 days, and if you’ve picked up my book or found my site then there’s a good chance that you are not experiencing this, then figuring out whether you’re in your follicular or luteal phase can seem like a conundrum.
I don’t want this to worry you as it’s simple to untangle. So, let me walk you through the 3 most common types of irregular cycles and how you can cycle sync with each starting TODAY.
The WomanCode protocol is designed so that within a few months of following the plan you will once again experience regular periods and feel totally comfortable and confident about where you are in your cycle and know when to expect your period, whether you’ve previously had PCOS or just some random irregularities.
But, when you first get started you want to maximize the benefits of your food choices. As I said, by just following the plan laid out in my book you should see regular cycles within months. You can, however, speed up the process considerably by committing to the full Flo Living program with the additional support from me and the other Flo coaches.
To help you on your way to better and regular periods, no PMS, no cramps, high energy, suped up sex drive, and healed hormonal health issues, I’m going to go over some common cycle scenarios. That way, you can start following the WomanCode protocol ASAP and get your body back on track.
The 3 most common types of irregular menstrual cycles
Period Delay Type 1 – Too long – Either you’re not making enough hormones to ovulate and you’re experiencing a perpetual follicular phase; or you are not making enough progesterone and staying in the luteal phase post-ovulation for far too long.
How to cycle sync – Figure out which issue you are dealing with first. Thankfully it’s not too hard to do. The most scientifically accurate way is to take your basal body temperature every morning when you wake up. When you ovulate, your temperature will shift and indicate your body is entering the luteal phase. This can also help you to predict when you will see your period. You could do this with a regular thermometer and read “Taking Charge of Your Fertility” by Toni Weshler to understand how to interpret your temperature data to know which phase you are in, or you can use any one of the new fertility monitors and apps, which does all the interpreting and analysing for you and let’s you know if and when you have ovulated. You can additionally monitor the other signs your body will provide – if you are experiencing a long follicular phase then you will have constant vaginal dryness and if you’re in your luteal phase for weeks you will be experiencing bad PMS symptoms like mood swings and bloating.
Monitor your cycle for at least 3 months to figure out the issue you are dealing with. One cycle can be thrown off by stress, antibiotics, illness, alcohol consumption, over exercise – delaying ovulation. But 3 months of monitoring will show a pattern you can work with.
Then, start with the phase that you are experiencing for the longest – follicular or luteal – and eat the foods listed for that phase and follow the plan for that part of your cycle. Then move forward through the protocol every 7 days – so 7 days luteal/follicular, 7 days ovulatory/menstrual and so on. This will support your body and help you to balance your hormones, so that you can then progress to the next phase and the next. Your body will be prompted to follow suit.
Period Delay Type 2 – Too short – A short cycle (we’re talking less than 26 days) is a sign that your thyroid is under-performing. First of all, read up on thyroid disorders with my previous post on this problem. I have tips on how to support your thyroid more effectively without pharmaceuticals. Usually this means you have a very short luteal phase.
How to cycle sync – Figure out where you are in your cycle using the methods mentioned above. Then focus on the luteal phase foods. Eating more of these will help you support your thyroid and progesterone levels and make your luteal phase longer and more regular (ideally it should be at least 10 days long and at best 14 days long.
Period Delay Type 3 – No period for months – Not seeing your period for months on end suggests you are in a very long follicular phase most of the time. You’re body is only ovulating very occasionally, if at all.
How to cycle sync – Start with the foods in the follicular phase and progress every 7 days to the next phase in the cycle regardless of what your body appears to be doing. For many, many women I’ve worked with this is enough to kickstart their reproductive hormonal system and they see their period return quite rapidly. We have testimony after testimony from those women who are Flo Living graduates who have gotten their periods after months, even years of it going M.I.A (see here and here).
Always remember, that once you have the right information about how your body really works, you can start making health choices that finally start to work for you! You can do this – the science of your body is on your side!
to your FLO,
Good things come in threes:
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First, do you struggle with cycle irregularity?
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But what about women who’s periods aren’t long, short or missing but periods that keep changing dates and always the same length?
Can you please clarify? If it would be easier, you can schedule a free initial call with one of my counselors here: http://bit.ly/12Xruvm.
They will be able to support you with any questions you have!
I live in Scotland and recently purchased your book after reading about you on a forum. After the birth of my son I had a thyroid lobe removed because of a swelling. I have had quite a few minor symptoms of both under active thyroid and PCOS but my doctor says that all my blood test results are within the normal ranges (a common situation!). I have a period every month but it ranges from 26 days to 32 days in length and although this is within the range that you mention above I’m not sure if this makes it abnormal? I’m 38 years old and my little boy is now 2 years old.
Our body communicates to us all the time, and we can get signals from it warning of issues that could occur if we remain on the same diet/lifestyle trajectory. Think of it as an early warning system. If we do remain on the same course, eventually the test results will leave the normal range, and you will really be not feeling well. So, all that to say that we should be listening in and responding appropriately to the symptoms that you are experiencing! Thyroid is often linked to adrenal stress and fatigue – please focus on these aspects! If you would like to get more support, book a free initial consults with one of my counselors and they can tell you more about the resources we offer! You can book here: http://bit.ly/12Xruvm
What is the food list for the follicular and luteal phase or do we need to get the book , can you give a few
Hello when you mentioned to eat the foods listed for each phase I was just trying to figure out where to find that list.
Is it available online or through your book/program?
“Then, start with the phase that you are experiencing for the longest – follicular or luteal – and eat the foods listed for that phase and follow the plan for that part of your cycle. Then move forward through the protocol every 7 days – so 7 days luteal/follicular, 7 days ovulatory/menstrual and so on. This will support your body and help you to balance your hormones, so that you can then progress to the next phase and the next. Your body will be prompted to follow suit.”
Yes, you can get more info about your phases and how to sync to them, including the food lists, in the book or in the online program!
I am an avid follower of your blog. get periods every 21-24 days for 7-8 days. Taking your advice I am on vitex for last 2 months. Seems to be going ok. However you mentioned thyroid could be problem. I had it checked 3 months ago (after listening to your webinar). My results were normal. So what could the other reasons be? Thanks
Great point – it is very common for hormone and thyroid tests to come back normal, even when things are clearly NOT normal. Looking at the symptoms is always a great way to get the preview of things to come health-wise. In order to support the thyroid, the adrenals must be healthy and not fatigued. If you have read the book, it may be helpful for you to take the protocol up a few notches and do the online program – in there we walk you through, in great detail, all 5 steps of the protocol. You will come out really understanding and knowing how to listen to and respond to your body!
What if you have symptoms from the follicular phase such as dryness, but also from the luteal phase such as cramps, feeling fat and moody? Then what do you? Please help 🙁
I first heard Alisa on wellness wonderland, I was about to start taking a medication to ovulate. As I listened to the podcast I felt an overwhelming feeling that there was hope for me to have a better life experience. Since that moment my life has already changed, I immediately bought Woman Code on my phone and started reading. I could go on and on but I will just say this, I bought 10 copies of the book to give to my friends and family. Almost every page of the book was helpful to me! I cried a few times while I was reading it, it was like it was placed in my life at the perfect moment. Woman Code has given me so many tools and so much hope for my future!
Thank you so much for reaching out and letting me know this is helping you!!! This is why I am here! Please keep us posted with your journey, and let us know if there is any way that we can further support you!
What if you are have a perpetual period? I’ve been bleeding or spotting every day for over a year after 2 years of no period. My temps are flat, my ob/gym has tested me and came back with “hormone imbalance.”
Long luteal is me! Ovulation comes every 14 days like a charm. And then we wait. Expecially if I’m under stress. Greens, greens, and more greens works. But I have to eat the other foods too. Sometimes I crave that follicular food, though. I could really use some fermented foods right now. But yes, back to greens.
Any tips for what to do when you’re bored with the food you should be eating lots of?
Astrid Hensel says
what about us older women, who are in Premenopause, or Menopause, I don’t get my period anymore, but my hormones are still working, and still feel like I am going through some kind of cycle, but don’t know where in my cycle I would be, cant really tell. Do you have any suggestions for that?
The protocol is helpful to women of all ages. However, there are sections that talk about menstruation and specific things that we can learn about ourselves, our health, from the symptoms during mentruation. If you are not having a period, then you won’t be using that info. That said, you can still follow the cyclical eating if you feel very much in tune with your body’s shifts! This is a beautiful thing to keep doing at any age. We have several resources from the book (WomanCode) to the online protocol that could be useful for you. Let us know how we can support you!
I haven’t had my period coming up to 5 years now and I’m actually re-reading your book for the second time at the moment! Could you clarify ‘Start with the foods in the follicular phase and progress every 7 days to the next phase in the cycle regardless of what your body appears to be doing’ – do you mean I should do 7 days of each phase and not according to the normal days of each phase, for example ovulation is 3-4days.
Yes! You will be doing it differently than described in the book until your body regulates. So switch every 7 days.
so if I start with the luteal phase und switch after a week to the menstrual phase I’ll end up eating like in follicular or ovulatory phase when I have my real bleeding days. Is that ok?
I am not sure I understand the question, but you want to readjust your diet to menstrual phase once you get your period, and then follow the correct lengths for each cycle until you get your period again. If you don’t get your period on time, then keep moving forward with your diet, and readjust again once your period arrives!
Rosanna Whitton says
Hi Alisa, I have mennoraghia and bleed all the time. I am waiting for an ablation. I guess there’s no way of knowing where I am with my cycle??
Rosanna Whitton says
I have mennoraghia and bleed all the time. I am waiting for an ablation. I guess there’s no way of knowing where I am with my cycle??
I`m 34. I`ve took birth control pills for 1 year and half and then stopped taking them and lost my periods for 2 years. I`ve bought your book and read it.
I don`t eat grains and beans now for 1 year and half, though I`ve used them regularly in the past. Furthermore I try to follow the Flo chart as much as I can. I`ve used to be underweight. And after stop taking the pills my already small breasts even shrank!
I take vitamin B complex 100 and vitamin C 3000 to 4000. Now it is 2 months that I`ve got my period back Yayy!
I don`t have cramps and it takes 1 week as it did in past too. Though the second month after reading this article I`ve found out that I had a long follicular phase so I acted accordingly as you mentioned in the article and then I had 1 week long ovulation and libido! Maybe it takes some time to get regulated I guess.
But in recent months I tend to put on weight more than ever in my life. Usually with PCOS you gain weight but all the time I didn`t have my periods I didn`t gain weight and now that things are back to normal I`m getting on weight. Although it`s good that now I can feel my breasts but my belly grows as well. And I know it is better to gain some weight when you have PCOS. I just don`t understand why for me is the other way round.
Thanks for the information you provide. I wish you more success this year
I love your book and your approach! My skin in incredible and I feel great! My libido is back too. However, I am gaining weight instead of loosing. I’m not one of those skinny types to begin with. Just curious how I should approach this and what I should do to perhaps slim down also? I am about 10-8 lbs heavier since having my beautiful daughter two years ago.
Here is a link to some of my articles on weightloss! These will help you pinpoint where the issue may be.
What are the foods to eat for the follicular and luteal phase or do you have to get the book for the list of foods
i’m 15. 5’3, around 110 lbs, and my last period was in February. Have been getting it for 2 years now and am super irregular, period lasts random intervals and random times of month. I have no changes, am not pregnant but i get random cramps and PMS symptoms with no period. But now i am super worried because i haven’t gotten it in a month. I do have anxiety and depression, 20mg lexapro. please help i don’t know why this is happening :(( anyone else been in a similar situation?
Brittney Kuepferle says
Do you have a favorite basal temperatire fertility tracking device? I’m looking into daysy, and although it’s quite expensive I’m definitely willing to shell out $350 for a quality product. What are your thoughts?
I have never experienced a normal flo- not even on birth control. My fertility doctor would just scratch his head & say “your body is stubborn, it does what it wants.” On bc or not, I face all 3 of the common cycles within a given year. Numerous tests have been done to determine the culprit but results all come back normal. We desperately want to have our own child, but cannot wield my hormones to make things easier- we’ve tried it all in the eyes of western medicine. For the past 5 months I’ve been on a journey with alternative methods and Eastern practices- acupuncture, reiki, yoga, etc… still my cycles are unpredictable- I had 2 back to back regular cycles but no ovulation, followed by my next period 10days later, and now it’s been 2 months no period & no ovulation. Help— please!!
This is something we can take a closer look at with you. I would recommend that you get hormonal testing done, if you haven’t already. You can also speak with one of my coaches to trouble shoot and get some steps you can start to implement right away. Please take a look at the website to find out more about the services we offer.
I’m 46 and recently married. We practice natural family planning. However, perimenopause or stress has caused me to have cycles where I don’t ovulate. I take my basal body temp, use fertility strips to see if there is an LH surge, and try to look for cervical mucus which is little to none , and note whether my cervix is high or low. We are trying to avoid pregnancy due to our age and some mental health issues. My psychiatrist and I checked every medication I’m on for anxiety and depression and none came up as the culprit. I started taking vitamins; eating avacado; and taking other foods out of my diet. After a month, nothing has changed. I can’t tell when I go from phase two to three. So my husband and I have been celabite except for light day or before air detect an estrogen surge. Is this what I can expect for the rest of perimenopause? All of this is making me super stressed and depressed. I feel like this inability to tell when I’m fertile vs. infertile is going to go on for years until I reach post menopause. Is this the deal? Please help. We are very religious so birth control is not an option.
Hi! This is my first month off Yasmin birth control (I’ve been on it for 13 years) and I should have gotten my period already. I’ve been cycle syncing for about 7 months but now I don’t where I am in my cycle. I’ve been eating for my menstrual phase but it hasn’t come. Does that mean I should transition to the follicular phase? Or stay in the menstrual phase as if I were having my period for a few more days? You mentioned PMS, mood swings, and bloating and I definitely had all of those this week. Does that mean I’m still in my luteal phase? I can’t find any information on how to change your cycle syncing routine when transitioning off the pill and how long each phase is when you make the switch. I really appreciate your insight!
Do you have actual recepies in your book?
Hi. I had an endometrial ablation about 4 years ago. I have no period anymore. How can I find out where I am in my cycle? What is the easiest way to figure this out?
Molly Monella says
I ordered the book and the balance supplements! I had an endometrial ablation and haven’t bled in years. How can I figure my cycle out? Thank you!