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Period Power

Harness Your Hormones and Get Your Cycle Working For You

By Maisie Hill
15-minute read
Audio available
Period Power by Maisie Hill

Period Power (2019) is your ultimate guide to periods, hormones, and reproductive health. Menstrual health practitioner Maisie Hill explains how your menstrual cycle influences your mood, sleep, and energy and shows how you can harness the power of your hormones to get the most out of each stage of your cycle. Drawing on science and personal experience, Hill equips you with the tools and knowledge to turn your “women’s problems” into period power.

  • People with periods who are ready to take charge of their menstrual health
  • Girls and women going through puberty, pregnancy, menopause, or other big hormonal changes
  • Non-menstruating people who want to understand their menstruating partners better

Maisie Hill is a menstrual health expert who helps her clients work with their menstrual cycles and heal hormonal irregularities. She has been trained in Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, and ATMAT (the Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy). As a go-to specialist for menstrual, hormonal, and reproductive issues, she has been quoted in publications from the Guardian to Grazia. 

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Period Power

Harness Your Hormones and Get Your Cycle Working For You

By Maisie Hill
  • Read in 15 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 9 key ideas
Upgrade to Premium Read or listen now
Period Power by Maisie Hill
Synopsis

Period Power (2019) is your ultimate guide to periods, hormones, and reproductive health. Menstrual health practitioner Maisie Hill explains how your menstrual cycle influences your mood, sleep, and energy and shows how you can harness the power of your hormones to get the most out of each stage of your cycle. Drawing on science and personal experience, Hill equips you with the tools and knowledge to turn your “women’s problems” into period power.

Key idea 1 of 9

Your menstrual cycle is regulated by the ebb and flow of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. 

If you want to harness the power of your period, first you need to understand what the heck is going on with your body every month. 

Let’s start with the basics. Your uterus, or womb, is the star of your menstrual cycle. It sits inside of you, at the top of your vagina, and looks like an upside down pear with two arms. These arms are your fallopian tubes. At the end of each fallopian tube are your ovaries, which consist of cell clusters, called follicles, that contain your eggs. 

At the beginning of your cycle, your brain tells your ovaries to start producing follicle-stimulating hormone, or FSH. FSH helps the follicles select and groom an egg to be fertilized, which is why this first half of your cycle is called the follicular phase. As the egg grows, levels of the hormone estradiol rise. Estradiol is a form of the hormone estrogen that, among other things, causes the inner lining of your uterus to thicken in order to prepare for hosting a baby. 

When your egg is “good to go,” it’s released by the follicle. This event is called ovulation, and apart from menstruation, it’s one of the two pivotal moments of your menstrual cycle. If sperm is present in the vagina around ovulation, the egg can be fertilized, and you can become pregnant. Sperm can live in your vagina for about five days, and a released egg lives up to 24 hours; in order to conceive, you’ll have to have sex a few days before, during, or shortly after ovulation. 

After the egg is released, the follicle that released it turns into a temporary gland called the corpus luteum, which starts producing the hormone progesterone. Progesterone rules the second half of your cycle, the luteal phase. It’s there to help your body slow down and regroup in case of pregnancy.

If the egg is not fertilized, however, the corpus luteum can only produce progesterone for about 14 days. After that, your levels of progesterone and estradiol dip, and the drop causes the cells of your uterine lining to die and fall off. 

This is what comes out of your vagina as your period: a flow of blood and some tissue that typically lasts around three to seven days. As soon as you get your period, your menstrual cycle begins anew. In a textbook cycle, this would happen after 28 days – but a healthy cycle can last anywhere between 25 and 35 days. 

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