Botanical Breast Enhancement: Guide
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LH spikes before FSH spikes during ovulation.
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Menstrual Phases

The menstrual cycle will be divided into 4 phases to simplify timing: menses (menstruation), proliferative, secretory and premenstrual. Ovulation is between proliferative and secretory phases, and it will be considered an intermediate time.

Follicular phase has been divided up into menstruation and proliferative phases. Menstruation is when the uterus lining is shed. The proliferative phase is from the end of menstruation until ovulation: this is the time when the uterus rebuilds to prepare for potential pregnancy.

Luteal phase has been divided into secretory and premenstrual phases. The corpus luteum which produces progesterone is present during the secretory phase. Premenstrual phase begins after the corpus luteum disintegrates, and it ends at the beginning of menstruation.

In a simplified herb schedule, any time outside of menses will be considered non-menses. It will include all phases and intermediary times outside of menses.

Determining Menstrual Phase

Temperature is often used as an indicator, but sometimes abnormal temperatures can give false indications of phase. Mucus is a more reliable way to determine phase. If one is unsure of phase, it is better to wait a day or two after taking any herbs or other supplements before trying to determine phase. Temperature can fluctuate soon after herbs are taken, and phyto-hormones can affect mucus.

For images of cervical mucus throughout the cycle for reference, see: Cervical mucus: What it looks like through your cycle. For more description, see: How does cervical mucus change during menstrual cycle?. See the links under resources for more.


Menses (menstruation) is determined by menstrual shedding.


Proliferative phase begins once menstruation stops. Sometimes, menstruation can stop for a day, then resume. This phase is when estrogen levels gradually start to rise.

At the beginning of proliferative, when estrogen levels are low, there is an absence of cervical mucus. A good indication of being definitely a few days into proliferative phase is when mucus starts.

Mucus starts off as thick and sticky. Then, increasing estrogen levels and response influences mucus to become clear and watery during late proliferative phase before ovulation.

Temperature for proliferative phase normally ranges from 36.2°C (97.2°F) to 36.5°C (97.7°F).


Increased cervical mucus that is clear or semi-transparent (like raw egg white) and stretchy/stringy is an indication of ovulation. Swollen genitals and a feeling of itching near where the ovaries are located are sometimes associated with ovulation.

For more on signs of ovulation, see: 10 Signs of Ovulation.


Thick (creamy) unclear (white/yellow) mucus and higher body temperature are signs of secretory phase.

Dominant progesterone levels cause mucus to be thick and unclear.

Temperature for secretory phase normally ranges between 36.5℃ (97.7℉) to 37℃ (98.6℉). Progesterone produced by the corpus luteum in comparison to lower estrogen raises body temperature. If body temperature is significantly higher than 37℃ (98.6℉), or if you have hot-flashes, see estrogen response.


Premenstrual syndrome symptoms are likely from a sudden decrease in progestogen synthesis. Here, body temperature lowers under 36.5℃ (97.7℉).

Mucus remains thick during premenstrual. It gets gooey and cheesy-like closer to menstruation.

Birth control pills

When birth control pills (BCP) are used, there may not be ovulation and possibly secretory phase.

Lunar Calendar

waning gibbous
≈ Waning Gibbous
≈ 74% illuminated
19 days old
UTC 2024 May 28

Menstrual phases can synchronize with the Moon's phases, but it is not always so. The beginning of menstruation is associated with New Moon, and the occurance of full moon is associated with ovulation. This is a less reliable way of determining menstrual phases.

2024 Menstrual Calendar
New 1Qtr Full 3Qtr
May 8 May 15 May 23 May 30
Jun 6 Jun 14 Jun 22
Menses / Proliferative Ovulation Secretory / Premenstrual
2024 May 28 UTC


The symptom of hot-flashes is associated with abnormally high body temperature. Hot-flashes can indicate an estrogen imbalance.

Diagrams of folliculogenesis

diagram of folliculogenesis phases
Image attribution: Creative Commons Attribution License v4.0 blog

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