Cycle syncing is a process of synchronizing lifestyle choices with natural hormonal fluctuations that occur during a menstrual cycle. Cycle syncing is the practice of aligning one’s daily habits and routines with their menstrual cycle to optimize their health and well-being.
The practice involves tracking menstrual cycles and changing sleep regimens, diet and other lifestyle factors to optimize health at all cycle stages.
Cycle syncing may address hormonal imbalances and decrease hormonal symptoms associated with changing of menstrual phases.
Cycle-syncing programs are now included in workout regimens by a number of fitness companies, including P.Volve, Psycle, and Nike’s Training Club app.
Cycle syncing is part of the Mindful Menstruation meta trend.
Mindful menstruation is a movement that encourages increased awareness of the bodily changes that occur during periods.
Additionally, mindfulness influences how people perceive menstruation and the severity of PMS.
Meditation is thought to positively affect menstrual awareness, which can help alleviate some of the physical and emotional symptoms of PMS.
The practice has also amassed a following on social media. Videos talking about mindful menstruation have over 1.6 billion views on TikTok.
Inito and Natural Cycles are examples of startups operating in this space.
Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)
Question: What is cycle syncing?
Answer: Cycle syncing is a method of adjusting your lifestyle habits to match the phases of your menstrual cycle. It may help you balance your hormones, improve your mood, energy, and overall health. Cycle syncing is when you change lifestyle habits like your diet or exercise routine to match the phases of your menstrual cycle. By doing this, you may become more in-tune with your hormonal fluctuations and optimize your health, mood, energy, and productivity.
Cycle syncing is a practice that involves aligning your lifestyle choices, including diet, exercise, and daily activities, with the different phases of your menstrual cycle. The menstrual cycle consists of four main phases: menstruation, the follicular phase, ovulation, and the luteal phase. Each phase is characterized by hormonal changes that can impact your energy levels, mood, metabolism, and overall well-being. By understanding these hormonal fluctuations, cycle syncing aims to optimize your health and productivity throughout the month.
Question: How does Cycle Syncing work?
Answer: Cycle Syncing works by aligning your lifestyle habits, such as your diet, exercise, work, and sex, with the four phases of your menstrual cycle: menstrual, follicular, ovulatory, and luteal. Each phase has different hormonal changes that affect your energy, mood, appetite, and libido. By adapting your habits to these changes, you can optimize your health and well-being.
Cycle syncing works by recognizing and adapting to the hormonal variations that occur during each phase of the menstrual cycle. During menstruation, when estrogen and progesterone levels are low, it’s a time for rest and self-care. In the follicular phase, as estrogen levels rise, it’s a good time for physical activity and trying new things. Ovulation, when estrogen peaks and an egg is released, is a time for increased energy and socializing. The luteal phase, characterized by higher progesterone levels, calls for a focus on self-care, relaxation, and nourishing foods. By adjusting your lifestyle choices accordingly, you can potentially enhance your well-being and productivity.
Question: How common is cycle syncing?
Answer: Studies have found cycle syncing does seem to occur regularly among women living together or in close contact. Around two-thirds of women report their cycles aligning with friends or family members over time. It’s most common among college roommates, military recruits, or women who work closely together in small groups.
Question: What causes cycle syncing?
Answer: The exact mechanism is still unclear, but pheromones are thought to play a role. Pheromones are scent chemicals emitted through sweat and other bodily fluids that communicate subconscious signals. When women are exposed to each other’s pheromones regularly through close proximity, it may influence the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis and synchronize hormonal and menstrual cycles.
Question: What are the benefits of cycle syncing?
Answer: Cycle syncing can help you balance your hormones, reduce PMS symptoms, improve your fertility, boost your metabolism, enhance your creativity, and support your overall well-being. Cycle syncing can also help you understand your body better and appreciate its natural rhythms.
Cycle syncing can help you balance your hormone levels, especially if you have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). It can also decrease period symptoms, such as cramps, bloating, mood swings and fatigue. Additionally, it can improve your sex drive, fertility, productivity, creativity and overall well-being.
According to experts, Cycle Syncing may provide several potential benefits, such as:
- Feeling more energized and productive
- Feeling more balanced and experiencing less mood swings
- Enhancing your fertility and libido
- Reducing PMS symptoms and menstrual cramps
- Improving your metabolism and weight management
- Supporting your hormonal health and balance
Question: What are the risks of cycle syncing?
Answer: There are no known risks associated with cycle syncing. However, it is important to note that it is not a cure-all for any health problems. If you have any concerns, it is always best to talk to your doctor.
Question: Are there any potential drawbacks or limitations to cycle syncing?
Answer: While cycle syncing can be a valuable approach for many individuals, it’s important to recognize that each person’s menstrual cycle and hormonal patterns are unique. Some individuals may have irregular cycles or conditions that affect their hormonal balance, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). In such cases, cycle syncing may need to be adapted or modified to suit individual needs. It’s always recommendedto consult with a healthcare professional or a qualified practitioner who specializes in menstrual health and hormone balance to ensure that cycle syncing is appropriate for you and to address any specific concerns or conditions you may have.
Question: Can cycle syncing help with menstrual symptoms?
Answer: Yes, cycle syncing can potentially help alleviate menstrual symptoms. By adapting your diet and lifestyle choices to each phase of your menstrual cycle, you can support hormonal balance and reduce symptoms such as cramps, bloating, mood swings, and fatigue. For example, during the luteal phase when progesterone levels are high, incorporating foods rich in magnesium and B vitamins, such as leafy greens and whole grains, can help reduce bloating and support mood stability.
Question: How do I start cycle syncing?
Answer: To start cycle syncing, you need to track your menstrual cycle and identify which phase you are in. You can use a calendar, an app or a basal body temperature (BBT) thermometer to do this. Then, you can adjust your diet, exercise, work and social activities according to your hormonal fluctuations.
Question: What are the four phases of the menstrual cycle and how long do they last?
Answer: The menstrual cycle is divided into four phases: menstrual, follicular, ovulatory, and luteal. The length of each phase may vary depending on the individual, but here are some general guidelines:
- The menstrual phase: This is when your body sheds the lining of your uterus if no pregnancy occurs. This phase lasts for about 3 to 7 days and marks the start of a new cycle.
- The follicular phase: This is when your body prepares for ovulation by producing estrogen and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). This phase lasts from the first day of your period until ovulation, which is usually around day 14 of a 28-day cycle.
- The ovulatory phase: This is when your body releases an egg from one of your ovaries. This phase lasts for about 24 to 36 hours around the middle of your cycle.
- The luteal phase: This is when your body produces progesterone and prepares for a possible pregnancy. This phase lasts from ovulation until the start of your next period, which is usually around day 28 of a 28-day cycle.
Question: How can I track my cycle and know which phase I am in?
Answer: There are several ways to track your cycle and identify your phases. You can use a calendar, an app, a basal body temperature (BBT) thermometer, an ovulation predictor kit (OPK), or a combination of these methods. Here are some tips on how to use each method:
- A calendar or an app can help you record the start and end dates of your period, as well as other symptoms or events that may indicate your cycle phases. For example, you may notice changes in your cervical mucus, mood, libido, or energy levels throughout your cycle. You can use these clues to estimate when you are in each phase.
- A BBT thermometer can help you measure your body temperature every morning before you get out of bed. Your temperature tends to rise slightly after ovulation and stay elevated until your next period. By tracking your temperature over several cycles, you can identify a pattern and predict when you are likely to ovulate.
- An OPK can help you detect a surge in luteinizing hormone (LH) in your urine. LH triggers ovulation within 24 to 36 hours. By using an OPK daily around the time you expect to ovulate, you can pinpoint your most fertile days.
- A combination of these methods can give you a more accurate picture of your cycle and help you cycle sync more effectively.
Question: How should I adjust my diet according to my cycle phases?
Answer: Your diet can have a significant impact on your hormone levels and cycle symptoms. By eating foods that support your hormonal needs in each phase, you can optimize your health and well-being. Here are some general dietary recommendations for each phase:
- During the menstrual phase, focus on foods that replenish iron and other nutrients that you lose through bleeding. These include leafy greens, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, eggs, meat, and fish. You may also crave chocolate or sweets during this phase. Choose dark chocolate or natural sweeteners over refined sugar to avoid blood sugar spikes and crashes.
- During the follicular phase, focus on foods that support estrogen production and detoxification. These include cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, and brussels sprouts; fruits, such as berries, citrus fruits, and apples; whole grains, such as oats, quinoa, and brown rice; and fermented foods, such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi.
- During the ovulatory phase, focus on foods that boost fertility and libido. These include protein-rich foods, such as eggs, chicken, turkey, fish, tofu, and tempeh; healthy fats, such as avocado, olive oil, nuts, seeds, and coconut; and aphrodisiacs, such as oysters, chocolate, bananas, figs, honey, and spices.
- During the luteal phase, focus on foods that support progesterone production and prevent premenstrual syndrome (PMS). These include complex carbohydrates, such as sweet potatoes, squash, carrots, beans, lentils, and peas; magnesium-rich foods, such as spinach, pumpkin seeds, almonds, cashews, and dark chocolate; calcium-rich foods, such as dairy products, broccoli, kale, sesame seeds, and sardines; and anti-inflammatory foods, such as salmon , walnuts, flaxseeds, turmeric, and ginger.
Question: What kind of exercise should I do during each phase of my cycle?
Answer: The general principle is to match your exercise intensity and type with your energy level and mood during each phase. For example:
- During the follicular phase, do high-intensity and cardio exercises that boost your endurance and creativity, such as running, cycling, dancing or boxing.
- During the ovulatory phase, do social and competitive exercises that enhance your communication and confidence, such as team sports, group classes or partner workouts.
- During the luteal phase, do moderate-intensity and strength exercises that support your metabolism and muscle tone, such as weight lifting, Pilates or yoga.
- During the menstrual phase, do low-intensity and restorative exercises that ease your cramps and fatigue, such as walking, stretching or meditation.
Question: How can I cycle sync my work and social life?
Answer: The general principle is to align your work and social tasks with your cognitive abilities and emotional needs during each phase. For example:
- During the follicular phase, focus on brainstorming new ideas, planning projects, learning new skills, and meeting new people.
- During the ovulatory phase, focus on communicating your ideas, pitching proposals, networking with others, and collaborating with teammates.
- During the luteal phase, focus on completing tasks, organizing details, evaluating results, and giving feedback.
- During the menstrual phase, focus on reflecting on your performance, setting goals, resting your mind, and nurturing yourself.
Question: Can anything disrupt cycle syncing?
Answer: Disruptions like traveling apart, changes in sleep or stress patterns, or starting hormonal birth control can cause cycles to desync. Major life events like pregnancy or menopause will also disrupt any alignment. Syncing appears fragile and cycles may resync if consistent contact resumes or desync if contact is reduced for an extended time.
Question: Does cycle syncing occur in other species?
Answer: Yes, cycle syncing has been observed in other female social mammals as well, including rhesus monkeys, chimpanzees, elephants and dolphins. Pheromonal communication is thought to underlie this phenomenon cross-species. Cycle syncing may serve an evolutionary purpose of maximizing reproductive potential in social groups.
Question: Does exercise play a role in cycle syncing?
Answer: Yes, exercise plays a role in cycle syncing. During the follicular phase, when energy levels are higher, you may feel more motivated for intense workouts or trying new activities. In contrast, during the luteal phase, when energy levels may be lower, incorporating more gentle exercises like yoga or walking can be beneficial. It’s important to listen to your body and adjust your exercise routine accordingly throughout the different phases of your menstrual cycle.
Question: Can cycle syncing impact fertility?
Answer: There is no strong evidence cycle syncing impacts overall fertility. However, some research found conception was less likely if sex occurred at certain points of the cycle for synchronized vs non-synchronized women. More data is still needed, but cycle syncing itself does not appear to influence long-term reproductive success.
Cycle syncing itself does not directly impact fertility. However, by understanding and tracking your menstrual cycles through cycle syncing, you can gain insights into your fertility patterns. This knowledge can be helpful if you’re trying to conceive or want to better understand your reproductive health. Additionally, cycle syncing can support overall hormonal balance, which may indirectly contribute to fertility.
Question: What if I’m having trouble getting pregnant?
Answer: If you have been trying to conceive for more than 12 months without success, you should talk to your doctor. Your doctor can help you to determine if there is an underlying cause of your infertility and recommend treatment options.
Question: Can stress disrupt cycle syncing?
Answer: Yes, high stress has been shown to disrupt cycle syncing between women. Periods of acute stress can cause desynchronization as stress hormones like cortisol influence the HPO axis differently in each individual. Chronic stress may make cycles less regular and therefore harder to align between individuals. A calm environment seems best for maintaining synchronized cycles.
Question: Can cycle syncing impact mood?
Answer: Some anecdotal links have been proposed between cycle syncing and mood/emotional contagion. For example, premenstrual syndrome may theoretically spread between close-knit women. However, no scientific evidence confirms mood is transferred or directly impacted by cycle synchronization between individuals. Hormonal changes alone do not appear to influence mood in this way.
Question: Is cycle syncing only for women with regular cycles?
Answer: While cycle syncing is often discussed in the context of regular menstrual cycles, it can also be beneficial for women with irregular cycles or those who have reached menopause. Although the hormonal patterns may be different, adapting your lifestyle to align with your body’s natural rhythms can still support overall well-being. In the case of irregular cycles, tracking your individual hormonal patterns and adjusting your lifestyle accordingly can be particularly helpful.
Question: Are there any scientific studies supporting cycle syncing?
Answer: While there is anecdotal evidence and personal experiences supporting the benefits of cycle syncing, scientific studies specifically focused on cycle syncing are currently limited. However, there is scientific research available on the hormonal changes that occur during the menstrual cycle and how they can impact various aspects of a woman’s life. It’s always advisable to consult with healthcare professionals and trusted sources for personalized guidance.
Question: Is cycle syncing suitable for women approaching menopause?
Answer: Cycle syncing can still be relevant and beneficial for women approaching menopause. While the menstrual cycle may become irregular or cease altogether during perimenopause and menopause, understanding the hormonal changes and their associated symptoms can help women navigate this transitional phase. Adjusting lifestyle choices, self-care practices, and dietary habits to support hormone balance and overall well-being can still be valuable during this time.
Question: Are there any apps or tools available for cycle syncing?
Answer: Yes, there are several apps and tools available to assist with cycle syncing. These apps allow you to track your menstrual cycle, record symptoms, and provide insights into the different phases. Some popular cycle tracking apps include Clue, Flo, and Ovia. These apps often provide additional features such as reminders, educational content, and personalized insights to help you optimize your lifestyle based on your menstrual cycle.
Question: Can cycle syncing help with symptoms of PMS?
Answer: Yes, cycle syncing can help alleviate symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) such as mood swings, bloating, and breast tenderness. By understanding the different phases of your cycle and making lifestyle adjustments accordingly, you can reduce the severity of these symptoms and improve your overall well-being.
Question: How long does it take to see results from cycle syncing?
Answer: The length of time it takes to see results from cycle syncing can vary depending on several factors, including your individual cycle patterns, the intensity of your symptoms, and the specific lifestyle adjustments you make. In general, you may start to notice improvements in your symptoms and overall well-being within a few cycles, with optimal results occurring after several months of consistent practice.
Question: Can cycle syncing help with endometriosis?
Answer: Yes, cycle syncing can help alleviate symptoms of endometriosis such as painful periods, heavy bleeding, and pelvic pain. By understanding the different phases of your cycle and making lifestyle adjustments accordingly, you can reduce the severity of these symptoms and improve your overall well-being.
Question: Can cycle syncing help with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)?
Answer: Yes, cycle syncing can help alleviate symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) such as irregular periods, weight gain, and hirsutism. By understanding the different phases of your cycle and making lifestyle adjustments accordingly, you can improve your insulin sensitivity, reduce inflammation, and promote ovulation.
Question: How can I stay consistent with cycle syncing practices?
Answer: Staying consistent with cycle syncing practices can be challenging, but there are several strategies you can use to help you stay on track. These include tracking your cycle and symptoms, setting reminders and alerts, and finding a supportive community of like-minded individuals. It’s also important to be patient and kind to yourself, as it may take time to notice improvements in your symptoms and overall well-being.
Question: What are some tips for cycle syncing?
Answer: Here are some tips for cycle syncing:
- Track your cycle regularly.
- Pay attention to your symptoms and energy levels.
- Sync your activities with the different phases of your cycle.
- Be patient and don’t expect to see results overnight.
- Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns.
Question: What are some common mistakes people make when cycle syncing?
Answer: Here are some common mistakes people make when cycle syncing:
- Not tracking their cycle regularly.
- Not paying attention to their symptoms and energy levels.
- Syncing their activities too rigidly.
- Expecting to see results overnight.
- Not talking to their doctor if they have any concerns.
Question: What are some resources for learning more about cycle syncing?
Answer: There are many resources available for learning more about cycle syncing, including:
- Books: The Period Repair Manual by Lara Briden, The Fifth Vital Sign by Alisa Vitti, and Cycle Syncing by Katja Grace.
- Websites: The Cycle Syncing Method, Flo Living, and FEMM.
- Apps: Clue, Kindara, and Ovia.
- Podcasts: The Cycle Syncing Podcast and The Period Party Podcast.
Question: Is cycle syncing right for me?
Answer: Cycle syncing may be right for you if you are interested in improving your overall health and well-being, as well as your fertility. However, it is important to note that it is not a cure-all for any health problems. If you have any concerns, it is always best to talk to your doctor.
Question: What is the future of cycle syncing?
Answer: Cycle syncing is a relatively new practice, but it is growing in popularity. As more research is done on the benefits of cycle syncing, it is likely to become even more popular in the future.