The Benefits Of Tracking Your Menstrual Cycle — As A Couple

Image by Brittany Theophilus x valentinrussanov / mbg Creative x Getty

Because of its trackability, the menstrual cycle gives a person the unique ability to tune into their body and connect to its natural rhythm—a process known as cycle syncing. Each menstruating person goes through four different phases during their menstrual cycle, sometimes referred to as their moon cycle because of the way it mirrors the moon's own monthly cyclical movements. Each phase has a specific biological purpose and, by understanding each one, offers specific connection points where you can increase your productivity, pleasure, and purpose. In other words, when you cycle sync, you're shifting your activities, food choices, workout routines, goals, and deadlines to the phase you are in.

What's more, if you are in a romantic partnership, this is a practice that can bring you closer as a couple. Yes, that's right: That means getting your partner involved with your periods.

The idea of tracking your cycle with your partner might sound shocking or perhaps even gross. But there's actually some historical precedent here: In Judaism, men and women in marriage would come together and track the women's menstrual cycle together, and today, this is still an important healing, bonding, and spiritual practice. The lineage of this practice—governed by niddah, Jewish laws governing menstruation—is the husband and wife predicting when the period is to come and taking time apart while the woman is bleeding. Although the principles were brought to the world by men deciding when a woman was "pure" or not, modern-day Jewish couples have since reclaimed the practice with a focus on romantic partners working together to understand the woman's cycle in ways that improve sexual and romantic connection between the couple.

Couple cycle tracking entered my life when I began cooking meals at home based on the cycles, inspired by reading holistic health coach Alisa Vitti's well-researched period manual WomanCode. My partner loved our continuously changing food choices each week, which was how he first began recognizing the phases of my monthly cycle. As he began to understand the cycle, he began making other associations: He started to become hyper-aware when I neared ovulation as our sex routine got a great boost, and he also started to recognize when I was in my don't fucking talk to me phase pre-menstruation. Now he keeps track with me, and he knows when to be free for an adventurous date and when to make plans outside of the house to give me space.

Tracking together through understanding my hormonal shifts and cues has brought us closer both intimately and spirituality, and we both feel it's improved our romantic and personal lives.

Here are the four different phases of the moon cycle and how my partner and I connect with them—and use them to connect with each other.

Menstrual

This is a time when hormones are at their lowest, and the person has shed their uterine lining. Oftentimes our energy is low, and the menstruating person may experience cramps or lower back discomfort. For my menstruating clients, I urge them to call in sick or to ask their company if they can work from home on the first day of their period. Have you ever wondered if PMS would be solved if people with vaginas just stopped doing what they didn't want to do on the first day of their bleed? We want to be in bed dreaming.

During this time, my partner knows I need stillness and quiet, so he makes plans with his friends outside of our home. I generally desire to be alone—I like to light candles, be quiet, meditate, and connect with myself. The people I want to connect with, if anyone, are my fellow bleeding women whom I've synced with from our time together. Because my partner knows my cycle now, he can accommodate these needs without any hurt feelings or confusion.

When we're together, I like to cuddle and rest together. We'll also talk about our future and our long-term plans in a gentle manner, and I tune into my internal insights, which supports honest communication in our relationship. Our menstruation phase comes with raw emotions, and it is a wonderful time to tune in and connect to your current human experience.

I also have friends who like to connect to their artsy side during this phase as this is how they like to express their rawness. There are women who like to fingerpaint with their menstrual blood as a way to harmonize what is happening with their body and what they're feeling emotionally. This practice is intimate and rich with creativity.

Personally, there have also been times in my life when I was coming off synthetic hormones from the birth control pill, so my menstrual cycle was actually when I was most sexually turned on. Every body is different, and if this is when you want to get it on, then more power to you!

Follicular

This is the phase after bleeding when our estrogen hormone begins to rise once again, and so does our energy. This is when I like to dream big and make some goals and intentions for the month ahead. This is my ideal time to sit in an active meditation ritual and practice manifestation, which is all about calling in what I most desire.

During this time, my partner and I like to attend events in the city as my energy is increasing and I desire socializing. I tend to be more outgoing and match my partner's big personality, especially after staying inward during menstruation. Since we took time apart during my bleed, our sex life rapidly increases during this phase, and we have a reunion of being back together intimately—pretty similar to the idea behind niddah laws, as it so happens!

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Ovulation

This part of the cycle is typically a menstruating person's peak. When we ovulate, estrogen peaks, and progesterone starts to rise as well with a dash of testosterone. These hormones are chemical messages that support our overall and reproductive health. Estrogen is responsible for building up the lining in the uterus to prepare for pregnancy while progesterone oversees the implanting of the egg in the uterus. Testosterone supports our sex drive and the desire to fertilize our egg to procreate. During ovulation, our vaginal mucus is slippery and more egg-white like, which means you are fertile.

During this time, I feel sexy! Typically my skin is a bit more oily, my hair is shiny, and my odor is different—more sweet and tangy. Because I'm looking and feeling more attractive than ever, my partner and I like to get it on during this time! Biologically speaking, this is how our bodies are programmed. People with vaginas are most fertile when we ovulate, and that spike in testosterone charges up our body to desire sex. My love and I will be more adventurous during this time and have increased energy to play for longer periods of time—and we're also way more careful about remembering to use protection. (If you don't desire a child, be mindful and stay safe!)

Moving with the flow of my high energy, we also like to go out dancing or organize parties during this time, as well as attending HIIT workout classes or a fast-paced advanced yoga class together. For meditation, we will practice more active meditations and heavy breathwork.

Personally, this is also my ideal time to book all my speaking engagements, record all my episodes for Wise Woman Podcast, and book my big pitch meetings with corporate clients and sponsors. My partner recognizes this as my time of high-productivity, and he supports me during this time by editing some of the proposals and rapid-fire strategizing possible scenarios and client questions with me. We both tend to stay up later during this phase, hanging out together while working.

Luteal

This phase is when the uterine lining thickens and prepares for egg implantation. Progesterone rises, and the body prepares for the bleed. Biologically it's a time of surveying and preparation, so this phase is when I like to look at everything I've created over the month and nurture some of these tasks. I also pay my bills, book all my necessary appointments, and connect with my one-on-one clients to see how they're feeling with the growth of their businesses and spiritual development.

Similarly, my partner and I check in during this phase by doing something we call "sacred housekeeping." We touch base on how we are communicating with each other and how well we're helping the other be their most authentic and loving self. In general, this is a time of ultra-clear communication with each other as PMS symptoms start to occur, and speaking raw truth occurs naturally. It's also a time when we feel really close and lovey-dovey and just want to cook dinners at home and be together as I prepare to nest and turn inward for menstruation.

The beauty of syncing up—together.

Syncing your lifestyle and activities to align with your body's natural rhythm is almost like a form of biohacking. By simply paying attention to your body, you can essentially maximize your life: You're able to engage in activities and projects when your body is energetically on the same page, and you can lay low and partake in self-care when your body needs it.

It might seem strange to involve your partner in such an intimate part of your life, but doing so allows you to maximize your relationship, too. It's a way of allowing your partner to understand you—your body, your mood shifts, your priorities, and your spiritual energy—all the more fully, so that you can create an even deeper and more meaningful connection.

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