girl with jean jacket and skirt jumping 2

How Women Can Biohack Their Period

There’s no doubt, Biohacking is trending. But it can mean different things, depending on who you talk to. In the health and wellness community, the term has been adapted to generally mean the self-directed use of lifestyle, food, exercise and supplementation to enhance health. 

Women’s Health Expert and author Woman Code, Alisa Vitti, argues that the nutritional, biohacking space is male-dominated and that it needs to change. “Women are seeking to shift the imbalances created by the patriarchy. We must stop modeling our lives on a masculine biochemical 24-hour schedule. It’s time to work based on a female paradigm of productivity, success, and fulfillment.” She suggests instead, implementing lifestyle, food and exercise routines based on the female hormonal cycle.

Dr. Allison Devine, Board Certified Ob/Gyn agrees. She says, “There is plenty of data to support the powerful effects that the two main hormones of menstruation, estrogen and progesterone, have on our neurochemistry. Unfortunately, historically most articles on this subject have focused on the negative effects of imbalances in these hormones rather than the potential the effects of these hormones are better understood.”

The menstruation cycle runs in four phases: menstruation phase, the follicular phase, ovulatory phase, and the luteal phase. Vitti claims that you can use this information to make more informed nutritional, exercise and wellness decisions by self-tracking what part of the cycle you are in and then implement the best practices to complement your estrogen and progesterone levels. 

Knowing what phase your body is in and what your estrogen and progesterone levels are at can be very helpful in understanding why you may be experiencing symptoms from the changes in hormone levels. For example, during the menstruation period estrogen and progesterone drop, which can greatly affect mood and energy levels. During the luteal phase, estrogen and progesterone levels rise and can cause premenstrual symptoms, including mood changes, acne, headaches and bloating. 

Tracking your cycle helps you to give your Ob/Gyn more accurate information. If you have concerns or are experiencing symptoms you have never had before, you can tell your doctor exactly what day your last period was will help them to give you the best possible information.  girl power 1 Kristen Bryant / Her Campus The MyFLO App

To help women track their cycle and plan wellness practices around it, Vitta has created the MyFLO App. Most period trackers simply help you keep track of when you will be menstruating and when you will be ovulating. MyFLO is meant to serve as your functional nutrition guide and tells you everything from what foods and exercises will be best to when you will be the most productive. 

Kind of like the Co-Star astrology app, one feature of MyFLO is that it has a monthly calendar and each day there is advice about how to understand what you are feeling according to your cycle and how you can plan your period around that. The app also is divided into five categories for each day of the cycle that are listed at the top of the screen: hormones, focus, exercise, food, and love. By clicking into any of these categories you’ll see a more detailed explanation as to what your hormones are doing that day and how that is affecting any of the five categories. 

Another feature of the app is symptom tracking. The app will provide a list of symptoms with clickable icons and all you have to do is click what symptoms you are experiencing that day and the app will record that data to give you more accurate information and help you understand why you might be experiencing those symptoms.

If you have the app, you can also sign up for you and your partner to receive emails whenever you enter a new phase. These will detail how your hormones are affecting your mood, your energy, and your sex drive. They also contain sex and dating tips! The emails help your partner to be able to understand your cycle better and why different activities are a good idea at different times—and how this can relate to their 24-hour cycle. 

The App has a review score of 4.6 stars in the App Store and many of the positive reviews say that following the practices suggested by the app have helped their period symptoms.