One of the many revelations from Rescripted’s 2023 State of Sex Ed Report is how under-educated women are about their menstrual cycle. This particular finding was further confirmed by Perelel, the first and only women-owned and OB/GYN-founded vitamin company designed for different stages in women’s reproductive life cycles.
In a study conducted by Perelel, respondents established a very clear knowledge gap among women when it comes to their menstrual cycle. Many remain unaware that there are multiple phases, or that there are numerous ways to support themselves during their cycle.
Some of the more staggering results of Perelel’s survey:
Nearly half of respondents (48.9%) said they do not have a proper understanding of the menstrual cycle.
Less than ⅔ of respondents (60.7%) knew how many phases were in their cycle. (There are four phases of the menstrual cycle.)
89.5% of respondents said their healthcare providers do not pay enough attention to all aspects of their cycle or provide info to support it.
Nearly half of respondents (46.2%) missed work and/or an activity due to their cycle.
Introducing the Cycle Support Pack from Perelel
Perelel is now on a mission to change the disappointing statistics from their study, starting with the launch of their Cycle Support Pack. This is a 28-day vitamin formulation designed to ease the side effects associated with the menstrual cycle – specifically bloating and PMS symptoms – as well as supplement iron loss and boost overall energy.
The core purpose of the Cycle Support Pack is to target all four phases of the menstrual cycle – not just during the more familiar phases of menstruation and ovulation. “Initially, we focused on the menstrual phase,” explains Alex Taylor, Perelel co-CEO and co-founder. “But doctors suggested we should broaden our product to support women throughout the entire 28-day cycle. This piqued my interest in understanding the unique symptoms and needs associated with each stage.”
Understanding all four phases of the menstrual cycle
Also part of Perelel’s mission is their initiative toward helping women learn about all four phases of the menstrual cycle. “I have always been focused on two moments,” says Victoria Thain Gioia, Perelel co-CEO and co-founder. “Your period and ovulation. I hadn’t realized the whole cycle around that and how each piece contributes to healthy ovulation and actually getting pregnant.”
“Education is power,” emphasizes Banafsheh Bayati, M.D., a board-certified OB/GYN and the company’s medical co-founder. “As women, we want to have control of our bodies, and that requires us to first understand our bodies. The menstrual cycle is integral to that understanding.”
An improved understanding of the menstrual cycle gives women the ability to track it, and that’s where the real power and control over our bodies occurs. “Tracking our cycle then leads to greater knowledge of our health and how our hormonal and metabolic and immune systems are connected,” explains Dr. Bayati. “We become aware of how diet, exercise, and activity affect our cycles. We become aware of how stressors affect our cycle. We become aware of how our cycle affects our mood. We become aware of the connection between fertility and our cycle. And we become aware of issues that present when we have irregularities or disruptions to our cycle.”
Making your menstrual cycle work for you
By tracking their cycle through all four stages – menstruation, follicular, ovulation, and luteal, women can better understand their moods and energy levels. “I try to lean into more creative projects while I am around my late follicular and ovulatory phase”, says Taylor. “But I find I can focus better on deep work that involves parsing through data when I am in my luteal phase.”
“I have a better understanding of why I might be low energy during my luteal phase and adjust my daily workout pace accordingly,” echoes Thain Gioia.
But why is it that so many women lack this basic knowledge? The answer, regrettably, is a common one: education. “For generations, we have not educated the general public to be aware of the nuances and deeper understanding of the hormonal changes that take place during the menstrual cycle,” says Dr. Bayati. Unfortunately, she continues, this can result in “misinformation…and lack of control over our bodies.”
Benefits of tracking and supporting your menstrual cycle
Improved knowledge can aid in family planning, pregnancy prevention, and general health.
A better understanding of your unique menstrual pattern, and common shared patterns with family members.
A better understanding of body and mind changes associated with hormonal fluctuations.
Improved ovulation and period predictions
Improved awareness of possible underlying health issues to discuss with your doctor
For Taylor and Thain Gioia, tracking their cycles has been a game-changer. “I rely on my daily workouts for my stress release, so now by tracking my cycles I know when to push myself and when to take it a bit easier,” says Thain Gioia. “By understanding where I am in my cycle, I have better context as to why I may be feeling a certain way – both physically and emotionally,” says Taylor. “I give myself more grace when I am in a phase that may be associated with strong PMS symptoms like moodiness, or push myself to run that extra mile when I know my body can tolerate an extra boost.”
If anything, the launch of Cycle Support emphasizes Perelel’s co-founders’ desire to pass along their newfound knowledge to the rest of the world – as well as offer women a comforting vitamin regimen tailored to their menstrual cycle. “[Understanding the menstrual cycle] is like putting together a complex puzzle that gives us context about how we feel while also giving us clues as to how to best support ourselves,” Taylor and Thain Gioia say of Perelel’s mission.
Although improved menstrual-cycle education is only one piece of this complex puzzle, it’s an integral one. “We want to empower women to better understand their bodies,” says Dr. Bayati. “We want women to become more mindful of their different stages of life.”
Learn more about Perelel's Cycle Support Pack here, and use the code RESCRIPTED15 for 15% off your first purchase!
holds an M.S. in Professional Writing from NYU, and is a seasoned journalist, having written and reported on subjects ranging from TV and pop culture to health, wellness, and parenting over the course of her career. Her work has appeared in Rolling Stone, The Wall Street Journal, Vulture, SheKnows, and numerous other outlets. A staunch mental health advocate, Sarene also hosts the podcast “Emotional Abuse Is Real.” Visit her website here, or follow her on Instagram or Twitter.