Do women still have an ovulation cycle after menopause?

This question bothered me as I have heard about the ovulation cycle and what a beautiful guideline it could be in the lives of women if they learn to live according to their cycle. I am in menopause myself and have decided to dedicate some of my time to find out more.

SUMMARY: Follow the menstruation / ovulation blueprint. Physically there is no ovulation happening anymore after menopause but it is said the ovulation / menstruation blueprint is still within each woman. It is advised that women keep note of their experiences between full moon and new moon. This will remind them of the wonderful powers of the ovulation blueprint that is an everlasting source of power within them. Meditation, yoga and tantra techniques can assist women to observe, feel and share all that is in them.

My search to discover more about the menstruation / ovulation cycle.

I searched for answers but could not find much about this topic in scientific or general writings. It took me months to find one book called “Wild Power” from Alexandra Pope and Sjanie Hugo Wurlitzer, that answered some of my questions. In the book these two wonderful ladies talk about “menstrual cycle awareness” while I actually prefer the term “ovulation cycle awareness”.

Claim the full authority of your Wild Power, I read in the “Wild power” book. It is said: “During your menstruating years as you engage with your cycle and court your wild feminine power, an intimate presence of love is able to take up residence within you and infuse your life with purpose and meaning. At menopause you are offered the opportunity of wholeheartedly inhabiting that love and claiming the full authority of your Wild Power.”

It sounds beautiful but what if I have not lived a life of awareness of my menstruation / ovulation cycle? Is it too late? The answer is NO! You can observe your monthly cycle, even if you are not menstruating anymore as you can follow the moon cycle. I love this and this is exactly what I am actively observing right now.

Meditation, yoga and tantra techniques handed me many wonderful opportunities to observe myself clearly, to sense each and every cell in my body and to share myself in the most desired way possible. These were all amazing opportunities to rediscover my blueprint of my powerful menstruation /ovulation cycle.

Follow the moon cycle.

If you are in menopause and you want to discover your wild power, then do this 90-day programme with me. Choose the next new moon as your day of menstruation and the following full moon as your day of ovulation. To follow the moon cycle makes it easy to relive the menstruation / ovulation cycle. Write down your observations about all that is happening in you on a daily basis. Do it at least for three months.

If you find the observation a daunting task then a bit of meditation, yoga and tantra can just be the thing the doctor ordered. After you have done this for one month then I invite you to write to me with your questions and observations. I would love to hear from you about what you have discovered within yourself.

Meet the great unknown of menstruation / ovulation.

I want to share with you what is said in “Wild Power” regarding Menopause: “Menopause is the final ignition of your personal life calling, it is a transition that births you from the holding of your “womb” into the “womb of the world” and much more”. If you have been following the womb process consciously, you will sense you have outgrown this cyclical skin, as though it was too tight and now cramps your style.

You are finally big enough to go about life alone: you know yourself; you know your life business and you can seriously make an impression on life. Although you may be ready to leap out of this old skin, without doubt there will be a part of you screaming “Nooooo!” because it is a step into the great unknown and that can be uncomfortable, to say the least.

Be in service of the world with your menstruation / ovulation powers.

During menopause you may go through a time of feeling abandoned as you lose the familiarity of your menstrual cycle and you leave behind your fertile years. It is the “death” moment in this final stage of the “menstruality” initiatory journey. It is time to go beyond the confines of the known cycle, to become the full revelation of your wild power in service of the world.

I especially love the last sentence. This is where I am now, this is what I am giving birth to: To become the fullest expression of my power in service of the world. I have some years behind me where I felt insecure, a time of not feeling like a woman anymore, a scary time where the “old” was gone and the “new” not yet here.

My practice of mediation, yoga and tantra really assisted me to be more than my mind as I tried to understand it all. Yoga also allowed me to feel my own body more with massages and I allowed myself to share openly with others through the opportunities tantra offered me.

Do you live both poles of your menstruation / ovulation cycle?

Another important message I took from “Wild Power” is the information about our two poles during our menstruation / ovulation cycle. The pole of menstruation and the pole of ovulation stand as beacons that embrace our female existence. These poles are like the north and south poles of our being. At each pole something happens; at menstruation you bleed and at ovulation you release an egg. In between these two activities your being is in transition. The built-in imperative of your menstrual cycle is to facilitate this evolutionary process but if you only honour one pole you can end up sabotaging this natural process of initiation.

We firmly believe that much of our menstrual and menopausal suffering is ultimately a profound feeling of indignation from our own soul that this awesome process of evolution has gone unrecognized. The grief and rage that emerges “pre-menstrually” and at menopause, this grief has a direct line back to this loss. Much postnatal suffering is also the result of not being tutored in this initiatory dynamic, so the initiation into motherhood shocks us.

The first half of the cycle builds our sense of self. It is about going out into the world and take our place. The second half of the cycle makes us more permeable and allows us to see the world as “one”. It is a time to rest more and reflect. This was also the time that I could really get into my meditation, yoga and tantra practices effortlessly.

Reflection on the menstruation / ovulation cycle.

I was made to believe that menopause is a drama, something I have to survive with no idea how the outcome will be. I felt lost and rejected. What helped me to overcome this transition time was a dedicated reflection on my menstrual cycle. I had a need in me to be able to enjoy menopause fully, as something completely natural and something that allows me to move into a new phase.

The phase is described in “Wild Power” as a step into the unknown and to come out of it owning my inner wild power with awareness and being in the service of other women who go through the same process. During these last years of pre-menopause I often had questions about how could I be a happy and fulfilled woman in menopause. I moved into pre-menopause at the age of 48 and was in menopause at the age of 56. Only now, in post-menopause, I gained full awareness of the ovulation cycle as an awakening process on my journey as a woman.

Meditation, yoga and tantra are simple, clear and easy practices that assist people on their journey. Meditation was born from the need to have a shortcut on awareness about reproductive instinct. Yoga came about as a shortcut on our taking care instinct. Tantra came about as a shortcut on our default to have in- and out-groups. Surely the practice becomes a delight when these three techniques are practiced simultaneously.

Menopause / ovulation: what to do now?

During my time of self-observation and reflection I asked myself what would help me to have the best menopause possible:

·       What if menopause holds the key for the wise awakened woman?

·       What if I learn more about cyclical life as it is still lived in many cultures?

·       How can the experience of the menstruation / ovulation cycle help me to move gracefully into menopause?

I started to observe my cycle by using the cycle of the moon as guideline and discovered that the power of the ovulation / menstruation cycle still lives in me. It was as if I met my real self once again. I found power and wisdom in me that was there all the time but I did not pay attention to it. Only now I give myself permission to be fully free and to express myself clearly and powerfully. Instead of having a focus on the end (death) I found there is a new life, a new story to enact and to a life to be lived every day.

Women need each other.

I took care of my health issues by decreasing stress levels, to address sleeping problems, to avoid panic attacks, to alleviate joint pain and constipation by starting to eat differently, doing regular meditation breathing exercises, yoga and tantra.

As a fully qualified tantra teacher but I made a mistake to withdraw from tantra work during my premenopausal transition. I did withdraw from my tantra practice for several years, I lived on my own and tried to make sense of life. It was as if I had to learn again what I like food wise and in interaction with others, especially my partner. I tried new methods, I had a different job, I left my partner and came back to him as I realised that he was not the problem but I had problems with myself. It was a lonely journey and with the knowledge I have now, I wish that women will share their stories and spend time together. We need each other. Together we are strong.

What happened at menarche?

A very important step in my self-discovery was when I went back in time to reflect on my first period. I realised that what happens during the menarche (first bleeding) sets the tone for a woman’s whole menstruating and ovulating life. If there is still shame or wounding that occurred during those early years, then it needs to be addressed and healed so that we can close this important chapter in a woman’s life.

I discovered that my menarche was connected with shame and the feeling of it being wrong and dirty. I also heard the constant refrain from my mother that I had to be careful not to fall pregnant and to make sure to pick the “right man” so that I can have a good future. How could I know at the age of 12 who will be the “right man” for me? This made me rigid and tensed and I had the feeling I must be in control of everything sexual in me.

Many years on I didn’t allow myself to relax and to enjoy and let myself go with a man. It was all in the mind, it was a scary thing and my body and instinct was not given any say in this. Therefore, I preferred to stay away from men and was very shy as a young woman. If I had known that there was something like natural instinct and an ovulation / menstruation cycle that is happening every month in me, I could have lived a different life.

How to reconnect to your ovulation / menstruation cycle.

I suggest you start by writing down every day what you observe in yourself (emotions, thoughts, sensations in your body, changes in lifestyle, how you are relating to others, especially to your partner, children and family). Spend every day 5 minutes on observing what is happening in you.

Keep a journal and start with day one which is a new moon and connected to menstruation. Around day 3 you move into the pre-ovulation phase. Around day 14 and 15 which is full moon you are in your ovulation phase. From day 16 to 28 you are in your premenstrual phase. Each phase has a different quality and each woman has her unique way of experiencing theses phases.

Practice some simple meditation, yoga and tantra techniques but do it as a combined practice and not as three loose standing entities. At Meyotra we offer many courses and workshops that have helped me and many other women to regain their wild power. I am now travelling the world in assisting other women to live on the wild side of womanhood.

 

CONCLUSION:

Women can make wonderful discoveries in navigating this powerful transition between being in the service of their own natural instinct and being in the service of the world around them. The menstruation / ovulation blueprint is relevant to every woman, from being an adolescent to their eighties. Life happens through women. Reproduction is the hallmark of being alive and whether it is a suffering or delight, all depends on whether women embrace it fully or not.

How are you doing in menstruation / ovulation and menopause?

Is the blueprint of your ovulation / menstruation cycle still expressed through you?

-Edith Maria du Toit