Getting to know your menstrual cycle
The Average Menstrual Cycle is 25 to 30 Days Long
The menstrual cycle consists of four parts: the bleeding phase (when a woman menstruates ad sheds her uterine lining), follicular phase (when an ovary matures an egg), ovulation (when a mature egg is released from the ovary in hopes of fertilization) and luteal phase (when the uterine lining thickens). This takes on average 28 days to complete this cycle.
Your menstrual cycle should be the same each month, and the length will vary between women. However, if a menstrual cycle is less than 22 days long (indicating hormonal imbalance), or longer than 32 days (indicating an underlying condition like PCOS, or a thyroid condition), you should considering seeing your naturopathic or medical doctor just to be on the
Things that help to balance out your cycle include: deep breathing, meditation, exercise and herbs like Vitex agnus-castus (a.k.a. Chastetree).
The Average Amount of Blood Loss is 4 to 12 Teaspoons
Keeping an eye on the amount of blood you are losing during your menstrual cycle is important. Although it is difficult to measure, there are a few things to watch out for: 1) bleeding longer than a week, 2) waking in the night to change a pad, 3) or soaking through one or more sanitary pads/tampons every hour for several consecutive hours.
Heavy bleeding can be a sign of too much estrogen in the body, fibroid or endometriosis. If you are bleeding heavy and weak from fatigue you should seek out some medical help.
Using the proper menstrual tools are important. If you are looking for some health alternatives to the things normally available you should consider looking into a Diva Cup. It will help you accurately measure your flow, it is reusable and non-toxic. Also consider non-bleached/natural tampons, which are much safer than bleached toxic ones.
Cramps, Emotional Changes, Sore Breasts
Premenstrual changes are extremely common, but they are a sign that the body is not functioning as well as it should be. For instance, premenstrual breast tenderness can be a sign of fibrotic beasts or high estrogen. Additionally, emotional changes can be a sign that your hormones (including serotonin, thyroid hormones, and estrogen) are out of balance. Some supplements that have been shown to help are magnesium, vitamin B6, and calcium.
If you have been experiencing some of these issues and would like more information, please considering booking a FREE 15 minute consultation with me here
Yours in health,
Naturopathic Doctor in Norwich and Woodstock Ontario