Now that we have covered the fundamentals of a normal cycle in our previous article, it is time to delve into the more… less-discussed observances of the menstrual cycle. We have already covered the basics such as: phases, time, and really just scratched the surface of one of the most profound of fertility tools – the menstrual cycle. So what other things could there be? Well, as said before, the period is the best communicator of your fertility and reveals insight on possible imbalances within the body. So what are the specific observations I keep referring to? In this article we will cover a number of aspects ranging from “spotting” to color to consistency.
Many of us have experienced multiple categories to the “period” – heavy bleeding to light bleeding to severe cramps to no cramps. But these kinds of things aren’t just a fluke. So what could cause them? Imbalances.That’s right, even the state of your flow hints at what your body needs. Heavy flow, for instance, is at the cause of prostaglandin imbalance or an overly estrogen-stimulated uterine lining. This can be helped with medicinal herbs, such as Vitex, and extra focus on liver health to filter out excess estrogen.
And on the opposite side of the spectrum, light flow can be caused by lack of circulation to the uterus, and can often induce cramping. If you are experiencing these kinds of cycles, it is suggested to take herbs specific for relaxing the uterus and increasing blood flow to the reproductive system.
What about color, you say? Color can say a lot about the health and normality of our cycle. But what do they entail specifically? Well, just remember red is the goal. If your flow is bright red, you are doing things right! However, if the color is dark in color, such as light or dark brown, this resembles the menstruation of blood from previous cycles and often represents sluggish and poor circulation. In turn, thin, pale blood can signify poor blood quality. To better blood quality, it is important to make good choices regarding to diet, to take proper vitamins and minerals, as well as partake in the enhanced support of blood-building herbs and Chinese therapies.
So what other aspects make up the period? Clots. Many women think this poses great issues, but truth is that they really are nothing to worry about, especially if they are minor. For these are normal (However, it is important to track how much blood you are losing, as it does have the possibility of being more serious). Even though blood clots during menstruation are considered common, it is still important to understand what causes them. Some of these causes may be Iron deficiency, deficiency of certain vitamins, Myoma. But past all of those, it may just be a simple imbalance (it seems as if 75% of what we are talking about originate from imbalances, doesn’t it!). But yes, a female’s reproductive system relies on the balance of two very important hormones: Progesterone and Estrogen. When the balance is skewed, it thickens the endometrial lining causing increasingly occurring bleeding and, you guessed it, clots. But there are so many herbs out there for hormonal regulation, it’s almost unbelievable, and it’s often an ‘easy fix’.
So what else? We are now on to perhaps one of the most controversial and mysterious topics in the menstrual world: spotting. What is it? It is the randomized bleeding before and in-between periods. It may seem alarming, but it really isn’t that serious, as spotting – given the context clues – does not entail much blood flow. It is only really a notable event when it includes a heavier flow or the blood is bright red (in the case of spotting, you actually *want* the blood to be light brown!). So what causes it? It could be a number of things – from the minor to the more serious. It could be something as simple as over-exertion or poor nutrition or hormonal imbalance (go figure!). But other causes tend to include ovarian cysts or failure to ovulate. If “spotting” is occurring, simply ask your doctor if it something you feel is notable to mention.
But anyway now that we have covered the fundamental to the more complex of the feminine cycle, it is important to note how to maintain a healthy period. Number one, obviously, is hormonal balance. As our entire body is supported by balance, and without it, we could not achieve total health. Next is something that is also pretty self-explanatory. Diet. It is increasingly important to eat right, especially when it is your fertility we are talking about! Also related to this are vitamins. We have already covered in previous articles how influential these can be to our health and our chances at conception, and the menstrual cycle is no exception!
The two less obvious for a healthy cycle, however, is that of liver support and stress relief. Not many of us would really connect the two to menstruation (I know I didn’t at first!), but they are both in fact key elements. The liver is, by definition, the organ by which detoxifies the body of toxins and excess hormones. But when the liver is overrun by estrogen, especially during menstruation, it can often grow sluggish and it is our job to provide some extra support (i.e. with supplements). And stress? How in the world could that be related? Well, stress increases the amount of stress hormones, and in turn can cause sluggish behavior within the body. It also puts extra stress on glands and the endocrine system (our hormones!!) so it makes extreme sense how stress reduction would impact hormonal balance and the health of your cycle! But how do you reduce stress in this busy world? Meditate; take a few deep breaths each day. Exercise and get the body moving. Or simply don’t put so much on your plate on stuff to do (I know we all do it, especially as women). So what do you think? Are you on your way to a healthy, more consistent cycle? For you would be surprised how much a healthy cycle will change your life, because there is that one very important formula. Healthy cycle = healthy fertility. And with that formula, one step closer to motherhood.
Book your FREE Supercharge Your Fertility Discovery call here! Learn how we use functional medicine to improve your chances of conception.
Sarah Clark empowers couples to discover how lifestyle and diet can dramatically impact their chances of conceiving. She was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure at 28 and had both her kids with donor eggs. Not until years later did she discover that the root cause of her infertility was a food intolerance. Join the Free Fab Fertile Support Group on Facebook for mini-challenges, motivation and inspiration!