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What Does a Healthy Period Look Like?

Updated: Oct 1, 2022



Are we supposed to experience PMS? How often is my period supposed to come? What color is my blood supposed to be?


These are all the questions I get asked on a daily basis and ask when I work with my clients. Why? Because these details give a lot of insight to your overall health. So let's answer all of your period questions right here.


In this guide you will learn:


Why Having a Period is Important

What I find most common is that most women who experience not-so-enjoyable periods don't want one, until it's gone. I've also met women who have bled for longer than 30 days and it is understandable why they would want it gone.


As we unwrap what your period actually means in this article, you will quickly understand that your period gives clues to a healthy body when in balance and will send clues (often in the form of signs and symptoms) when out of balance. I'd like you to think of your period as a vital sign.


Your period can give insight into hormone imbalances, blood sugar imbalance, thyroid health, endometriosis, PCOS, gut health and so much more! So many systems are impacted by and codependent on a healthy cycle.


The major purpose of your menstrual cycle (the day 1 of bleeding to the last day before your next bleed) is ovulation. Ovulation is not just about having a baby and the release of an egg, but progressing through this phase (which produces progesterone) lets you know how healthy your cycle and your body are. So you can have an Ovulatory or An-Ovulatory cycle.


You may have heard about women living by their cycle, tracking it, eating, and exercising based on which phase they're in. And yes, the hype is real! You can grab my cycle cheat sheet here with meal ideas included (and yes, it includes more than seeds).


How Long is a Normal Cycle?

Everyone's cycle length is different (which is ok) but also why it's crucial to track your cycle to understand its' actual length and phases. Typically, the new average cycle lasts around 29 days. Periods should arrive every 25-35 days. And this isn't always textbook, and your cycle is allowed to have some variation, but this is also why it's essential to track your period.

Here is a quick snapshot of the phases of your cycle:

  • Period aka menstrual phase (Days 1-5ish)

  • Follicular phase (Days 5-12)

  • Ovulatory Phase (Days 12-16)

  • Luteal Phase (Days 16-28)

Understand what your normal is and understand that lifestyle (factors like exercise, stress, nutrition) can affect your delicate cycle. Symptoms are your body's way of communicating to you.


Speaking of communicating, let's talk next about what the color of your period bleed means.



Color and Flow Decoded

Color

Ruby, crimson, and scarlet are the ideal saturated colors. It doesn't have to be bright red.


Brown blood or very dark: slower moving & has been exposed to more O2 making it darker. Can be due to alterations in uterine shape, resulting in slowing sloughing off the endometrium.


Flow

Your blood should flow easily, not too thin or light pink(possible estrogen deficiency).

Clots might happen once in a while, and can appear like raspberries but should not be frequent/your norm. This could be a sign of higher estrogen & a breakdown in your liver Detox pathways & low progesterone.


Why is PMS a Thing?

Premenstrual syndrome, more commonly known as PMS, is a collection of symptoms that affects high numbers—almost 75 percent—of menstruating women. It usually occurs a week or two before a woman's cycle (the first day of the period) begins and is characterized by a wide range of symptoms, including (but not limited to) bloating, breast tenderness, emotional changes, cramps, and fatigue.


Common Root Causes

  • An imbalance between estrogen (high) and progesterone (low)

  • Stress (Increased cortisol levels to deal with stress lead to decreased progesterone which is needed to balance out estrogen)

  • Thyroid imbalances (low function-hypothyroid or autoimmune Hashimoto's)

  • High testosterone

  • Inflammation is due largely to diet, food intolerances, lifestyle, stress, and other sources that feed inflammation and poor detoxification or liver function.

  • Xenoestrogens from environmental toxins in candles, perfumes, household products, and personal care products

  • High caffeine consumption

  • An underlying gynecological condition such as endometriosis or adenomyosis

  • An imbalance in the gut biome, resonating toxins, or parasites


Working 1-on-1 with myself or a practitioner that takes a holistic and functional viewpoint can help you narrow down your specific reasons for experiencing PMS. I've had plenty of clients that checked off every one of the above root causes, and it's hard to tackle on your own.


Great starting points are highlighted in the free guides in this community such as the PMS Cheatsheet.


One of the best things you can do is start tracking your cycle, pay attention to your cervical mucus, appetite, and mood, and listen to your body.


I'm so excited to be coming out with my PMS to B.L.I.S.S 3 Part Mini-Course soon! Inside I will share my 5 Step method to help you address root causes and end PMS!


Sign up to be the first to know when the mini-course drops when you grab my PMS Cheatsheet!







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