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What Your Period Can Say About Your Health
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May 31, 2021

Hey guys!

When I told my story about losing my period due to extreme dieting, it opened the door to sooo many of you sharing your own experience with the same thing. It also made me realize that even though your period health is soo important for women, it’s not really talked about enough.

The final straw for me was when I read so many comments on my other post saying you were told not to worry about losing your period when you were a young athlete. That it wasn’t really a big deal.

But it IS a big deal.

I wanted to dive deeper into menstrual health, because your period can tell us so much about what’s going on inside our bodies. Your period health is important. So let’s learn all we can about it, shall we?!

tampons on pink background your period health

The Menstrual Cycle

Each part of the menstrual cycle is important in its own unique way. When you start your period, a new cycle begins! Some other key parts of the menstrual cycle include:

Follicular Phase – This actually starts on the first day of your period, too. During this phase, the ovaries produce follicles that carry immature eggs. When the eggs mature, the healthiest one gets to move onto the next phase.

Ovulation – Next, the healthy, mature egg travels to the uterus. This is when it’s possible to get pregnant! The egg sticks around for about 24 hours and if it isn’t fertilized, it dissolves.

Luteal Phase – What happens next depends on whether or not the egg was fertilized. If it was, then you’re pregnant! Estrogen and progesterone stay high and the lining of the uterus remains thick for the egg to implant. Some people call this phase “the two-week wait.”

If you’re not pregnant, your hormone levels drop and this signals the start of your period. Then the whole cycle starts over!

What’s Normal?

“Normal” varies a lot and knowing if something is wrong really depends on what’s normal for you!

If you’re not sure, here are a few things you can look out for:

Total length – A cycle that lasts 21 to 35 days is considered regular

Period length – The average period lasts from 3 to 7 days

Flow – This really varies from person to person!

Period symptoms –  It’s totally normal to experience PMS symptoms like moodiness, mild cramping, fatigue, cravings, headaches, and bloating before or during your period!

Should You Track Your Period?

The best way to pay attention to your body and catch any signs that something is off is to track your period. It’s also just helpful to know where you’re at in your cycle! It definitely helps me to prepare myself for period symptoms.

If you want to track your period health, there are tons of apps (free ones, too) that do all of the work for you! All of them track everything like cycle length, fertility, flow, and PMS symptoms. Here are a few that I found:

Flo

Ovia

Clue

Glow

Signs That Something Is Off

Anything out of the ordinary with your cycle is a symptom that something is off. And THAT is why I decided to do some research and write this post. So many women don’t realize that paying attention to your period is one of the best ways to listen to your body!

I wish I had known this when I was younger.

SO. Some specific things to look out for/reach out to your doctor about include:

  • Abnormal bleeding
  • Pain
  • Irregular cycle
  • Completely skipping a period
  • Extreme mood changes around your period

Like I said before, anything that is “off” for you is 100% worth looking into. If you do notice that there could be an issue, some potential causes could be:

  • Birth control
  • Hormonal imbalance caused by a condition like PCOS
  • Uterine fibroids (noncancerous growths)
  • Pregnancy
  • Over exercise
  • Being underweight or having low body fat
  • Eating disorders

 

The list doesn’t end there, but those are some common ones! Also, remember that changes in your cycle don’t ALWAYS mean something serious is going on, but it’s still always good to pay attention and talk about it with your doctor.

heart on belly your period health

How To Keep The Flow Healthy

So that was a VERY high-level overview of what goes on during the menstrual cycle. But the most important part of this post might be this – what can we do to keep our menstrual cycle functioning in a healthy way?

Lifestyle.

You have to feed your body and you have to feed it well. Maintaining a healthy level of activity is important too. Stress and sleep? Also crucial.

Most importantly, you have to pay attention and listen to your body when it’s trying to tell you something’s up or it needs rest.

AS ALWAYS, I’m not a doctor or a pro in any kind of way in this area. I’m just here to do some research and share what I learned with you to spread awareness and educate the ways that fitness and nutrition impact the body as a whole.

If you want to know more or have concerns, pleaseeee get in touch with your doctor!

12 thoughts on “What Your Period Can Say About Your Health”

There are 12 comments posted by our users.

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  1. Hathaitip says:

    Hi Nandana! From my own experience (since age 11-27), regular flow can but isn’t limited to iron intake, stress and balance of my body. My cycles are now 26-28 days and flow for 4 days. I am by no means a professional but would just like to share. Hope some of you girls and ladies find this useful!

    In my teens, I didn’t know much about nutrition and cravings in week 3 and 4 and thought it was hunger from all the outdoor sports. Little things would make my burst out crying and ridiculously stress me out. Stress, PMS like cravings, food choices, skin condition, energy levels, mood are all related. It seems my body and I didn’t know how to communicate 😛

    In my twenties, I found out more about hormonal fluctuations, what different types of cravings mean, healthy food options and lifestyle changes. Growing up with influence from Traditional Chinese Medicine and Traditional Thai Medicine, I also pay more attention to hot/cold nature of food and drinks. For example, cold foods like coconut water, melon, ice-cream hinder your qi (imagine blood current) and can delay the cycle or cause cramps.

    Tracking moods, symptoms, vitamins and food can help you figure out what works for your body. I’ve been using Maya app since 2015. This one works for me bc the various mood options. By applying little changes and observation, cycle by cycle, and I find that I’m less like an unpredictable temperamental stranger and more like myself.

    If you’d like to learn how to communicate w your body better, try looking these up: “Hormonology” handbook, Joannah Soh’s train according to your menstrual cycle, TCM body clock. May you all discover your amazing selves during every week of your cycle :D!

  2. Amy Davis says:

    I am 44 years old. Throughout my time of the month for years I have a period every month, around the same time give or take a few days here and there and all is well with me but here lately, which I know is because I am getting close to the end of my periods (Hooray for me! lol) I am starting to see a small change that I am spotting a day or two before I actually start my period but then I am on full blast! (oh how fun) and I still have my periods up to 5 days and I can’t wait to be off! Anyway I just want to say thank you for sharing what you have learned about a healthy period! We all can benefit from it!

  3. Lacie says:

    I was diagnosed with PCOS 4 years ago. It’s important to pay attention to your body!

  4. Sarah E Garciacano says:

    Hi Cassie, this is a great blog. I’ve actually been thinking about my period lately, or rather my lack thereof. Ever since I first started my period when I was about 12, I’ve never been really regular. I use to skip a month or two, and that was normal for me. It’s currently June of 2021, and I have not had a period at all this year.. I’m 28 and am not pregnant (I’ve taken about 3 or 4 tests in the past 2 months–all were negative). I know your advice might be to see a doctor (which I’m not fond of the idea lol), but I just wondered if you have any advice or know of anyone who’s gone through the same thing.

    1. Sara says:

      Sarah, search for “No period now what?”. There’s a great Facebook group (Support for hypothalamic amenorrhea recovery), the book and a blog. There are so many women suffering from amenorrhea and it’s important to take action! Most doctors aren’t all that knowledgeable and will just put you on the pill which definitely isn’t the solution!

    2. Kristy says:

      You should definitely see a doctor. When I was 22 and trying to get pregnant with my first child, I went 6 months without a period and no positive pregnancy test. So they did blood work and an ultrasound and discovered I had pcos. Once I started metformin, I was pregnant within 6 months. Before that I never worried about my period. I was always irregular but figured it was because I was a petite athlete. 14 years later I have 2 children and regular periods. Still taking metformin though.

    3. Delilah says:

      Honestly, I think the best thing to do at that point is to see a doctor. I know you said you don’t want to, but it could be something serious and the only way to rule it out is to see a doctor. I had a friend that was in the same situation, and she ended up having cancer. But, she left it for so long that it ended up getting way worse than it would’ve if she had gone to see a doctor. I’m not a medical professional, but if you refuse to see a doctor, at least google it.

  5. Lexie says:

    I absolutely love how in-depth this is! I’ve studied OBGYN for a while so I just wanted to see how accurate this post might be and it’s spot on! Wonderful help for those curious about issues they might be experiencing 🙂

  6. Des says:

    Can you make a video on workout for pcos/pcod people? Since I have been following your workout videos and trust be they have been super effective, I thought to ask you about this, cuz I trust you, Cassey. Can you, if possible make a workout video for pcos/pcod people? Love ya, take care.

  7. Nandana says:

    Does a regular flow depend on protein intake?

  8. Elise Forte says:

    Thanks for this! Unfortunately, this is still a taboo topic! I highly recommend The Body Book by Cameron Diaz (Yes THAT Cameron Diaz) and The 28 Days Lighter Diet (which I HATE the title because it is NOT a diet book AT ALL). Both of those are Non-Fiction and well researched and cited. I also recommend the Fiction book The Red Tent by Anita Diamant; It may give some, hopefully, refreshing perspective on periods and what being a woman, or identifying as, is all about. *hugs* from Colorado!

  9. Katherine says:

    Hey there, so my last period was soooo off. I’ve always been super regular so anytime it’s a tad off I’ve gotten worried. (Had a cyst in university and had bleeding for a whole month ugh). Well got freaked bc not sure why it was off bc so many possibilites (also on the pill) : dad had heart surgery in April, I had a child in August so body could be adjusting, been stressed but the last one freaked me out and it’s that I do workout for an hr and a half almost daily. I still eat normally no major restrictions but was worried I’d be considered over exercising but the exercise is helping my anxiety and also bored bc in Ontario we are STILL in lockdown-no patios bars or anything open yet. But it seems like this month’s period is going to be on schedule soon I dunno lol

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