Is Your Period NORMAL?

know your body Apr 19, 2017


Most of us piece together what our bodies should be doing based on info from our high school sex ed class, our mothers, and our girlfriends. The taboo around "down-there" must have an awfully strong grip. In my practice, I regularly see just how unsure young women are of their bodies. Worse, some are too uncomfortable or afraid to even ask their doctor. Moreover, there is a pervading fear that somehow our periods make us weak and slow us down. I get it, I was there too once - but it's just silly! Like it or lump it, if you are a woman and you want a healthy body - you have to know what's going on "down there".


A healthy period is an important indicator for the overall health of women. From an evolutionary point of view, women's bodies are the ones that do the lion's share of the reproductive work of the human species, so it makes sense that our bodies got tricked out with all the bells and whistles to ensure a healthy child. Unhealthy periods = unhealthy fertility = unhealthy... babies?! Even if you are the type to not want to have kids - symptoms of unhealthy periods are just not fun to live with.

What A Healthy Period Looks Like

  • 28-30 day cycles (track from Day 1 of bleeding to Day 1 of bleeding next cycle)
  • 3-5 days of bleeding
  • dark red tapering off to a brown/red color
  • clot free
  • cramp free
  • emotionally stable
  • a little less energy than usual, especially on the first day, but this should be transient and easily ameliorated with a little rest

Sound like you? Probably not. Up to 80% of women suffer from some combination of PMS symptoms! 80%!!! No wonder nobody knows what a healthy period looks like: nobody has one! With such a large incidence rate, it is a wonder more is not done to educate women so they can heal this aspect of themselves.

Common Period Problems

In 1998, 1052 US women were call up and asked about their periods. Whether they labeled themselves with PMS or not, 58% of 'em experienced symptoms prior to their menstrual cycle that are commonly associated with premenstrual syndrome.

  • Pain
  • Bloating
  • Weight gain
  • Food cravings
  • The most frequently noted symptom: "feeling more emotional".

Of course, medicine, has a few terms of its own that indicate something is wrong:

  • Oligomenorrhea : Infrequent periods (defined as less frequently than every 35 days, and may even skip periods)
  • Dysmenorrhea : painful periods
    Menorrhagia : heavy or long periods (one guideline is soaking a sanitary napkin or tampon every hour or so, or menstruating for longer than 7 days)
  • Metrorrhagia : Breakthrough bleeding (also called spotting) between periods; normal in many people
  • Amenorrhea : Absent periods, most commonly caused by pregnancy

Promoting Healthy Periods

If you have any of these concerns - don't panic. There are many easy and natural strategies for straightening things out. You are not alone (remember the 80%?). But, it's time for you to start thinking of your period like an extra light on your health "dashboard"!

Free Resource For You!

Sign up to receive email updates of my posts - for doing so you get exclusive access to a FREE video I created: 7 Steps to Getting Rid of PMS. You will also get a PMS checklist to print or save! Both are filled with natural strategies for promoting a healthy period - perfect for yourself and to share with your daughter. [Note: Please don't judge the video too harshly - it was my first one ever! Original recording Aug 2014. #Vintage]


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Photo Credit: 
Photo Courtesy of GorillaSushi Under Creative Commons

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