IS MENSTRUATION MAGIC OR MAYHEM?
For young girls, it can be an exciting time of their life with the anticipation of their first period, however the reality of cramps, abdominal discomfort and heavy flows can quickly turn the magic of menstruation into mayhem.
It may be surprising to hear that many women really don’t understand their menstrual cycle, the ebbs and flows and how it can be influenced by the moon cycle. An average cycle is 28 days and can quite often happen in time with the moon phases which completes a full cycle also every 28 days. It’s pretty incredible how connected to nature we truly are.
THE MAGIC OF BEING IN SYNC
Another phenomena that occurs in houses where multiple women live together is they will often notice that their periods become in sync with one another, either menstruating at the same time or following each other only days apart. That’s pretty magical in itself and a special time for women to bond and support each other through what can sometimes feel like a burden.
Menstruation through history was seen by many cultures as a curse and bleeding women were cast out of their community during this time. Lack of conversation and education about the wonder and power of the menstrual cycle has left many women confused about what benefits their cycle brings to their life.
Menstruation is a reminder to take it a little easy on yourself, rest up because blood loss can make you feel more tired than usual. Focus on nurturing yourself with iron rich foods or maybe an iron supplement if your blood loss is more than usual. Some women look forward to their period because it can feel like a good flushing out, not only of menstrual blood but also the bowel.
HOW THE FOUR PHASES OF MENSTRUATION AFFECT YOU
There needs to be more education and conversation about the different phases of a woman’s cycle and why it can affect our physical and mental health.
As estrogen increases after your period and leading up to ovulation in the middle of your cycle (the follicular stage), this is where most women will feel their best, more energised, more confident, more creative, more sexy, their skin will glow and their sense of wellbeing is soaring.
Research has shown that during ovulation as estrogen peaks, women appear more attractive and radiant. This is of course where mother nature’s pheromones are most activated and when pregnancy is most likely.
The luteal phase which follows on from ovulation to menstruation sees a rise in progesterone levels and together with estrogen can sometimes become imbalanced. This is when energy levels can slump, breasts become a little tender, and mood changes may be noticeable. Rebalancing hormones with good nutrition, supplementation and lifestyle changes can minimise the symptoms of this premenstrual phase and lead into a healthier menstrual phase.
HOW CAN I MAKE MY PERIOD BETTER?
Inflammation is part of menstruation and made worse by poor food choices like excess sugar, alcohol, coffee and processed foods. Not only will this inflammation lead to more pain and discomfort during menstruation but it will also contribute to unwanted weight gain, acne and a glucose rollercoaster where you will be craving these high energy carbohydrates for energy.
It might be the wakeup call you need to make better choices and start living a healthier life, choose nutrient dense food instead of high calorie nutrient deficient foods, eat more fruits and vegetables, quality proteins and healthy fats. These choices will be better for your hormones and ultimately better for your body.
CELEBRATE BEING A WOMAN
One of the most important takeaways for women is to work with your menstrual cycle rather than against it. When balanced and in flow your cycle can work in your favour and help support a healthy routine, better nutrition choices and a more manageable menstrual flow.
When women try and take on the world and maintain a high stress lifestyle, this can lead to elevated levels of cortisol and adrenaline ending up with adrenal burnout. Women are not meant to do what men can do, we are meant to do everything a man cannot do, and that means working smarter, not harder.
Working with a practitioner that actually understands the menstrual cycle, the impact it can have on a woman’s life and the natural options available to rebalance and restore hormone harmony is what every woman needs to believe in the magic of menstruation again.
Written by Mona Hecke
Mona Hecke is a degree qualified Naturopath, nutrition specialist and health and wellness writer.
With over 20 years in the health industry, beginning with a focus on children and families, and a bestselling book ‘The Lunchbox Revolution’, Mona is now empowering women through education and conversation to take action and embrace change. Gut health, mindfulness, nutrition, hormones, and menopause are the topics that women want and need to know to create their healthy future.
Mona holds certifications in Lifestyle Coaching, Kinesiology, holistic herbal medicine, and nutrition.
A recognised leader in the health industry, Mona’s strong social media presence and passion for influencing change will continue to be a catalyst for health reform for the benefit of every Australian.