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Periods and a healthy cycle

Hormones fluctuate throughout our life and if they are out of balance you will see it show up with difficult symptoms around the menstrual cycle.
periods-and-a-healthy-cycle

Hormones fluctuate throughout our life and if they are out of balance you will see it show up with difficult symptoms around the menstrual cycle.

The Healthy cycle

Periods are affected by 3 main hormone producing glands, the hypothalamus, pituitary and ovaries. They maintain the intelligent menstrual cycle as part of the bio-feedback system with the thyroid, adrenals, gut and liver.

The ovaries produce 2 hormones-oestrogen and progesterone. They respond to follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) produced by the pituitary, acting upon messages from the hypothalamus.

Oestrogen levels rise dramatically in response to FSH in the 12 days leading up to ovulation and are at their lowest during the period. Oestrogen effects libido, growth, energy, bone strength, hair, mucous membranes, brain and other functions of the body.

Progesterone calms, soothes, helps with sleep and pregnancy and is highest after ovulation. It tapers off to the start of the period, then drops dramatically, which causes unwelcome symptoms of PMS.

The follicular phase lasts from 7-21 days.

Ovulation lasts 1 day on average on day 14. Regular ovulation is the key to balanced oestrogen and progesterone.

The luteal phase starts after ovulation and lasts 10-16 days.

Count the first day of your heavy flow as ‘day 1’ of your cycle and the beginning of your follicular phase, and the day before your new period starts as the last day of your cycle.

Quite often women get confused about the length of their cycle when I ask them. If you track your cycle with an app it should tell you your cycle length, or, count the days yourself from the start to end of your cycle.

What a healthy period looks like

From late teens to 40, it should be regular, every 21-35 days.

You should lose about 50ml or 3 tablespoons. A regular pad or tampon holds about 5mls.

It should range from red to reddish-brown.

Small clots are normal.

It should arrive without premenstrual symptoms.

Normal period pain is a mild cramping in the lower pelvis or back and should not interfere with daily activities.

Your menstrual cycle is a valuable reflection and vital sign of your overall health and when you are unhealthy your cycle will let you know.

When you are healthy your period will arrive smoothly without symptoms.

Disturbances of the normal cycle and looking for clues

Primarily an imbalance of hormones is caused by:

  • Stress (related post Homeopathy for stress, anxiety and fatigue) -when cortisol levels rise progesterone drops, which equals mood swings.
  • Poor gut microbiome-effected by antibiotics, medicines, hormonal birth control, pesticides, petro-chemicals in beauty products, morning after pill, antihistamines.
  • Incorrect diet, nutrient deficiencies or food sensitivity.
  • Sleep disruptions, including travel.
  • Poor liver function – caused by toxins, alcohol and smoking. Medication and pain killers tax the liver.
  • Lack of exercise or over exercise.

Some questions to ask yourself are:

Is your period irregular?

Absent?

Painful? (moderate to severe pain is not normal or healthy).

Difficult?

Do you have acne?

Do you experience premenstrual breast pain?

Do you get PMS/PMT or PMDD?

Do you get bloated or hangry? Constipated? Bloated?

Headaches or migraines?

Do your allergies flare up before your period?

Do you ovulate?

Have thrush?

Have PCOS?

Fertility concerns?

Are you perimenopausal?

(Note: If you are on the pill it switches off the normal function of your hormones and a pill bleed is not a real period).

What to do if you experience any of the above?

If you are experiencing one or more period problems and unsure where to start then homeopathy and homeobotanicals and supplements help maintain the balance of hormones alongside a good diet and adequate exercise. (see related post: Homeobotanical and HomeoHerbal Remedies)

Both clear toxic residues and re-establish a regular cycle.

Probiotics support the gut microbiome.

Magnesium supplements calms hormones and promotes relaxation and sleep.

As a professional homeopath maybe I can help.

I see some women who feel terrible for 2 weeks every month.

I help women who have come off the pill or who are considering it, those with period pain, mood swings and acne before the period and women who want support to balance periods before trying for a baby and for women with heavy periods at perimenopause.

In my practice I see periods return to a 4-week cycle with a 5 day bleed. I expect to see improvements within the first few cycles, with periods taking 4-6 months to regulate. This may take longer if you have used hormonal contraception.

Please get in touch if you would like to find out more.

Important: If you experience severe menstrual pain or heavy periods please contact your GP as it could be a sign of fibroids, endometriosis or adenomyosis,

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