What’s the big deal, it’s just menstruation!

What’s the big deal, it’s just menstruation, once a month, a few pain-free days of light to medium bleeding, and it’s done, right?

Or is yours more ‘common’ than ‘normal’?

Everyone knows it’s a pain from start to finish, with a dose of ovulation pain and PMT thrown for good measure ahead of time.  We should expect problems like our peers and mothers, shouldn’t we? 

It’s the luck of the draw, or so we believe.  PMT, clots, pain, excess bleeding, ovulation pain, cravings, etc., are not ‘normal’; your body is flagging that things are out of balance and need attention at the root cause.  Meanwhile, your body screams, “Fix me’; I need attention.

Like all stages of our female journey, the menstrual cycle and menopause should be relatively problem free, with a few bumps in the road.  The onset of menses can be bumpy, as can the return of periods after childbirth.  Menopause can also be rocky for natural reasons such as stress, which often coincides with significant life events.

What does a normal cycle look like, then?

  • 28 days
  • Three days of bleeding at moderate to light flow
  • Painless
  • Symptomless apart from the bleed

After treating a client for painful, frequent, troublesome periods, she came to tell me something was wrong and described her periods as this “normal” version.  She was relieved that this ‘anomaly’ was the norm, just not common.

What should I see as not usual and worth contemplation/exploration?

Anything outside of “normal” unless it is on the onset of menses or after a significant event such as childbirth or trauma/stress.

  • Pre-menstruation:  PMT; Insomnia; Pain or Headaches; Abdominal bloating; breast tenderness or lumps; heart palpitations; sweating or flushing; depressed/irritable/easily angered or overwhelmed; Nausea or vomiting; Diarrhoea or constipation; Food cravings/binge eating; Numbness on extremities; weight gain; clumsiness.
  • Around Ovulation: (Ovarian dysfunction):  Vaginal dryness; painful intercourse or disinterest; engorged breasts; blurred vision; Headache; aggressive feelings; overwhelm; absence/irregularity of menstrual flow; Fertility issues; Excess facial hair; thinning pubic/armpit hair; Acne/oily skin; Milk production (not feeding); breast shrinking; poor sense of smell.
  • Throughout the Menstrual cycle:  Painful intercourse; Menstrual type pain/bleeding/discharge between periods; Extended or shortened cycles; pain or cramps; unusual levels of fatigue; constipation or diarrhoea not related to other issues; lower back ache; urinary changes/difficulties/frequency; heavier or lighter flow; mood changes; clotting or changes to colour of bleed.
  • Pre and Post Menopause:  Mental fogginess; sleeping problems; hot flushes; painful intercourse; shortness of breath; headaches/dizziness; cravings especially for sweets; mood swings; dry hair, skin, vagina; vaginal pain or itching; easy bruising; breast tenderness.

PCOS, Endometriosis, early menses, early menopause, and other hormonal outcomes are becoming so common we are at risk of being sold this story and viewing them as normal.  If we go down that track, it’s a slippery slope for women’s health. 

Any significant variation to any part of our health is our body asking for attention and help to get it back on track. 

Our health is paramount to our best life; let us take charge and empower ourselves to get our best outcomes.