Being a provider and a woman, I am embarrassed to say that I have never tracked my menstrual cycle until recently, nor did I have as an in-depth understanding of the menstrual cycle as I do now. I wasn’t aware if my period was normal or not, but I assumed it was normal for me. Now that I am tracking the details of my period, I can evaluate if it truly is “normal”. I can educate, help track, and identify underlying issues in other women with period problems.
Periods have had a stigma since the beginning of time. This continues today which is sad because knowledge and awareness can be lost. Menstrual taboos are dangerous for women as the menstrual cycle is more than just a period. It is an important indicator of health. What do I mean by indicator of health? Tracking the details during your menstrual cycle can guide you to understand what is and is not normal and it can help you make sense of what is happening in your body. A period can tell you if your body is in homeostasis, making appropriate levels of sex hormones optimal for reproduction. That’s important to know because when these hormones are in balance, you feel great, have a lot of energy, sleep well, etc. However, when they are out of balance, an irregular period is one of your body’s first ways of asking for help. A woman’s period can often be the first sign of an underlying condition. You may be wondering what a normal, healthy period consists of. Morgan will be covering this in her next blog and next week I’m going to talk more in depth about the importance of menstrual cycles and why they matter.
-Rachael Marshall FNP