One of the best ways for women to get in touch with their health is to begin to carefully observe various menstrual signs and symptoms.
There is no such thing as a perfect menstrual cycle, we all have a different “normal” but there are many indicators of how a healthy cycle should look.
When it comes to how heavy your flow is, where your cramps rank on the pain scale, spotting between cycles, and other unexplained changes are all clues your period is sending out to let you know that something might be amiss. It could be a minor issue—but it may also be an SOS signal to something serious you won't want to put off.
1. Your menstrual cycle should be between 25-35 days long & a consistent length each month. -If your cycle is less than 25 days you may have a condition called Luteal Phase Defect, which is a short luteal phase (the second half of your cycle after ovulation). This may be due to oestrogen dominance. -If your cycle is more than 35 days, you may have a condition that is delaying or preventing ovulation. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a common culprit.
2. Your period should be bright red in colour. This indicates good blood flow and circulation to the uterus. -Dark old looking blood & blood clots can be associated with oestrogen dominance & poor circulation to the uterus.
3. Ovulation – THE highlight of the menstrual cycle. - Just before ovulation your cervical mucous will be wet & opaque. Then, as the egg is released, your mucous will become even more wet, watery and/or might take on a raw egg-white consistency (long and stretchy). Ovulation at the right time of your cycle is a fabulous barometer for health.
Ovulation is not just a necessity to fall pregnant; it is a critical event that should take place each month for optimal health. Ovulation is not just for hormone health either, it’s the way our body produces steroid hormones required for a healthy brain, bones, cardiovascular health and metabolism.
The effects of ovulation build bone and metabolic reserve to carry us through all the decades after menopause. That’s why it’s so important to ovulate while we can during our reproductive years, and not shut it down with the oral contraceptive pill.
Ovulation is the release of an egg from the ovary into the fallopian tube. Signs of possible ovulation include fertile mucus (an egg white discharge) and a regular period.
You can also chart your temperature on waking each morning; ovulation will cause a rise in resting basal body temperature.
Or you can do a luteal phase blood test, checking your progesterone surge.
When an ovary release’s an egg each month it release oestrogen.
Oestrogen stimulates the production of serotonin, which is why you feel so energetic & ready to take on the world around ovulation.
Just after an ovary releases an egg you get a huge surge in progesterone, our calming, soothing, glowing hormone.
This state of euphoria should take you through to your next period (or pregnancy if worlds collide). PMS is a tell tale sign that your not ovulating or your deficient in progesterone.
A regular period is not a sign of definite ovulation because it’s possible to have an anovulatory cycle.
Just like a period, ovulation should be painless, & you should not experience heaviness, irritability, anxiety, emotional upset & headaches - which are common but not normal.
If you have a 28 day cycle you’d want to ovulate around day 14 – ovulation too late or too early could be why your not falling pregnant - for example, ovulating on cycle day 9 is a problem, because it means an immature follicle is being released – making it almost impossible to be fertilised.
Or your luteal phase (from ovulation to the period time) is too short, meaning that if there is a growing embryo, it can’t continue to grow because it isn’t being supplied hormonally with all it requires.
Ovulation is the MAIN event in your cycle!