Early woman managed their menstrual cycles, although less frequent and maybe even less symptomatic, we know that we can too! In today’s society, the menstrual cycle can enter our lives like a dramatic screenplay each and every month. However, we want to change the role that our cycles play in our lives, so it can evolve into a leading role and standing ovation. Take a moment and think about your very first period… Where were you? Did you have extreme cramping when it arrived? Well my first period arrived with moisture in my underwear and that’s about it, no dramatic entrance or anything! The menstrual cycle can be defined as a fluctuation of hormones in the female body that causes the lining of your uterus to shed if pregnancy doesn’t occur. To encourage the shedding of the lining, the uterus contracts which may yield cramping that varies in intensity. A menstrual cycle on average is 28 days but can last any where from 21 -35 days with an average menstruation lasting 5 days.
Menstruation blood is composed of three components: blood, an unfertilized egg, and endometrium (tissue which is sometimes mistaken for clots). The average amount of blood lost each month can be a little as 10 mL or as much as 80 mL (in order to get an accurate measurement, you may want to try a diva cup each month). A video for the diva cup is coming SOON!! Keep in mind that if you have fibroids,you may lose more blood each month that can lead to anemia. Blood should also be red or bright red, not brown or black because that could indicate that blood has been stagnant and not flowing out of the uterus well. Lastly, clots (blood that coagulates after leaving the uterus) and heavy flows are not NORMAL. Some women have reported that exercise, dietary changes, decreased stress levels and positive thinking has changed the quality of their period from a drama queen to an actress that warrants a warm ovation.
My prays for a menstrual cycle were answered around the tender age of 13 and unfortunately, I didn’t actually know what a period was suppose to be or feel like until my 30’s. A simple answered prayer and sign of maturity evolved into something difficult to manage more recently known as “God-awful periods”. How can something, I thought so magical cause so much discomfort, pain, and even anemia? During my early years of menstruation, I had a typical 5-day period and used sanitary napkins. My flow was pretty regular, I didn’t have major cramps, but my mood swings were horrible. As I became more active with marching band, dance line, and etc, I began wearing tampons in which it seemed that I bled more and experienced more cramping. College seemed to be the time that I started doubling up using tampons and pads because of the amount of bleeding I was experiencing, not to mention that I began having clots and heavy cramping. All of the aforementioned seemed normal at the time, but when the heaviness of my uterus gave me the sensation of prolapsing or falling out of my body, or that I would get so dizzy from positional changes that I thought that I would pass out because I was anemic, or bleed in my cloths during a short drive, I knew there was a problem. My period, my reality, began my journey with fibroids. In 2009, when I was diagnosed with fibroids, a seed was planted for Fibroidology and I didn’t even know it was about to BLOSSOM!