In this article, we aim to simplify the complex topic of menstruation and provide you with a comprehensive guide to understanding your period. By gaining knowledge about the menstrual cycle, common symptoms, and self-care practices, you can navigate your menstrual journey with confidence and demystify this natural process.
The menstrual cycle is a monthly process that prepares the body for potential pregnancy. On average, it lasts around 28 days, but it can vary from person to person. The cycle consists of several phases, including menstruation, the follicular phase, ovulation, and the luteal phase.
Menstruation refers to the shedding of the uterine lining, resulting in vaginal bleeding. It typically lasts around 3 to 7 days. You may find that tracking your cycle with a calendar or app helps you learn and anticipate the frequency, duration, and accompanying symptoms of your period.
Common Menstrual Symptoms:
- Cramps: Many individuals experience menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea) during their periods. These can range from mild to severe and are caused by the contraction of the uterus. Applying a heating pad, taking over-the-counter pain relievers, or practicing relaxation techniques may help alleviate discomfort. Lunar Sync’s phase one contains cramp bark- a natural remedy for uterine cramps.
- Mood Changes: Hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle can influence mood. Some individuals may experience irritability, sadness, or mood swings. Engaging in stress-reducing activities, maintaining a balanced lifestyle, and seeking emotional support when needed can help manage these changes.
- Bloating and Breast Tenderness: Water retention and hormonal changes can lead to bloating and breast tenderness. Wearing comfortable clothing, consuming a balanced diet, and reducing salt intake may provide relief.
Self-Care Practices During Your Period:
- Gear: Use period products that suit your preferences and needs, such as pads, tampons, menstrual cups, or period panties.
- Rest and Relaxation: During your period, prioritize self-care and rest when needed. Engage in activities that promote relaxation, such as gentle exercise, meditation, or taking warm baths.
- Balanced Nutrition: Eating a nutritious diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can support your overall well-being during menstruation. Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water is also important.
Seeking Medical Advice:
If you experience severe or disruptive symptoms during your period- such as excessive pain, heavy bleeding, or irregular cycles- it is important to seek medical advice. While some cramping pain and decrease in energy is expected, it is not normal to be doubled over in pain or missing out on your life during every period. If this is you, schedule an evaluation with a gynecologist or primary care doc to be sure you don’t have a menstrual related medical issue such as endometriosis or fibroids or PMDD.
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (2021). Menstruation and the Menstrual Cycle. Retrieved from https://www.acog.org/womens-health/faqs/menstruation-and-the-menstrual-cycle
- Mayo Clinic. (2021). Menstrual Cramps. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menstrual-cramps/symptoms-causes/syc-20374938
- WomensHealth.gov. (2021). Menstruation and the Menstrual Cycle Fact Sheet. Retrieved from https://www.womenshealth.gov/files/documents/fact-sheet-menstruation.pdf
- National Health Service (NHS). (2021). Periods. Retrieved from https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/periods/