Yikes! Period talk. How embarrassing!
STOP RIGHT THERE.
Periods happen and they are something we need to talk about! Why? Because they happen, and sometimes there are periods that are not normal. If we don’t talk about periods, we can’t help each other stay balanced and healthy!
So stop bothering Siri and let us talk about them with you today.
First, why do we even have a period?
Your period is, believe it or not, only a small part of your menstrual cycle. The menstrual cycle itself is a beautiful recurring system that ensures your body is healthy and ready for a potential pregnancy. At the start of the menstrual cycle, which begins after your last period’s flow ceases, your uterine lining is rebuilt and an egg is prepared for the middle phase which is ovulation. During ovulation, one of your ovaries releases an egg, and your body changes hormonally, preparing for a potential pregnancy. If the egg is fertilized, the egg will attach itself to the lining of the uterus and begin to grow, a tiny living human. If the egg is not fertilized your hormone levels will decrease and the uterus lining sheds during what we know as our “period week.”
What a beautiful, almost magical, process that our female bodies go through each month! Sometimes we are so accustomed to our cycle that we forget just how incredible and fascinating it is! The description we just gave you is really just a very simplified overview of the menstrual cycle, because we are ready to head into the next question…
What does a normal period look like? ?♀️
Get ready to find out! ?
Should I have a period? (Periods are totally normal! yay! ?)
I know sometimes we can lose sight of this fact, but this is important. Your period is a GOOD thing. Periods are just a part of this messy, amazing thing called life! If you don’t have a period… well, that could mean your body is a little unbalanced.
How much flow is too much? ?
According to the NHS, the average flow amount is between 6-8 teaspoons (or 30-40ml). This is normal! Sometimes it could feel like your flow is a lot more than this, but if you measure it you will likely find that there is actually less blood than you think. Measuring your flow is super easy (and extremely accurate) in your handy dandy Pixie Cup) but you can also measure your flow with tampons. A regular tampon holds 5ml of fluid, and a super tampon will hold about 10ml.
Is my period too long? (It feels like it lasts forever. ?)
A normal period lasts between 2-7 days. (Whew, that’s a big range!!) Yes it is! Although the average period is about 5 days long, there’s some flexibility there before you get to an abnormal range! If your period is lasting longer than 8 days, it’s time to set up that appointment with your gynecologist.
What if my cycle is more/less than 28 days? ?
The average cycle is between 21-35 days… another big range! If your menstrual cycle is shorter than 21 days, you have an abnormally short cycle and might want to discuss things with your doctor to get it checked out. If your cycle is longer than 35 days, you still may be in the healthy range because some people do have longer cycles, although this is less common. If you are only having your period once every few months, you will want to visit your doctor to make sure you are at a healthy range for you.
In short… ?
You alone know your body best! As you can see above, there is a huge variety of period types. In fact, our periods are as unique and beautiful as we are! Each person has a different experience, and that’s a good thing! If your period is extremely heavy and leaving you feeling extremely weak or sick, or if you only get a period a few times a year, please schedule an appointment with your doctor and take care of yourself! You are important and your health is valuable.
What is your biggest period question? Let us know in the comments, and let’s talk about it!