Janine Buisman Wilcox Naturopathic Doctor
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Menstrual Cycling - The Ins & Outs

If you follow me on social media (Instagram, Facebook), you’ll see I’ve been talking all about menstruation in March.  Understanding your cycle is so key to understanding your hormonal picture, fertility, and any cyclical symptoms that might occur in relation to menstruation, pre-menstruation or ovulation.

We'll start with the follicular phase- the first half of the cycle which includes menstruation until ovulation.

Menstruation:

Menstrual flow is different than a withdrawal bleed on birth control.

Menstruation should typically look like:

🌹Bleeding: 3-7 days long⁣

🔥Blood: Mostly liquid, a few clots are okay, but they shouldn’t be larger than 1-2cm⁣

💧Volume: 25-80mL total (a regular tampon holds 5mL, a regular pad holds 5mL, a super pad - 10mL, a Divacup holds a total 30mL)⁣

😒Discomfort: Mild abdominal discomfort is normal, but shouldn’t interfere with your daily activities. The pain should be easily relieved by painkillers, but shouldn't require painkillers regularly. On the painkiller note - ginger is fantastic - more on that later!⁣

🌒Cycle: 21-35 days from Day 1 of bleeding to Day 1 of bleeding the next cycle . It's okay if it's not the same length every month as long as it's in this range and all of the other signs are pointing to healthy menstruation.⁣

Follicular phase:

This begins on the first day of menstrual bleeding and ends with ovulation. It can last anywhere from 7-21 days (or even longer in teenagers!).⁣

During this time, FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) tells the ovaries to merge and grow a follicle to release an egg during ovulation. ⁣

Estrogen is increasing and is the highest right before ovulation. The estrogen rise is important for:⁣

🌹Stimulating the lining of the uterus to grow⁣

💃🏾Increasing serotonin - many women will feel more energetic and social at this time!⁣

🔥Vaginal tissue health, lubrication, and blood flow⁣

👩‍⚕Long-term health of the bones☠️, mood🧠, and cardiovascular system ❤️. ⁣

⁣If you’re finding that you’re outside of these normals it’s to start paying attention and have an assessment.  Ovulation and luteal phase details to follow next month!

Interested in a complete assessment?  Book an appointment here!