WHAT IS NORMAL “DURATION” of a cycle? (just a super common question I get and thought I would address here!)
Day 1 of the whole menstrual cycle (28-34 days), is when the “bleed STARTS”…. But what is actually happening? The uterine lining is shedding!
- Some people have anywhere from 3-7 day period. There is no right/wrong duration.. unless you are bleeding excessively for more than 1 week, it’s time to bring attention!
- What is Optimal from a “PMS standpoint”? There may be a little bit of cramps/bloat, but for the most part you can continue your life and just take things a little slower.
WHAT IS CHANGING IN YOUR BODY THAT YOU MAY NOTICE OR TRACK (other than a monthly bleed happening)? There are several physiological changes happening throughout the phases of your cycle. This is why FEMALES HAVE GREAT POWER in how we can really optimize our nutrition, training, work mode, and more based on some physiological changes happening in the body throughout the cycle (more on this later). A few things CHANGING physiologically:
- Basal Body Temperature (rises after ovulation)
- Cervix Changes (gets higher and softer in texture during ovulation)
- Insulin Sensitivity (we are more insulin resistant in our luteal phase, and more insulin sensitive in our follicular phase. Based on this your cravings may change, you may also be able to handle more carbs in the first half of your cycle but need more fats and protein the second half of your cycle (more on eating based on your cycle in a future post!)
- Metabolism change (progesterone has a thermic effect and therefore can impact your resting metabolic rate (RMR) in the luteal phase of your cycle. This may be why you are hungry (but that also may be due to glucose instability because of more insulin resistance at this time)
TRACKING + APPS
Tracking you’re the symptom changes throughout a female menstural cycle is incredibly powerful and empowering! I always thought I was tired, or was frustrated about feeling bloated, I was confused why sometimes I was a little more irregular in bowel movements. And once I started tracking I realized it was only on certain days of the month and there was a cyclical pattern. Once I recognized that, I learned how to lean into my body’s natural rhythms and work WITH my body rather than against it (Alissa Vitti has some fantastic work on this like her book FLO living!).
For apps – There are MANY apps out there, here are just a FEW of my favorites! If you are new to tracking, you might just start with writing down when you bleed every month. But I highly encourage to start tracking maybe 1-3 of some other items (most apps have a place to check in extra notes.. I use CLUE app and so I can see the rhythm of when my weight goes up, or when I a craving carbs, or when I am more tired). Here are some things you might track in your app (or just the good old calendar pen/paper works too!)
- Cervical fluid (wet, clear, egg white)
- Basal Body Temperature (if you are tracking for FAM purposes)
- Sexual Desire/Libido
- Energy – exhausted vs. high energy? Focused, calm or distracted?
- Digestion – bloated, gassy, constipated?
- Cramps, Headaches, Tender breasts?
- Mood – sensitive, happy, sad?
- Cravings – sweet, salty, carbs, chocolate?
BOOKS I RECOMMEND FOR FURTHERING YOUR EDUCATION – don’t be overwhelmed, just start with one but these are some of my favorites!!!
Taking Charge of your Fertility, Toni Weschler
Period Repair Manual, Lara Briden
WomanCode, Alisa Vitti
In The Flo, Alisa Vitti
Fix Your Period, Nicole Jardim
No Period Now What, Dr. Rinaldi
The Fifth Vital Sign, Lara Briden
Beyond the Pill, Dr. Jolene Brighten
The Hormone Cure, Dr. Sara Gottfried
I sincerely hope this is helpful for wherever you are in your journey! Comment below or take a screenshot and SHARE on your stories – tag me @KDWELLNESS – I would love to connect and answer any follow up questions! More on this topic to come, as I LOVE to support and educate!
Kristen’s Favorite Hormone Support for improving hormone detoxification and pathways? I LOVE EstroFactors, and the Medical Food Hormone Plus Complete to help shift things in a positive direction! Again, you can learn more about your specific hormones by taking a DUTCH COMPELTE which I highly recommend!!