Trial Version of Menstrual Health Made Easy
About Lesson
  • Listen to the audio (transcript below)
  • Check the tab called Exercise Files for more information

 

 

Audio transcript:

What is happening in physical terms during the menstrual cycle?

A menstrual cycle may not be the same length every cycle, but variation is normally with a 4-6 day window.

By this we mean one month you may have a 21 day cycle and your next one may be anything between 22 to 27 days and still be considered within a normal range of difference.

A study using data from the Flo app published in 2020 actually showed that only 40% of women have cycles 27-29 days in length.

Things that can affect the cycle length are lifestyle characteristics such as smoking, caffeine and alcohol consumption, age and BMI.

Longer cycles are associated with a higher BMI and shorter cycles with smoking and high consumption of caffeine and alcohol.

And studies also showed that women reporting depression, higher perceived stress levels, and high levels of physical activity were associated with having irregular periods, anovulation, and heavier menstrual bleeding.

regular cycles  ranging from 21-35 days. That is still ‘normal’ or typical. If it’s outside that every time it’s worth tracking and speaking to a healthcare provider once you have some data, to just check in on your hormone health at this point in time.

 Here is an overview of what is happening at each point around the cycle.

Week 1 – is when the uterine lining is shedding and we call this a period. The bleeding amount can vary and length of time, but on average 3 to 7 days. Starts off light/spotting, heavier flow, then light flow. Normal Volume varies considerably from 30–50 ml of blood per period, up to 80 ml is still considered ‘normal’. But what is your normal. It’s all relative to you.

The colour will probably vary from start to finish from bright red to dark brown, this is typical. When the flow is darker it simple means it has taken longer to travel from the uterus.

If the menstrual flow contains small lumps often called clots then that is also common, but if they are over the size of a 10p then that is when you make an appt with your health care professional, taking along your tracker and any other information.

Remember: if the discomfort or anxiety is affecting your ability to think straight and complete physical tasks in the way you would normally, then that’s not helpful.

Week 2- the body starts to prepare to ovulate, which includes in most cycles a release of an egg. There are a few cycles each year that don’t result in an egg release, called an anovulatory cycle. You can still get a period with his kind of cycle but it’s not the kind that we really want many of.

Week 3 – ovulation has occurred and the egg is now travelling toward the uterus, where the endometrial lining of the womb is preparing itself by thickening in number of cells. In order for a fertilised egg to implant successfully the cells need to be more than 8mm thick.

Week 4 – the lining now reaches a point of will it or won’t it shed. A few factors will determine this. The decision primarily will be made on whether an egg has been released and subsequently fertilised or not. We then move back into week 1 and a bleed occurs.

What is the length of your repeat pattern? How’s your menstrual health mosaic looking?

Keep collecting your data and building your menstrual cycle mosaic and I’ll speak to you in the next episode.

Exercise Files
monthly levels.pdf
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