Why don’t we talk about periods?

How much do you know about your period and the days beyond the bleed?

The menstrual cycle, in its entirety not just the bleeding days, is a complex mix of hormone changes, physiological and mental shifts that reflects a person’s overall health status. It can be thought of as a “fifth vital sign,” along with blood pressure, body temperature, heart rate, and respiratory rate. Menstrual irregularities can indicate hormonal imbalances, gynaecological diseases, or infections. Stress, changes in weight or diet, certain medications, and other lifestyle factors can cause temporary changes in the menstrual cycle.

Despite the fact that 50% of the World’s population experience menstruation it was only in 2021 that an official definition of Menstrual Health was agreed upon.

The definition also emphasises that whilst the majority of those who experience a menstrual cycle are women and girls, menstrual health is essential for all those who experience a menstrual cycle, regardless of their gender identity and the context in which they live.

Recently published in the journal Sexual and Reproductive Health Matters, menstrual health is defined as –

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a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, in relation to the menstrual cycle.
Missed periods, heavy periods, painful periods or no periods at all, are all events that mean your body is saying ‘hello I need some help here’. Your period is trying to tell you something, but are you listening? Do you even know how to? Have you ever had any lessons on how to speak the language of menstrual health?

Your cycle isn’t just your period. Your menstrual cycle is always happening; your period is just the part you can see. The hormones that drive your period are sensitive to what’s going on elsewhere in your body, all cycle long. In fact, the real hormonal magic really happens during the parts you can’t see.

The part we call ‘beyond the bleed’.

Why Menstrual Health Matters

by Fiona Catchpowle | CLICK PLAY TO LISTEN

Here’s how to join …

My Menstrual Health Made Easy series is a combination of 12 mini podcasts (each less than 5 mins) and 17 one page info-graphics, available via my digital learning platform. Essential information in bite-size pieces. Suitable for all devices. Listen, learn and take action.