I can't tell you how many times I've asked a woman in detail about her periods. I inquire about how how heavy, how many tampons or pads she is using, how much ibuprofen, spotting beforehand, the color, clots, length, PMS symptoms and more. Women are seeking naturopathic treatment because their cycles are disrupting their life or their fertility, and they are looking for relief. So many times women struggle with cyclical symptoms, only because they "just thought that was normal".
It is not necessary that you have to experience heavy bleeding, cramps, clots, long or irregular periods, or those other “common” period symptoms. Do you have a "normal" healthy period? Here's what you should expect if you do:
- 26-34 days from the start of one cycle to the next
- Bleeding should last 3-6 days
- Color of the blood should be cranberry red, with minimal to no clots
- 30-80 mL of blood loss
- This is 4-10 regular tampons, 3-7 super tampons, or 2-5 super-plus tampons -- through the ENTIRETY of your period
- Spotting should not occur more than 24 hours prior to your period start or in the middle of your cycle
- Mild cramping is normal, but you shouldn't be relying on pain-relieving drugs, heating pads, or needing miss work
- Slight mood changes can occur before your period begins. However, crying for no apparent reason, snapping at others and depression is not normal
- Periods should be free of: breast tenderness, cyclical acne, cyclical migraines, brown spotting, bloating, cyclical digestive changes (diarrhea or constipation), significant pain, heavy flow, large clots, insomnia, and fatigue
So—what if, after reading through the descriptions of “normal” symptoms, you find that you are … anything but “normal”?! If you are experiencing symptoms during your cycle that are outside of what I have described to be normal, it is likely that you have a hormone imbalance. Many women that I see have dealt with these symptoms due to a hormone imbalance for years, and the only treatment offered has been the birth control pill. You have other options.
If you are experiencing symptoms that fluctuate with your cycle, or if you suspect a hormone imbalance, I invite you to take this self-quiz to identify which of your hormones may need to be addressed. Then, consider making an appointment to talk with me about the symptoms you are experiencing.
At Kansas City Integrative Health, we take inventory of your hormone balance, often testing your hormones at different times in your cycle. Then, together, we create an action plan that is personalized for you so you can feel great every day of the month.
Dr. Laura Rues is a naturopathic doctor who works with women on their health journey. She provides the expert, compassionate, and personalized care that you expect, with personalized treatment that brings balance back to the systems involved in healthy reproduction, naturally.