In our Healthy Period Handbook, we share specific tips tailored to what your cycle looks and feels like (ways to improve your flow, color and clottiness of your blood, the length and frequency of your period, PMS symptoms, cramps, and more). While it’s important to work on each of the underlying issues that shape your cycle, you also have to work on your overall cycle and health –– because everything is interconnected.
These tips will help all people with periods improve their cycles:
Manage your stress.
Stress affects both your overall health and your cycle as it causes constriction, which leads to issues like cramping and clotting. There are countless ways to reduce stress. Whether it’s meditation, surfing, cooking, doing yoga, walking, spending time with friends, painting, or something else, find something that works for you and stick with it. Consistency is key.
Track your period.
If you’re not already doing it, start – you can do it in a journal, on your calendar, or on one of the period tracking apps. If you’re already doing it, keep going and be sure to reflect on the data, not just record it. Keeping tabs on the length of your period, your flow, the color of your blood, the symptoms you experience, and how much it varies (if at all) will help you better understand what’s going on in your body. If you identify irregularities or issues, you can work to fix them.
Get more sleep.
This may sound too general, but it’s one of the most important things for your health and, by extension, a healthy cycle. Make sure you’re getting at least 8 hours of sleep each night. If you’re currently getting less than that, try getting into bed 15 minutes earlier. It’ll make a difference.
Monitor your energy.
If you’re awake, your energy should be seven out of ten or higher. If you had to down five coffees to get there, it doesn’t count. Fatigue of any kind is an indicator that something is awry. If you notice your energy level is lower, take note of that and act accordingly. You shouldn’t, for example, do strenuous exercise, like CrossFit, when your energy is lower than a seven. (More exercise isn’t always better.)
You already know that exercise improves your overall health, but did you know that it directly affects your cycle too? When your blood is flowing, your body will have an easier time shedding the uterine lining, which means less need for cramps. While you should make it regular, you don’t need to go hardcore. Research has shown that moderate, regular exercise is effective at significantly reducing cramps associated with menstruation. Even daily walks mixed with some yoga can get your blood pumping enough to improve your cycle and reduce cramps.
Talk to your doctor.
If there’s something irregular about your cycle, talk to your OB-GYN about it at your annual check-up, even if it seems like no big deal. We know that there are many doctors who will tell you that issues like cramps and clots are normal, but there are also doctors who, like us, know that nobody should have to suffer because of their menstrual cycle. If your doctor is not helping you manage your cycle or your pain in a way that you find acceptable, you might want to look for another doctor – one who knows that a healthy cycle is a symptom-free one.
Ask us questions.
We are not a substitute for your doctor, but our founder is a women’s health expert and reproductive acupuncturist with over twenty years of experience fixing periods. She’s a wealth of knowledge and she’s committed to answering every question we get. So, if you’re left with doubts about your cycle, ask away.