What’s healthy when it comes to cramps, PMS, and bleeding?
At Brazen, we talk about periods pretty much all the time. One thing that strikes us is that no matter how different one person’s period is from the next, almost everyone has been told that their period and the symptoms that come with it are ‘normal’. So, how can we tell if what’s going on in our bodies is actually what’s supposed to be happening? How do we know if our symptoms are telling us that something’s wrong or if they’re just part of a ‘normal’ cycle?
Introducing the Healthy Normal – the standard for healthy cycles we all should have learned as pre-teens but didn’t.
Here’s what a Healthy Normal cycle looks like:
- Cycle length: 28-30 days long
- Period length: 4 days long
- Period blood: bright red with no clots
- Flow: steady bleeding throughout your period that fills a regular tampon or pad in about 4 hours (or half-fills a menstrual cup in that amount of time)
- NO CRAMPS
- NO PMS (That means no mood swings, no digestive issues, no bowel changes, no bloating, no breast tenderness, no cycle-induced irritability, anxiety, stress or depression, etc.)
If that sounds like your cycle, congrats! It’s safe to assume that everything is working as it should and you’re healthy overall.
If your cycle doesn’t line up with that, don’t freak out. You’re not alone and you’re not doomed. Here’s what you need to know:
- This isn’t a “you’re stuck with the cards you were dealt” scenario – you can improve your cycle and overall health. You can make healthy your new normal. Our Healthy Period Handbook will teach you how to read your symptoms and decode what’s going on with your current cycle. It will also give you tailored tips to help you improve your cycle based on your symptoms and specific markers like the length of your period, the color of your blood, etc.
- As inconvenient as your period can be, it actually gives you a powerful advantage: monthly feedback about your health. If you start to pay attention to what your period looks and feels like, and you learn to read your period like a report card, you can figure out what’s going on in your body, beyond your cycle. Understanding the root issues behind your symptoms will enable you to improve not just your period but your overall health. This is especially important because some of the underlying conditions that cause cramps are highly predictive of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and estrogen-dependent tumors. Improving your cycle can help prevent serious diseases.
- You’re actually part of the majority. Most people experience cramps and PMS and have periods that don’t line up with the Healthy Normal. If you’ve been told your period problems are normal, this is probably why: unhealthy periods are overwhelmingly common.
Here’s the thing though – the fact that something is common doesn’t make it okay. When we call crampy, PMS-ridden cycles “normal” we diminish very real issues and lead people with periods to accept pain and suffering.
Our team is on a mission to make healthy periods the new normal – to make bright red the new normal, to make cramp-free the new normal, to make PMS-free the new normal. Will you join us?