Uterus to Brain: Psst.. Feel that heavy bleeding and cramping? Perhaps a little acne will do the trick. Look, I'm not trying to be subtle. We need to talk.
Brain to Uterus: I'm just not that into you.
Your menstrual cycle does not act in isolation. Your period isn't just a monthly hassle. Your menstrual health is an important indication of your overall health and wellbeing. That’s our belief here at Bootsy, and it so happens that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) agrees.
In late 2015, together with the American Academy of Paediatrics, ACOG issued a statement that advised clinicians to include an evaluation of the menstrual cycle as an additional vital sign, along with heart rate and blood pressure. In it they stated:
“Identification of abnormal menstrual patterns in adolescence may improve early identification of potential health concerns for adulthood... By including an evaluation of the menstrual cycle as an additional vital sign, clinicians reinforce its importance in assessing overall health status for patients and caretakers.”
They go on to advise that clinicians always ask patients about their menstrual health and advise women to track their cycle regularly. While this statement was particularly aimed at assessing adolescent women, this fairly revolutionary statement has largely gone under the radar and has certainly not yet become common practice.
Immense pain, menstrual irregularity, headaches, clotting, spotting, acne, the list of symptoms goes on. We are so nonchalant about these symptoms that they are often perceived to be normal. However, they may well be signs that something else isn't quite right and it's worth discussing them with your physician or naturopath.
If we’re conscious and value our menstrual cycle as a vital sign, we can begin to see it as more than a pain in the butt, so to speak.
Here are a few menstrual cues to take note of:
- Does my period come at least every 35 days?
- Is my period painful?
- Do you experience severe premenstrual breast pain?
- Do you experience clotting during your period?
- Do you experience spotting outside of menstruation?
- Do you ovulate and how do you tell if you’re ovulating?
Start keeping tabs on your menstrual cues and simply practice (here’s that word again) mindfulness. Oh come on, menstrual mindfulness!? Ok, maybe that’s taking it too far, but you get the message.
Since you know your body, interpreting your menstrual cues can be something you can largely do on your own once you know how to read the signs, but its always worth asking your physician for support.
What is your cycle trying to tell you?
This article is for educational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose any condition or act as a replacement for a medical consultation.