This is a question that I get asked a lot!
I thought that I would take a moment to share what is usual and what is unusual where periods are concerned.
Many of us think that suffering during menstruation is normal... it`s not. It`s common, but it isn`t how it should be.
So what is a "normal" period?
Well - there`s no such thing as "normal" as we are all so different, but here are some features of what it should and should`t be like...
1. Most peoples cycles (the time it takes between from day 1 of your period until your next one) is usually between 26 - 34 days during your reproductive years. 28 day cycles are not the most common length. Teenages will commonly have cycles from 24 - 38 days and peri-menopause brings cycles of varying lengths - 24 days to missing periods is common.
2. It`s normal for your cycle length to vary by as much as 6 or 7 days from month to month.
3. A period should last anywhere between 3 - 7 days. Any shorter or longer than this is a symptom of something going on hormonally.
4.Usually the heaviest day of your period is day 2. On your heaviest day, you shouldn`t need any more than 6 pads or tampons per day. If you do, then this is classed as a a heavy period and a sign of an imbalanced.
5. 25 - 80ml of blood loss is normal, that`s between 5 regular tampons for your whole period - 16 regular tampons, or 8 super tampons. If you bleed less or more than this over your whole period, you have an imbalance in your hormones.
6. Menstrual fluid should be mostly liquid, with very small clots, if any.
7. Mild, occasional cramps are normal. These should disappear with ibuprofen. If you are still in pain whilst taking ibuprofen then this is excessive and is a sign of an imbalance. Debilitating pain is NEVER normal. Normal cramps don`t disrupt your day or cause time off work.
8. It`s normal for breasts to feel fuller, but painful breasts, cysts or fibrous lumps are a sign your hormones need balancing.
9. You shouldn`t get headaches.
10. Mild mood shifts are normal the week before your period. These should not be extreme or disrupt your life. If you are suffering from excessive PMT or PMDD then your hormones are in need of a balance.
If you think that you are suffering with some of the symptoms that suggest that your hormones are a little imbalanced, and would like to do something about it then get in touch and see how I can help.
Hello lovely people.
Today I wanted to share a resource with you. I have a 15 item plant-based recipe PDF that I want to share with you. The recipes include smoothies, breakfast, lunches, snacks and a couple of sweeter items.
Whether you are plant-based or just wish to have a few meat-free recipes up your sleeve, these will give you some inspiration.
If you`d like all 15 recipes then sign up to my email address and I`ll send them over. I promise not to bombard you with unnecessary emails. There`s a link under the recipe.
Love and health,
Starts September 2021
Back by popular demand - the fertility awareness method online group course.
Learn the wisdom and magic of your cycles.
As an NFPTA registered teacher of the fertility awareness method, I will show you how to use this reliable method of natural contraception to gain a new understanding of your body so that you can have body literacy like never before.
Learn the fascinating side of sex - ed that you were never taught at school to really get to grips with your menstrual cycle and the wisdom that it can reveal to you.
This online course has 6 lessons over 12 weeks.
This course will cover everything you need to know to begin charting, from the anatomy of both the male and female body to the hormonal dance that is performed each month.
The sympto-thermal method of fertility awareness is as effective at preventing pregnancy as the birth control pill.
The human reproduction study found that this method, when followed correctly has a rate of >99% efficacy as a contraception.
Using the fertility awareness method is easy once you know how. It avoids synthetic hormones and the disruption they can cause to wellness, and doesn`t require invasive surgery for you or your partner.
The fertility awareness method is your answer if you are struggling with your current contraception and are looking for a gentle and reliable alternative. It will also give you a greater understanding your body`s amazing rhythms.
This course will be in a small group ( no more than 6) on Zoom and will stretch over 12 weeks. This allows me to work with you over your first 3 cycles. We will meet at 7pm (London time) each lesson as follows:
Week 1 - ~ 2hours - 8/9/21
Week 2 - ~2 hours - 15/9/21
Week 3 - ~2 hours - 22/9/21
Week 4 - ~1 hour - 29/9/21
Week 8 - ~1 hour - 27/10/21
Week 12 - ~1 hour - 24/11/21
If you have recently had a baby and are in your postpartum stage, or are in your peri-menopause years where cycles are becoming less regular, the fertility awareness method is available to you, but this course is not for you. or in the case of postpartum care, wait until your cycles become regular again before purchasing the course. You can contact me for an individual lesson tailored to your unique life stage.
You will need to buy a good quality digital thermometer that has two decimal places. This means that there should be two numbers after the decimal - eg 36.56 degrees.
You should also know that this course is written by a UK instructor and so all temperatures are written in Centigrade, not Fahrenheit.
You need to be available for all the dates set.
The word "Menopause" actually means - Final Period. The part of your life where you are menopausal is actually after your periods have stopped and should be a time where you start to feel pretty human again.
The turbulent times that some people experience leading up to their last period is actually known as perimenopause and is a time frame that can last anywhere between 2 - 12 years before your final period.
Perimenopause is a bit like going through puberty again. Very often, if you have children, one of your children in your house will be having their first puberty as you are going through your second. The universe is very good at planning things like this. One level of thinking about this coincidence is so the parent and child can empathise and support each other with their transitions better.
The reason that I say it is like a second puberty is because the hormone levels are so similar to the first puberty you went through. The difference is that this time, instead of starting this transition as a child, going through puberty and coming out the other side into your reproductive years, hormonally, you will now do this in reverse. You will come out of your reproductive years and finish with similar hormone levels to when you were a child. That`s not a bad thing! Remember how life was much simpler and you were generally pretty happy as a child? You had stable hormones, which are a great thing to look forward to.
Take a look at this diagram:
You can see the similarity can`t you. The child and the menopausal woman have low and stable levels of progesterone with mild bumps of oestrogen, and the teen is similar to the perimenopausal woman in terms of progesterone levels. It is during this final stage of menstruating that oestrogen has a grand finale and goes wildly high between dips, like a grand finale of the orchestra of hormones reaching great crescendos, or a rather haphazard firework show to finish off the reproductive years. It is that fluctuating level of oestrogen and the combined falling progesterone that causes all those crazy symptoms you may be familiar with.
Whilst it is absolutely normal and to be expected to have these high and low oestrogen moments, the reason that some women suffer more than others can be down to oestrogen rising even higher than the graph above. It can also be to do with levels of inflammation in the body.
Perimenopause itself can be divided up into sections:
During this stage you may start to notice small changes to your cycles and even to your mood and energy levels. Your breasts may get more tender and you may get a few headaches or start to suffer with disruptions to your sleep. You may notice weight being layed in places you previously didn`t have to worry about, or it difficult to lose weight.
Your menstrual cycles may shorten slightly, but only by a few days. During this time, you may have less progesterone than before but an increase in oestrogen. This can cause heavier periods and more pain than you previously had.
It is during this stage that you might start to encounter hot flashes and night sweats. This is because you still have the lower progestorone and fluctuating oestrogen as before, but now your oestrogen is dropping lower than previously. During this time, you will notice more variation in your cycle length. Cycles could vary each month as much as 7 days or slightly more. You may still have many of the symptoms from stage 1
You will begin to skip periods during this phase, so a 60 day cycle or more is normal. Night sweats and hot flashes can get pretty intense during this phase as oestrogen continues to drop very low in between peaks. The peaks mean that you may still have to deal with some heavy periods but your breast pain may start to ease.
This is the stage that starts with your final period. You are in this stage for 12 months after having your final period. After that.... congratulations! You will graduate to a freer and more liberating stage of your life, known as menopause.
During this time your body has got to get used to having continued lower oestrogen. It might be a little bumpy to start with but it will ease up and iron out as you move through this part of your life. If you get a sudden and unexpected period within these 12 months, you have to start counting again. Be careful with whichever method of contraception you use during this time. Unexpected and unplanned pregnancies can occur.
I LOVE teaching the fertility awareness method to couples. It is a way of understanding your cycles and knowing where you ovulate so that you can either avoid or plan a pregnancy. As a contraception, the world health organisation states that it is more than 99% accurate as a contraception. That`s the same as the birth control pill but without the nasty side effects
The method involves taking your basal body temperature with a digital thermometer each morning, which needs to be done before you get out of bed and start moving about. It also needs to be taken at the same time each day, although there are some easy calculations that you can do to account for any weekend lie-ins or early starts.
The fertility awareness method is a reliable method of contraception if used properly. It is often confused by some people with the old "rhythm method" which was highly dubious. Fertility awareness is COMPLETELY different and based on scientific fact, not estimations. As well as recording your temperature, It uses other symptoms of the female body such as monitoring cervical mucous and the position of the cervix.
Hormonal contraception pitfalls
The birth control pill is known to cause huge health implications. The hormones used are synthetic - that means that they are made in a laboratory somewhere. Whilst they are effective at controlling unwanted pregnancies, the hormones are depleting your body of vital nutrients and contribute to life-long conditions later down the line.
The oestrogen and progesterone that our bodies makes have other functions across our physiology other than just supporting the reproductive system. Oestrogen is vital for bone health and cardiovascular function amongst many other functions, and progesterone is essential for our mood and cognitive balance amongst other reasons.
Synthetic hormones do not offer the same health benefits. The only thing they are good for is stopping unwanted pregnancies.
It is common for a woman to have been on the contraceptive pill for many years and then after menopause discover that she has osteoporosis. The lack of natural oestrogen has contributed to poor bone health.
Not only this, but hormonal contraception is known to deplete B vitamins, Zinc and other nutrients which are vital for health.
What are the advantages of using the Fertility Awareness Method as a contraception?
What is protein?
All cells and tissues contain protein, therefore protein is essential for growth and repair and the maintenance of good health. Protein provides the body with approximately 10 to 15% of its dietary energy and it is the second most abundant compound in the body, following water.
A large proportion of this will be muscle (43% on average) with significant proportions being present in skin (15%) and blood (16%).
The protein that makes up our bodies is not obtained directly from the foods that we eat. Dietary protein is broken down into its ‘building blocks’- amino acids, which the body can then use as it needs.
Protein and blood sugar control
Eating protein regularly is very important for good blood sugar control.
If you eat some protein for breakfast, lunch and dinner, it should help to reduce your risk of hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar).
Low blood sugar can cause mood swings and it predisposes you to anxiety or depression.
Eating sugar and starchy, carbohydrate rich goods can promote large swings in your blood sugar level.
Here`s a little corner of the world where I discuss life, our bodies, natural remedies and nature.
I`ve also got a channel on Youtube where I share tips and musings. Please join in and leave me a comment or two.
The contents of this blog are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, dietary supplement, exercise, or other health program.
Energetics Of Rose
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Side Effects The Pill
Stand Up To Cancer
What Is A Naturopath
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