Your body changes every month under the influence of hormones.
Every month the body prepares for the fact that you can become pregnant — it creates favorable conditions for the fetus in the uterus — a nutritious endometrium. If pregnancy does not occur, hormones give a signal to get rid of unnecessary endometrium — and it is excreted in the form of menstruation.
However, immediately after this, a new layer begins to grow — and so on in a circle, cycle after cycle.
Phases of the menstrual cycle
Each cycle you live 4 phases — let’s take a closer look
01 | Menstruation
The beginning of the cycle is considered the first day of menstruation. During menstruation, the endometrium comes out of the uterus — therefore, menstrual flow contains a lot of mucus. The menstrual phase lasts 3-7 days and ends when the bleeding stops.
02 | Follicular phase
Under the influence of hormones in the ovary, follicles begin to mature — in fact, this begins even during menstruation. Each cycle matures several follicles, but reaches the end — releases an egg — only one. This phase lasts 7-10 days. Under the influence of growing hormones, you feel a surge of strength and energy.
03 | Ovulation
A mature follicle ruptures and an egg is released from it. Your hormones and your mood are at their peak, this is your finest hour — no one will stop you. Unfortunately, this phase lasts only 3-4 days.
04 | luteal phase
It lasts 12-14 days. Your body is preparing to receive a fertilized egg — the endometrium of the uterus is actively thickening. Around the middle of the luteal phase, if pregnancy has not occurred, the body reduces the production of hormones (estrogen and progesterone). Because of this, about a week before menstruation, the well-known PMS, premenstrual syndrome, manifests itself.
As soon as the production of estrogen and progesterone stops, the endometrium begins to be shed — a new cycle begins.
During her life, a woman lives about 500 menstrual cycles and spends a total of 6 years with menstruation.
It would be wrong if nature doomed us to suffering for 6 years.
Was the menstrual cycle designed to make women suffer? I doubt. Then mankind would not have survived — primitive women would have been unable at this time to get food and run away from predators. This means that genetically menstruation should be painless and not cause inconvenience.
Perhaps today’s «epidemic» of painful periods and PMS is the price to pay for our way of life — with constant stress, lack of movement and a diet that is far from balanced.
It is up to you to change these factors and make your periods more comfortable!
And I suggest starting with food!
NUTRITION FOR A HEALTHY MENSTRUAL CYCLE
With food, many substances enter our body that directly affect the functioning of the body. Just by changing the diet, we can affect our health, mood, energy and ability to cope with tasks.
And also to make menstruation more comfortable by reducing pain, swelling, profusion of menstruation and getting rid of mood swings.
The section on nutrition is very voluminous, because it is really the basis of your well-being. Here you will find a list of the main trace elements, symptoms of their deficiency, recommendations for choosing products and supplements.
These are polyunsaturated fatty acids that our body needs, and we can get them only with food — the body itself does not produce them. Omega-3 has many important functions: it is necessary for the proper functioning of the brain, heart and nervous system. Does it affect our well-being during menstruation? Yes, how!
In fact, it is not a vitamin — it is a hormone. Its main functions have long been known — it is responsible for calcium absorption and bone strength. Recent studies have also shown that it is necessary to maintain many physiological processes. It affects the work of the thyroid gland, the production of sex hormones, the functioning of the nervous system and immunity. Low levels of vitamin D can cause menstrual irregularities:
no periods or infrequent and very scanty periods
severe manifestations of PMS (mood swings, anxiety, tearfulness)
dysmenorrhea (severe menstrual pain)
This is the basis of healthy menstruation. It normalizes all hormonal processes in the body
Helps to remove excess estrogen (excess estrogen leads to more abundant periods and the appearance of neoplasms — cysts, fibroids)
Helps fight stress by lowering cortisol levels.
Helps in the treatment of premenstrual migraines
Magnesium deficiency is very common — in two out of three people. It leads to severe PMS and painful periods, muscle cramps, and increases your cravings for sweets.
It is the second most important trace element after magnesium, which is responsible for the normal menstrual cycle. Zinc is effective in the treatment of acne, PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) and painful periods.
Zinc reduces inflammation in the body and reduces the amount of prostaglandins, thereby reducing the pain of menstruation. Zinc is also included in the treatment regimen for endometriosis.
Zinc regulates the functioning of the ovaries and is responsible for timely ovulation.
Blocks excess testosterone, reducing the manifestations of its excess — acne and excessive facial hair growth.
Helps cells absorb collagen, which helps reduce the symptom of vaginal dryness.
Reduces cortisol, helping us fight stress.
Zinc is also responsible for healthy skin, hair and nails.
Everyone knows that vitamin C helps our immunity. And here is why it is important for well-being during menstruation:
According to studies, taking 1000 mg of vitamin C daily reduces menstrual pain, including endometriosis.
Vitamin C helps to absorb iron — as you know, during menstruation, our iron levels decrease, and it is necessary to provide the body with oxygen.
Why do we want to eat a lot in PMS?
Have you noticed that before your period you constantly want to eat something, even if you are not hungry?
These are not just your whims — this is how your body tells you that it lacks something.
Before menstruation, the level of hormones — estrogen and progesterone — drops very much, little serotonin (the hormone of good mood) is produced, so the brain is looking for the easiest way to fix this — eat your favorite dish, especially something sweet or fatty. But the fact is that fatty , salty and carbohydrate foods will only worsen your well-being — it will cause bloating, swelling, blood sugar surges, which will lead to another deterioration in mood.
The best tactic is to eat lots of complex carbohydrates (any grains except white rice) and tryptophan-rich foods. Tryptophan is converted to serotonin in the body. And you don’t want to kill everyone anymore 🙂
If you want a certain food, you should listen to the body — this is how it tells you what nutrients it lacks. But often our «compass» is knocked down — in pizza or chocolate ice cream there is clearly not what the body needs.
How much you move every day affects how you feel during PMS and menstruation.
Why is movement important for comfortable menstruation?
reduces stress (reduces cortisol levels). High stress tells the body that it is now «at war», so periods can be irregular and very painful — the whole body is tense, as if preparing for battle.
removes excess estrogen (excess estrogen leads to severe pain and heavy discharge),
endorphins are produced. These hormones are similar in effect to the body — you won’t believe it — opiates. They reduce pain and improve mood.
The main thing in movement is constancy and regularity. If you start activity only with PMS symptoms, then there will be no result.
The best option is 30 minutes of aerobic training every day (walking, running, dancing) and 2 strength training (gym, Pilates, yoga).
Too much exercise can lead to irregular periods or the cessation of periods. Professional athletes often face this.
The same thing can happen if you have not trained for a long time, and then immediately start very intense training.
Can I play sports during my period?
Yes, this has all the same advantages — endorphins work as an anesthetic, a decrease in cortisol reduces spasms, and swelling in the pelvic organs is also removed and bowel function improves.
It is better to choose light activities, without heavy loads (this concept is individual, and a light load for an athlete can be very difficult for a girl who does not play sports at all).
The best option is walking, stretching and yoga (if you have already practiced yoga before).
Always listen to your body — if you are not comfortable doing a certain exercise, it is better to refuse it.
MENSTRUAL CUP — WHAT IS IT
Perhaps you have already heard about menstrual cups, or perhaps you are reading about them for the first time.
This hygiene product is not familiar and is not yet very popular, and that is why many people treat it with distrust.
In fact, bowls are a very convenient and comfortable means of hygiene, and their safety for health has been confirmed by many studies.
Menstrual cup — This is a small container made of medical silicone, which is worn inside the vagina, like a tampon.
The bowl is reusable — you just need to empty it every 12 hours (or after filling), wash it with soap and water, and use it again — for 5-10 years.
Pros of menstrual cups
Cup holds 3 times more than a pad/tampon
It is enough to wash it 2 times a day — in the morning and in the evening
Absolutely not felt inside
You can swim with the bowl, and you do not need to take it out every time you get out of the water
Can be used overnight
The cup does not violate the microflora of the vagina
Medical silicone does not contain toxins and does not cause allergies
The cup does not create debris like pads and tampons
One bowl will replace 2000 disposable hygiene products
The bowl will save up to 30 thousand rubles. on pads and tampons
HOW TO CHOOSE A MENSTRUAL CUP
When choosing a cup, you need to take into account several parameters — the abundance of discharge, age, whether there were births, whether the cervix is high, as well as some features.
WHERE TO ORDER A MENSTRUAL CUP
As you already know, it is very important that the hygiene product is made from safe materials.
Therefore, you can not order menstrual cups on cheap sites — they can be made from low-quality material, and not from medical grade silicone. Such material may contain dioxins and phthalates and this will be bad for your health.
It is also important that you choose a bowl that suits you best — only then will you be able to use the bowl without problems. Therefore, do not buy the first bowl that comes across.