Each and every woman is unique, and so is her menstrual cycle. Too often, however, women complain about their “period”. Why not stop all that whining and do something to change it? Believe it or not, a woman’s menses can tell her a lot about what is going on inside her body and can even be used as a gauge for uterine health. In this guide we’ll be taking a look at the most important things you can do to improve your period including getting to know your “flow type”, diet, cleansing, how to increase circulation to the uterus, and learning about different herbs that should be used specifically based on your “flow type”.
What if I told you that you can improve your period in as little as 12 weeks? Over that short time frame, you can transform the quality of your menstrual blood, length of bleeding time, the health of your uterus (after all, this may be a home for a baby someday), and your connection to your monthly cycle. Some women may even find that they are able to reduce painful menstruation, should that be an issue.
Why 12 weeks? That is how long it takes to bring about and establish real change in the body with the use of natural therapies. Think of it like resetting your body, and then giving it the time it needs to start functioning optimally.
In order to improve your period, you will need to address nutrient intake, circulation and strength of the uterus. There are several natural ways you can do this. By implementing these simple steps, you will be well on your way to the healthiest menstrual flow ever! Let’s get down to where to begin…
Step 1: Get to Know Your Flow
Your lovely lady time may be best described as one of the below, or a combination of a few of these…
What’s Your Flow Type?
- Bright Red, Normal Flow
- Dark brown/black/purple
- Mid-cycle spotting
If you are experiencing any besides the first, a Bright Red/Normal Flow, you may want to consider supportive natural therapies to get your menses back to a healthy color and consistency.
Take Note – Journal
Write it down, meaning, pay attention to your flow type and note if it changes from cycle to cycle. Be sure to also note how you are feeling emotionally and mentally. Document how your period makes you feel and your thoughts about what menstruation means to you.
Dark or clotty blood is a sign of uterine stagnation, or old blood, indicating the uterus is unable to empty its entire contents each cycle. Clots may also be an indication of a greater issue, such as endometriosis or uterine fibroids, especially if your period is very painful.
Scant or very light bleeding may indicate poor circulation to the uterus or low hormone levels. If hormone levels are inadequate, the uterine lining won’t build up as much as it should, resulting in light bleeding.
Heavy menstrual bleeding is often a sign of an imbalance in the estrogen to progesterone ratio, which may indicate fertility issues such as PCOS, or endometriosis.
Mid-cycle spotting may be an indication of a wide variety of issues, some exciting, like very early pregnancy, or some worrisome, like low progesterone.
Step 2: Improve Diet, Get Moving & Hydrate
Good quality organic whole foods are going to be the most nourishing. These provide the nutrients most needed to build a healthy body and healthy menstrual cycle. Start by learning how to eat a Fertility Diet, designed to support optimal reproductive health. This isn’t a temporary change. Instead, you should look at it as a new lifestyle, with the focus remaining on clean eating; this is your foundation. It is also common for women with nutritional deficiencies to have less than ideal menstruation. To cover all the bases, include a whole food multivitamin as part of your daily diet.
There are certain foods which are considered stagnating for the uterus. These foods should be kept at a minimum, meaning consume them only 2-3 times per week: Dairy products, red meat, processed carbohydrates, sugar and alcohol.
An important part of nourishing is water intake. Dehydration can make menstrual blood sticky, stringy, clotty or scant. Whatever the flow may be, increasing water intake will always help. Be sure to get in 8 full glasses of purified water, daily. Avoid plastic bottles, as these may contribute to hormonal imbalance. Hydration is key to a healthy flow.
One of the best ways to support a healthy menstrual cycle is to move your body, especially your legs and hips. The pelvis holds the reproductive organs, and movement of this part of your body helps to keep the muscles and reproductive organs aligned, promotes healthy circulation to the reproductive organs, and keeps you happy. Exercise is proven to increase endorphin release, which promotes a sense of well being.
Movement types good for a healthy menstrual cycle – Brisk walking, Fertility Yoga, swimming and dancing.
Next, you can address your flow type from home, with natural therapies.
Step 3: Fertility Cleanse
Fertility Cleansing is one of the best ways to improve hormone regulation,support the uterus’ tone, and ability to empty old contents; through the use of herbs. Think of it as a way to create a clean slate from which you can build upon. Fertility Cleansing lasts about one full menstrual cycle. Learn more here…
Step 4: Increase Circulation to the Uterus
A healthy menstrual flow requires improving circulation to the uterus.
An excellent way to increase circulation to the uterus is to massage the uterus and ovaries. Massage increases blood flow to the reproductive organs, which also helps to remove old stagnant blood. You can either book an appointment with an abdominal massage therapist, or learn how to apply Self Fertility Massage at home.
In a 2014 study out of the University of Illinois, Chicago, massage was examined as a means to improve blood flow and relieve muscle soreness after exercise. Their conclusion was that massage indeed does both, but researchers had an unexpected finding, that massage also improved circulation for study participants that did not exercise. While this study focused on exercise recovery, it also proves massage is a valid means of supporting circulation and vascular function in the absence of exercise.
Ideally you will want to apply Fertility Massage starting the day after your period has ended and continuing throughout the month, practicing at least 4 times a week. If you are currently trying to conceive, perform the massage techniques from the day after your period has ended up until ovulation.
Want to increase circulation even more? Consider applying Castor Oil Packs or Radiant Womb Massage Oil prior to doing Self Fertility Massage.
Drink Beet Juice
Beets aid in the conversion of nitrite to Nitric Oxide, which is an important vasodilator that has been shown to increase circulation throughout the body, including the uterus. Beets are also high in iron. Iron is a key mineral that is necessary for healthy red blood cells.
Drinking a fresh juice daily, including beets, is recommended. Juicing is also a superb way to boost nutritional intake.
This amino acid increases circulation to the reproductive organs as well. L-Arginine promotes synthesis of Nitric Oxide (NO) by working as a catalyst for this conversion. Suggested supplementation is 2000mg a day.
Step 5: Switch to Natural Menstrual Care Products
Many women report that just the simple act of switching to natural menstrual care products – such as the menstrual cup, cloth pads or organic cotton tampons – improved their period.
Not only are natural menstrual care products healthier for your body, but for the environment as well. Most conventional feminine care products are manufactured through the use of toxic chemicals and are made of plastic by-products.
Step 6: Consider Herbs for Your Flow Type
Herbs work well for addressing menstrual cycle issues, especially when the blood quality is poor.
Single Herbs and Herbal Formulas to Learn More About:
Vitex – This herb has an action on the pituitary gland, the master gland involved in hormonal regulation. Vitex promotes healthy hormonal balance, which is important for a healthy menstrual cycle.
Dong Quai – Promotes circulation to the uterus, is iron rich which helps to build the blood, encourages a healthy menstrual flow, great for light/scant periods.
Dr. Aviva Romm shares in her text Botanical Medicine for Women’s Health that Dong Quai has blood vessel relaxing effects due to the nicotinic acid and coumarin is contains. This is both helpful for circulation and improving menstrual cramps. Romm shares, “Interestingly, several studies have shown dong quai to act as a muscle relaxant overall, but to stimulate the uterus briefly before relaxing it.”
FertiliCare Phase 1 & 2 – These herbal formulas contain the key herb Rehmannia for promoting regular menstrual cycles and flow.
RejuvaFlow – Missing your period? RejuvaFlow is a blend of key herbs that have been used traditionally to bring back the menstrual cycle.
Slow Flow – Just like the name, this herbal formula is designed to slow the blood flow for those with heavy menstrual bleeding. Slow Flow is a blend of herbs that are astringent, aiding the body in reducing blood loss and encouraging a healthy menstrual flow.
12 Weeks Later – Better Blood, Improved Period!
By now you should be experiencing a healthier menstrual flow. Some women are going to notice dramatic changes, while others will see small but improved results. They key here is to continue on with your new, healthier lifestyle habits long-term, including therapies for increasing circulation to the uterus and an herbal program.
Too learn more about related subjects covered in this article, please visit the following links:
- Franklin, N.C., Ali, M.M, Robinson, A.T., Norkeviciute, E. and Phillips, S.A. (June 2014). Massage Therapy Restores Peripheral Vascular Function following Exertion. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Volume 95, Issue 6, Pages 1127–1134DOI: 10.1016/j.apmr.2014.02.007. Retrieved from: https://www.archives-pmr.org/article/S0003-9993(14)00130-0/fulltext
- Romm, A. (2010). Chapter 5, Menstrual Wellness and Menstrual Problems. Botanical Medicine for Women’s Health. Churchill Livingstone. St. Louis, Missouri.
- Coleman, E. (n.d.). Reap the Benefits of Beetroot Juice. Retrieved from http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/020612p48.shtml