As an Acupuncturist and Herbalist who specializes in fertility, I see all different kinds of cycles and periods. One of the reasons I love practicing women’s medicine is that I get to deeply examine this amazing gift that we have as women. Our periods are a direct reflection of the health of our entire body.
Our work at my clinic is mostly centered around cycle balancing, optimization and period health. Often times, when we correct and regulate the menstrual cycle, fertility and chances of conception are significantly improved.
What does a healthy cycle and period look like, you might ask.
Here are a few important factors we focus on:
The ideal cycle is 28 days long, give or take a day on each end. If your cycle is too long or too short (that is, longer than 30 days or shorter than 26 days) it can interfere with egg development, maturity and quality, because the length of your cycle is directly connected to your ovulation. Research shows that both short and long cycles have been associated with decreased fertility and that the chances of conception can be reduced as much as 50%.
Volume and Length of Period Flow
The ideal period is 4 days long, during which you are soaking a pad or tampon every four hours, during your heaviest day. This is a very important piece of the puzzle because your menstrual flow is a direct reflection of the quality, quantity and health of your uterine lining. As we all know, a healthy, plush lining is a very important part of conception. If your period is too short/long or too heavy/light, it may mean that your lining is not ideal. In some cases, bleeding too much or too little can decrease your chances of conception by half.
Period Health and Fertility
As common as it is to have cramping, clotting and PMS with your monthly cycle, it is not truly a part of healthy physiology. These things can represent a variety of more serious problems. Besides being a drag, those symptoms could also mean endometriosis, uterine polyps, fibroids or hormonal imbalances. An optimal cycle is absolutely free of any pain, PMS, clotting and spotting.
What can you do if your period and cycle are not optimal?
It is becoming widely known that what you eat and drink, how you exercise, your use of caffeine, alcohol and cigarettes and your personal environment all affect your ability to conceive. What’s most interesting, however, is the growing amount of medical literature that is showing that your lifestyles can also affect our future generations.
Try Natural Medicine
Incorporating traditional methods of treatment, such as acupuncture and herbal medicine, with a thorough understanding of the modern medical model of fertility medicine can help you achieve your best chances of conceiving, no matter which state of the fertility process you are in.
Michelle Kaplar, R.Ac., www.mulifertility.com
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