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Identify a Normal Menstrual Cycle_Final

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>> Hi, great to see you again. Have you ever wondered what a normal menstrual cycle actually looks like? Don't be embarrassed if you're not sure. Every day, tons of people are googling questions like how long is my period supposed to be or what happens if I have sex with my girlfriend while she's on her period. These are important questions, and more often than not, we're not taught this vital information, hence the reason people turn to the Internet. Today, we'll be educating you on the ins and outs of the menstrual cycle, we'll be discussing what a normal menstrual cycle should look like, and talking about the changes in the cervical fluids so that you can help your clients track their menstrual cycles. Now you may be wondering, "Why do I need to help my clients track their menstrual cycles?" This is helpful for reasons a far beyond issues of fertility and conception. Irregularities in the menstrual cycle can signify a whole host of hormone imbalances and issues. So it's important for women to tune into these things. By noting irregularities, you can help clients get to the root of their health concerns and then help them create better health through the types of diet and lifestyle interventions we teach you in this course. Also, by keeping track of where the cycle is off, you can pinpoint what's going on and help them work to get it back to regularity. To help you do this, we'll also be talking about a really cool method to reestablish regularity in this lecture, how a woman can align her cycle with the phases of the moon. Okay, let's talk about what a normal period should look like. An ideal cycle should be anywhere from 25 to 35 days. If it's longer than 35 days, this could indicate a condition like polycystic ovarian syndrome or another problem where ovulation is happening later than it should in the cycle. If it's shorter than 25 days, it could mean ovulation is happening too early in the cycle. The actual period can vary from two to seven days but four to five is considered optimal. Please know that if your client has a three or an eight-day period and it's always been this way that she shouldn't worry, it's likely the norm for her particular body and hormonal make-up. However, if her period was always five days long for example and it's gradually or suddenly dropped to two or three days, she should see a functional medicine doctor or naturopathic doctor to rule out any underlying hormonal imbalances. A period should start with a saturated red color and look vibrant and healthy. This resembles the color of cranberry juice and has the consistency of maple syrup. Now I know this sounds funny, but the reason we use food comparisons is to help you describe to your clients what they should be looking for in terms that they can understand. Encourage your female clients to keep track of their period. Regardless of whether they're trying to conceive or avoid pregnancy, it's good for all women to know if their period is coming on time, what the blood looks like, and how they feel physically and emotionally during the week before and the week of their period. This information can be very useful to you as a Health Coach helping them to evaluate possible hormonal imbalances or reasons for infertility. For instance, let's say your client, we'll call her Anna, isn't getting pregnant and she doesn't know why. She says she's having sex in the middle of her cycle when she thinks she's ovulating but isn't entirely sure. If she begins to track her period and pay attention to the cervical fluid changes throughout her cycle, she'll get a much better idea of ovulation and when to have sex to conceive. In many cases, women are having sex at the wrong time in their cycle and this is why they're not getting pregnant. Sometimes it can be as simple as that. The length of the follicular phase can vary greatly, but it typically should be a minimum of 11 days in order for that particular cycle to be considered a fertile cycle. After menstruation ends, your clients will notice that their cervical fluid takes on a wider consistency, especially as ovulation approaches. This is considered normal and a sign of a healthy cycle. Ovulation usually occurs between day 12 and day 17 of the cycle. There has been a persistent rumor that it happens on day 14 but it definitely can vary, so don't base your birth control decisions on the day 14 myth. What you should look for is wetter quality cervical fluid as ovulation nears, not the date on the calendar. The luteal phase should ideally be 12 to 16 days long. When the luteal phase fits into this range, it's considered to be a fertile cycle. The cervical fluid will either become sticky or dry up beginning the day after ovulation and pretty much remain that way for the rest of the luteal phase. It's no longer considered fertile cervical fluid and will actually block the passage of sperm. These are the signs of a normal fertile menstrual cycle. Having a clear understanding of what a normal cycle looks like for your client's unique body is an incredible gift. It gives her the opportunity to become an active participant in her health journey. She'll be able to have conversations with her doctor about abnormalities that show up with her cycle length, period symptoms, and cervical fluid long before serious conditions show up. How empowering is that. Now let's shift gears a little bit and take a look at how to support a healthy menstrual cycle. One thing that a lot of clients are really curious about is which foods to eat and avoid during the phases of their cycle. Most menstrual and fertility problems can be traced back to diet. So it actually is very important for women to use food to help support and optimize their endocrine system function. There are some common rules that apply across all four phases of the menstrual cycle and there are some that are specific to each phase. Let's start with the three food rules that apply to all phases of the cycle. One, blood sugar balance is key for optimal gut and liver function, both of which will impact the key hormones insulin, cortisol, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Two, nutrient-dense foods, protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy sources of fat are essential for everything from sex hormone production to proper liver function. A well-rounded clean diet that is high in nutrients is a client's best tool for creating balanced health as well as a balanced cycle. Three, eating in a calm environment and chewing food properly should be on every woman's list of priorities when it comes to optimizing your own health. Now let's look at examples of foods that women should eat during each phase of their cycle. During the follicular phase of the cycle, it's helpful to eat foods that will help support estrogen production as it ramps up. Foods like pumpkin and flaxseeds help to build estrogen as well as pomegranates, sprouted beans, and healthy fats like avocados, coconut butter, and grass-fed butter. During the ovulatory phase when estrogen is high, it's helpful to eat foods that will support liver detoxification of potentially harmful estrogens. Cruciferous veggies like Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, turnips, and broccoli are excellent choices for this time of the cycle. During the luteal phase of the cycle, it's helpful that you eat foods that will support progesterone production which tends to be low for many women. Foods high in vitamin C, like oranges, peppers, and grapefruit, as well as foods high in vitamin B6, like salmon, bananas, and walnuts, are all helpful for boosting progesterone levels. Additionally, nutrients like zinc and magnesium can also support progesterone production. It's also important to follow rule number one and keep blood sugar as stable as possible in the luteal phase because progesterone can cause blood sugar to dip lower than what's normal in the follicular phase. This could partially explain why so many women struggle with emotional PMS symptoms like moodiness and anxiety. During the menstrual phase, it's helpful to continue keeping blood sugar stable so as not to create additional stress on the body while it works to release the uterine lining. The body loses key nutrients during menstruation, so mineral-rich bone broth and vitamin-rich smoothies are suggested. We recommend healthy comfort foods like soups and stews to help replenish lost iron and mineral stores. Iron-rich foods include liver and other animal protein, beans, and leafy green vegetables. These foods are also high in B vitamins which will support energy levels during this time as well. Now let's talk about something really cool, how to align the menstrual cycle with the phases of the moon. It's no coincidence that the lunar cycle is 29 days and the average menstrual cycle is 28 days. It's as if the cycle of the moon was meant for women. Aligning with the moon cycle can be helpful for women with amenorrhea, who aren't getting their period, and women with irregular cycles to promote regularity. It can also be used by women who simply want to sync their cycle with the moon cycle. Regardless of which menstrual issue a client is dealing with, they can start the process by adding the moon cycles to their calendar or by purchasing a moon calendar, so they know when the different phases of the moon are. This way, they can begin to sync those phases to the four phases of the menstrual cycle. Next, all women can practice what's called lunaception to help align with the moon cycle. This is a practice that works on the premise that our bodies and our menstrual cycles respond to moonlight. It involves sleeping in complete darkness for the entire month, then using a nightlight or allowing natural moonlight into the room on the evening before the full moon, the day of the full moon, and the day after the full moon. This might sound a little crazy, but this has actually been found to be effective with many clients who are trying to get back a period, regulate their cycle, or sync with the moon cycle. Lunaception also involves reducing exposure to artificial light at night by keeping only a few lights on, lighting candles, and reducing screen time. During the day, encourage your clients to get outdoors without sunglasses to further assist the body in recognizing the difference between day and night. This will help regulate the circadian rhythm which is the body's daily sleep-wake cycle. The circadian rhythm is intricately connected to the menstrual cycle. Finally, women can try moon bathing which is standing in full moonlight for a minimum of 10 to 15 minutes each night during the 3 or 4 days of the full moon phase. Some women even prefer to sit and meditate under the moonlight. The steps just described can be applied by all women and are sufficient for those with normal or irregular periods. For women with amenorrhea, here's what else they'll want to do to promote the return of menstruation. On day one of a new moon, women with amenorrhea should act as if it were day one of their menstrual cycle. They should proceed as if it were in the follicular phase between the new and full moon. Ovulation would be at the full moon, and then they should consider themselves in the luteal phase, in the time between the full moon and the new moon. What do I mean by acting as if they were in each of the phases, simply that women should follow the guidelines for self-care and activities that correspond to each of the four phases of a regular cycle, particularly with regard to the action steps described earlier in this module. Basically, you're encouraging them to act in accordance with the balance of the cycles even in the absence of a cycle in synchronization with the moon cycle. Then at the next new moon, it's time to start the process over again. For women with amenorrhea and irregular cycles, charting their temperatures, cervical fluid patterns, and daily physical and emotional symptoms can help them identify patterns that emerge so they can support their hormones as they move towards balance. If a client has amenorrhea, you should recommend they continue charting in this way until a period returns. If their period does return at a different day than the day of the new moon, don't worry, just have them to start charting their actual cycle once it starts. To help with this, we've created a handout you can use called "Menstrual Cycle Tracking". Be sure to check out the version in this module as well as the done-for-you copy in your Business Toolkit that you can print out and use with clients. Now you know a way to help clients regulate their menstrual cycles that is free of cost and risk. Syncing the menstrual cycles with the moon sounds a bit like a new age practice, but if your clients laugh, just ask them what do they have to lose by trying it? This brings us to the end of our lecture. Let's do a recap. A normal menstrual cycle is 25 to 35 days long. The follicular phase should be at least 11 days along, ovulation follows, which typically occurs some time between day 12 and day 17. The luteal phase follows and is 12 to 16 days long for a cycle to be considered fertile. Healthy menstruation can be anywhere between two and seven days with four to five days considered optimal. Cervical fluid and the position of the cervix change during each phase to support healthy conception. A cycle that is too long or too short can signify problems. To support a healthy cycle, encourage your clients to maintain balanced blood sugar, eat a well-rounded nutrient-dense diet, and eat calmly and slowly. You can also teach your clients to sync their menstrual cycles to the moon to promote regularity. Now we want to hear from you. Before this lecture, have you ever heard of syncing the menstrual cycle with the moon? Have you ever known anyone who has tried it? Would you suggest this to clients? We'd love to hear your thoughts. Thanks so much for watching, and we'll see you soon.

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Duration: 14 minutes and 58 seconds
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Language: English
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Views: 5
Posted by: ninaz on Apr 2, 2018

Identify a Normal Menstrual Cycle_Final

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