It’s really hard to tell what’s going on with your hormones, but it’s completely obvious something isn’t right.
Because one week out of every month your period turns you into a home-bound wreck of a human. You’re so bloated you resort to elastic waistbands and baggy tops that make you feel frumpy. You’re brain’s in a fog and sometimes the migraines force you to stay in bed with all the curtains drawn.
You desperately need to balance your hormones so that you can ‘show up’ as yourself and claim weeks of your life that you’re losing to your period.
The thing is, the doctors haven’t been able to diagnose you yet. It’s possible that you’ve reached the limits of the medical system and it’s hard to know what to do now.
If this sounds like you, I’ve got one question: do you track and chart your cycle?
Although your menstrual cycle has brought you to your knees, it’s also a key to freedom from period pain. In fact, tracking your cycle is a tool you can use to understand your hormones. And clarity around your hormones is 100% necessary to stop spinning your wheels and move forward on your healing journey.
More Useful Than Testing
So many women who have debilitating period pain go for blood tests and ultrasounds, only to have the doctor tell them the results are ‘normal’. Whenever I hear that a woman has gone through this, I feel so bad for them because of the amount of frustration involved. If this is you, you need to know that going for these tests wasn’t a waste of your time. ‘Normal’ test results are still useful information; they rule out some causes of pain like fibroids and cysts.
Tracking and charting your cycle can help you get answers when the doctors come up short. In fact, your chart can give you insight into the levels of 4 primary sex hormones which are more than likely imbalanced.
After a few months of charting, you will have a useful record of your hormonal data over time. Weeks and months of data will reveal hormonal patterns and give you a realistic picture of your hormones, not just a snapshot in time from one day of testing.
In addition, when you track and chart you step up your awareness of your body and hormones. Armed with this valuable info, you can better advocate for yourself to get the medical assistance you need to heal.
What Cervical Mucus Can Tell You
There are a few different ways to do this, but at Natural Hormone Healing we track and chart cervical mucus. Rising estrogen levels stimulate the cervix to produce cervical mucus. Cervical mucus a visible sign of healthy estrogen levels and there’s a proven relationship between the amount and quality of cervical mucus and the level of estrogen present in the body. This is why we look for and record the qualities of this body fluid to understand hormone levels.
You can notice the presence or absence of cervical mucus when you wipe after going to the bathroom. The mucus will feel different depending on how high your estrogen levels are. For example, when estrogen levels are rising you will feel a moist sensation and when estrogen is high, you’ll feel a sticky, slippery, or wet sensation that’s very different from urine.
Normal, healthy levels of estrogen and progesterone are low during your period and naturally there is no cervical mucus during or in the days following your period.
Estrogen rises after your period and so does the production of cervical mucus. Estrogen levels peak at ovulation and stimulates the cervix to produce lots of slippery cervical mucus. After ovulation, estrogen levels drop dramatically and cervical mucus production stops.
Progesterone rises right after ovulation and we observe this as a change to dryness. When progesterone gets below a certain level, it triggers your period. You can see this healthy hormone pattern in the chart above.
Monitor Your Progress
We teach all the women in the Complete Period Relief Solution how to track and chart their cycles by monitoring cervical mucus. Why? Firstly, it is so important to us that women are active participants in their healthcare. Second, cycle charts can tell us if the nutrition, lifestyle and supplement protocols are working to balance their hormones or not.
This goes for you, too. When you start on a new diet or supplement, or start working with a new practitioner, you want to know if it’s working or if you need to switch it up. If it’s working, your cycle should move toward the following healthy characteristics:
-Cycle lasts between 24-36 days
-Period lasts between 4-7 days
-Period blood is bright red with no clots
-Post-period you notice increasing cervical mucus followed by a sudden change to minimal mucus/dryness
-No negative symptoms at any time, including cramps, nausea, headaches, migraines, lethargy, moodiness, sore breasts, etc.
Tracking your cervical mucus and recording your daily observations on a chart helps you understand your hormones that day and over time. Your chart can reveal information that medical testing may miss and give you the insight you need to take the next steps on your healing journey.
Maintaining your chart allows you to check in and see if the supplements, diet and other changes you’re making are really working to balance your hormones. Knowing how to properly track and chart your cycle through observing your cervical mucus is a useful tool for healing that all women should have.
If you’re interested in learning more about cycle tracking and our holistic method of healing period pain, we teach it all in our online program: the Complete Period Relief Solution. Contact us here to learn more and to see if the program is a good fit for you.
I’m a certified FEMM (fertility education and medical management) teacher. FEMM is a women’s health program that recognizes that the health of a woman’s monthly cycle reflects and impacts her overall health. I teach women in the Complete Period Relief Solution how to easily and correctly track and chart using the FEMM method. If you want to learn more about FEMM and my qualifications, check out the FEMM website here.