According to Dr. Cheryl Pagel, family practice faculty at the family practice educator residency at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center, getting your period is proof that your body is doing what it is supposed to do. "It means your body is in sync, and it is an indicator of good health," she says of the arrival of your monthly flow.
Your period is nature's way of saying you're not too fat, you're not too skinny -- you are perfect just the way you are! Swinging too far either way with weight can cause your periods to be irregular or stop entirely. Pagel says, "People with obesity often have weird cycles as a result of fat [that is] accumulating estrogen." She notes that people who are too thin often have irregular or absent periods as well.
Would you believe that we actually might live longer because of our periods? (You can stop cursing yours right now.) Research suggests that women age more slowly than men -- and often live longer -- due to the iron lost through menstruation.
Think of your cycle as your body's personal housekeeper. Once a month, she arrives and tidies up a bit -- releasing bacteria from the reproductive system and allowing your body to eliminate excess iron, thus lowering your risk of Alzheimer's, cardiovascular disease and stroke.
OK, we all know that premenstrual syndrome comes with all sorts of nasty effects: Bloating, hormonal acne, fatigue, food cravings, sore breasts, etc. No wonder we're bitchy. Once your period arrives, though, you're at your beautiful, contented best. Rebecca Booth, MD, author of The Venus Week: Discover the Powerful Secret of your Cycle… at Any Age, "The hormonal recipe that kicks in on or about day three or four triggers a significant improvement in how women feel and look." So flaunt it while ya got it, sista!
You've dissed your Aunt Flow in the past, but maybe it's time to give her props. As long as she's not messing up your plans to sport that super-teeny bikini on your summer vacay, she's not so bad.?
Menstruation education film for young teenage girls shown in 1950s classrooms
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