Menstruation is often seen as a difficult time for women, with associations like mood swings, abdominal pain and uncomfortable underwear. For some women, it can be hard to see why your menstrual cycle should be celebrated, but these reasons might just change your mind. Rather than buying into the social shame of menstruation, be positive.
Aunty Flo, on the rag, riding the crimson wave, the curse, that time of the month — call it what you will, but the amount of euphemisms we have for menstruation highlights society’s discomfort with the idea of menstruation. For most of us, our period has been seen as something that is unwanted, unappreciated and inconvenient.
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Watch any advert for pads or tampons and the biggest selling point is that we won’t have to change our lifestyle in any way when we menstruate. In fact, if we believed the advertising, we might begin to think our menstrual blood is blue. But what if we changed the way we saw this time of the month? What if we embraced our cycle rather than seeing it as something to avoid? Here are three reasons why your cycle is marvellous.
1. It’s a sign of fertility
For most of us, when we bleed, it shows that our bodies are functioning well. It indicates that we are healthy internally and are capable of reproducing. When clients tell me that they dislike menstruating, I highlight the link between menstruation and their capacity to have a child. Not all women want to have children, but isn’t it good to know that we have this incredible system in our body holding the capacity for new life?
2. It is cleansing your body
The reason why we menstruate is so that we can clean out our uterus and release the unfertilised egg that our ovary created. The uterine lining sheds to create a more nurturing space for the potential of new life to grow. If we take a step further, we could even say that it is a time of releasing or letting go of that which no longer serves you. In some cultures, menstruating is seen as a time for reflection. Rather than resenting the cycles, why not see this as a time of emotional and physical renewal.
3. It is a sign of health
When we bleed, we know that our body is healthy. There are a lot of circumstances under which women will cease menstruation because they are ill. I remember vividly a friend once bursting into tears of joy when she realised her cycle was back after some years because it showed her that her body was healthy once again. Appreciating our bodies by acknowledging the gifts of our cycle could change a lot of aspects around the way we see our bodies.
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Our cycle really does have a life of its own and influences us more than many of us realise. If we paid a little more attention to what was happening, we might feel more at ease with our bodies. Honouring the darker moods that occur before our period as much as the lighter feelings when we ovulate could balance our perspective a little more. There is no use denying that the hormonal fluctuations during our cycle affect us, so why not go with the flow?