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Why listening to your flow is more important than just going with it




Have you ever had a huge question mark looming over your head when one of your friends told you about how their period only lasted 2 days with heavy flow, while you, on the other hand, went through the whole 8-day shebang?

No, nothing is wrong with you. Everybody is different and the same way, every period is different. From hormones to food, a lot of aspects affect your period. But before we delve into what counts as a "normal flow", it's important for you to understand what's normal for you. Keep a track of your period dates, flow and body change through apps to have a deeper understanding of your body. Your period blood flow is a reflection of your health.

 

What are the factors that could affect your flow?

Weight Loss

Sudden changes in weight and body fat percentage can affect your flow since your body may go through hormonal changes.

 

Age

During your teens and menopausal period, you could see a major shift in your flow due to the hormonal changes your body undergoes

 

Pregnancy

You won't get your period during pregnancy but what you may undergo is implantation bleeding, which is spotting that occurs when a fertilized egg attaches to the lining of the uterus.

 

Birth Control

Some forms of birth control prevent an egg from releasing in your body. When this happens, your uterus doesn’t create a thick lining. This can result in lighter periods or skipping them altogether. 

Starting or stopping birth control can affect your flow since your hormones fluctuate in both cases.

 

Stress

Yes ladies, stress doesn't just take over your mental peace, it can also take away your healthy flow. Stress has an adverse effect on your menstrual cycle hormones, but fret not, once your stress levels reduce, your period is likely to get right back on track.

 

PCOS

If you see irregularities in your period flow and cycle, coupled with weight changes, acne or varied pain levels, chances are you could have PCOS. Women with PCOS produce higher-than-normal amounts of male hormones, causing their bodies to skip menstrual periods and making it harder for them to get pregnant.



What is considered a "normal flow"?

While there is no such thing as a "normal" flow, what we can tell you is the average flow. 

 

Adults:

A common amount of menstrual fluid loss per period is between 5 ml to 80 ml. Blood loss over 80 ml categorizes as heavy flow. 

Adolescents:

The first few years after your menarche can be rather irregular and there isn't really an average since your body is still adapting to the changes.

 

When does your period flow become a cause for alarm?

In cases where your period blood loss is over 80 mL or you repeatedly soak through pads and tampons every 2 hours, you should consult your Gynaecologist since this could lead to anaemia. We can't stress enough that one size doesn't fit all here. What is normal for your mum or best friend, could seem otherworldly for you. So, knowing what's normal for you is important. Repeated fluctuations in your blood flow must not be ignored.




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Spearmint leaf (Mentha Spicata), Stinging nettle leaf (Urtica Dioica), Lemon grass
(Cymbopogon citratus), Ginger root (Zingiber officinale), Peppermint (Mentha Piperita),
Cinnamon bark (Cinnamomum cassia), Ashoka (Saraca Asoca), Lodhra (Symplocos),
Shatavari (Asparagus Racemosus), Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera), Daruharidra
(Berberis Aristata)

References:

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teas on androgen levels in women with hirsutism. Phytother Res. 2007;21(5):444–7. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2074.

Rogerio A. Lobo, Columbia University. (n.d.). Cinnamon extract on menstrual cycles in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- full text view. Full Text View - ClinicalTrials.gov. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/study/NCT01483118

Najafipour F, Rahimi AO, Mobaseri M, Agamohamadzadeh N, Nikoo A, Aliasgharzadeh A. Therapeutic effects
of stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) in women with Hyperandrogenism. Int J Current Res Acad Rev. 2014;2(7):153–160.

Salve, J., Pate, S., Debnath, K., & Langade, D. (2019). Adaptogenic and Anxiolytic Effects of Ashwagandha Root Extract in Healthy Adults:
A Double-blind, Randomized, Placebo-controlled Clinical Study. Cureus, 11(12), e6466. https://doi.org/10.7759/cureus.6466

Kumarapeli M, Karunagoda K and Perera PK: A randomized clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy of satapushpa-shatavari powdered drug with satapushpa-
shatavari grita for the management of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Int J Pharm Sci Res 2018; 9(6): 2494-99. doi: 10.13040/IJPSR.0975-8232.9(6).2494-99.

Grant P. Spearmint herbal tea has significant anti-androgen effects in polycystic ovarian syndrome. A randomized controlled trial. Phytother Res. 2010;24(2):186–8. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2900.