What is a Healthy Period? 3 Ways to Achieve a Lighter and Less Painful Period

“We don’t want our wombs to hurt us any longer…we don’t have to have PMS. We don’t have to let our menses be a painful experience…That’s not who you truly are-the pain, the tightening, the fear”.

Queen Afua

I have struggled with my period since I was 11 years old. Excessive bleeding, headaches, breast tenderness, cramping,  and clotting were all too familiar and it quickly became became that dreaded time of the month. As far as I knew, this was completely normal. Because, mostly every woman I knew experienced much of the same, if not worse. Is this what we really have to look forward to until we start having hot flashes and yelling at everyone to open the window and turn the fan on? I thought so until I started to delve into womb healing and wellness, became my own healer and a Certified Vaginal Steam Facilitator. The truth is, all of what I described is not normal. At all. This is actually a gross aberration of what a normal, healthy period really is.

What does a Healthy Period look like?

A normal, healthy period has the following characteristics:

  • No more than 4 days
  • No cramping
  • No blood clots
  • No brown blood, only fresh red blood

A period that looks anything other than what I listed above is not normal. For the past several months, my periods have been no more than 2-3 days of bleeding. If I’m not faithful with tracking my cycle, I always know when my period is coming because I start cramping. But last month, I had no cramping and when my period came, I thought “oh wow, what’s the date? Oh yes, it’s time for my period”. My blood clots have become less frequent and when they do come, they are not as big and coagulated. Each month that I invest in my health and wellness my periods become healthier. I would like to share with you 3 steps to achieve a healthier period.

1. Limit your Intake of Meat

In the book, Sacred Woman: A Guide to healing the Feminine Body, Mind, and Spirit, Queen Afua explains, “Keep in mind all the chemicals-all the antibiotics, steroids, and other hormones-that are injected into our meat supply. They completely disrupt our hormonal balance. Don’t forget that the more you take in something that bleeds, the more you will bleed”. I don’t consider myself vegan, vegetarian or a pescatarian. My goal every day is to avoid meat. My goal is to eat in a way that nourishes my body and my womb. And limiting and eliminating meat from your diet (that includes chicken) will give you a healthy period. It is best to eliminate dairy and refined carbs from your diet, and engage in intermittent fasting, but for the purpose of this article, let’s focus on meat. If you can begin removing or completely eliminating meat from your diet, your periods will become healthier.

2. Vaginal Steaming

Vaginal steaming has become one of my favorite things to do. And if you follow me on social media then you already know I’m a big advocate for vaginal steaming. It is a self-healing and self-empowering practice that I find to be very intimate, personal, sensual and healing. Vaginal steaming will regulate the period and relieve cramping and excessive menstruation. To learn more about vaginal steaming, please check out the article I wrote about vaginal steaming.  Beauty In A Barbell: Vaginal Steaming 101

3. Heal Your Womb Trauma: Let it Be

Louise Hay, author of Heal Your Body postulates that the mental thought pattens that cause the most disease in the body are criticism, anger, resentment and guilt. She believes that to heal the body, you need to heal the thought. As an African Holistic Health Practitioner, I whole heartedly believe she is correct. Dr. Llaila Afrika explains that disease in the body is a manifestation of dis-ease in the mind and spirit. Ms. Hay states that female problems such as fibroids, vaginitis and menstrual problems stem from the following mental thought patterns, “Denial of the self. Rejecting femininity, rejection of the feminine principle. Guilt, fear. Belief that the genitals are sinful or dirty”. I know that my struggles with menstruation are rooted in my past. I wonder how many of my readers who suffer from abnormal periods experienced childhood molestation, sexual assault, abandonment and emotional abuse. I wonder how many of my readers who suffer from abnormal periods are disconnected from their femininity and the wonderment of being a woman. Up until a few years ago, I had never looked at my vagina. I had no idea what it looked like. How is it that men and doctors have seen the most precious and intimate part of my being and I hadn’t (it looks like a beautiful flower by the way). Having a healthy period means healing from the wounds that have been inflicted on our wombs and truly embracing the beauty of being a woman. I wrote an article about the art of healing which will help you start to think about the deep healing you may need to have a healthier period. The Art of Healing: Let It Be

You can’t start steaming and still eat 3 slices of bacon for breakfast every day and expect to see results. You can’t cut out meat and refuse to address the root cause of your wounded, angry womb. All these practices work synergistically to improve your health over time, and it can be done naturally and holistically without the use of birth control. Healing is a process that involves all aspects of the self; body, mind, spirit and emotions. If you commit to self-healing, you will rewrite the script of what that dreaded time of the month means for you and the women in your life.

Kathleen, “The Nutritional Truth Teller” is a Certified Holistic Nutritionst, Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant and a Certified Vaginal Steam Facilitator. She is the owner of Beauty In A Barbell Nutrition, whose sole mission is to optimize the physical, mental, and spiritual health of the Black community through African Holistic Health and Black Radicalism. She carries with her the ancestral knowledge and wisdom of the medicine men, women, healers and warriors she lovingly calls her ancestors.