The Magic of Menstrual Blood: Your Body's Fifth Vital Sign
Blood. It's a substance that runs through our veins, keeping us alive and functioning.
Yet, for many, the mere mention of blood (especially in the context of menstruation) can trigger discomfort and embarrassment.
But what if I told you that your period is not just a monthly inconvenience, but a powerful indicator of your overall health?
In fact, it's considered the fifth vital sign of health, alongside metrics like pulse rate, body temperature, and blood pressure.
So we are going to explore the incredible insights that your menstrual cycle can provide about your well-being and how understanding your menstrual fluid can empower you with invaluable self-knowledge.
The Menstrual Cycle: More Than Just Bleeding
Your menstrual cycle is a complex and intricate dance of hormones, orchestrated by your body to prepare for the possibility of pregnancy. It involves various phases, each marked by distinct hormonal changes and bodily adjustments.
Contrary to popular belief, your menstrual cycle isn't solely about bleeding; it's a multi-faceted process that holds vital clues about your health.
Decoding Menstrual Fluid
When you think about your period, you might imagine it as just blood. But it's important to recognise that your menstrual fluid is a composition of more than just blood.
It includes blood, cervical mucus, and parts of the uterine lining. This blend, known as menstrual fluid, is a rich source of information that can provide insights into your body's well-being.
Astonishing Facts About Menstrual Fluid
Did you know that around two-thirds of your endometrial lining—the tissue that lines your uterus—are reabsorbed by your body during your menstrual cycle?
This is a remarkable feat orchestrated by your body, ensuring that only what's needed is shed. Understanding this process sheds light on the intricate balance your body maintains.
Reading the Signs: What Healthy Menstrual Fluid Looks Like
Healthy menstrual fluid is like a window into your body's inner workings. Its appearance can tell you a lot about your overall health. Typically, healthy menstrual fluid appears as a bright cherry red with a consistency similar to unset jelly.
While small clots can be normal, they should generally not exceed 2cm in size. If your flow is heavier, you might notice more clots, as your body might not have sufficient time to break them down.
Colour and Flow: What It Means
Have you ever noticed that your menstrual fluid's colour and flow change throughout your period? This isn't just random—it's your body's way of communicating with you.
It's normal to see dark brown blood at the beginning and end of your period, as this is older blood.
However, as your flow becomes heavier, you should expect to see a brighter cranberry colour, indicating fresh bleeding. This variance provides a glimpse into your body's natural rhythm.