Whilst many of my clients come and see me for abdominal and womb massage, reflexology or natural family planning because they want to get pregnant, it surprises me the number of people that think fertility is purely about having babies.
So I am going to start by telling you about one of my clients. She initially came to me to learn how to chart her cycle just for health reasons as she had recently cleaned up her diet and exercise regime and really wanted to start to get to know and “read” her body, in particular her menstrual cycle better.
At first is seemed that she had a good regular cycle, with all the signs that you would expect occurring when you would expect them to. But after about 8 months, I had a text message from her asking if I knew why one of the signs she was charting had gone a bit strange. I recommended that she see a doctor which she did. It turned out that she had low grade cervical dysplasia, otherwise known as the dreaded “there were some abnormal cells in your smear test”.
Rather than get upset and panic, she rang me to tell me what the doctor had said and that it actually wasn’t a surprise for her. She had gone through a really stressful time, (her mother had died), and was in and out of work making arrangements, then having to catch up with what she missed when she was back in the office. She was comfort eating, eating the wrong things and her yoga classes had gone out the window.
Her response was, “well of course I am stressed and that means my immune system can’t fight off these cells”. Her story had a happy ending, she had a great doctor who allowed her to take some time to de stress, she took some holiday, was careful about what she ate, had a repeat smear and it was clear. She was so relieved to avoid having the procedure that was originally recommended.
Now, whilst I don’t claim that charting your cycle can pick up cervical dysplasia or other ailments every time, it does show that having a well functioning reproductive system is not just for those who want to have a baby, it is a sign that you area achieving optimal health. And it is a great way to get to know what is normal for you and your body, and what isn’t normal for you.
Even better, if you start to become aware of your body, its signs during the month and throughout your bleed, you will start noticing more health issues and be able to nip them in the bud, BEFORE, they get to the stage where they need invasive treatment.
Our reproductive system is one of the most fascinating systems in the body. Because it is the only one not essential to us surviving through the day, it is the first one that is switched off or left out when the body responds to stress or has to prioritise scares resources.
Because of this, so many things affect your menstrual cycle, physical condition, nutritional intake, stress, your environment are prime examples. When you look after your menstrual health, you look at all these elements to see what has changed and how it affects you throughout the month and it is truly fascinating how it reflects in your body.
So the next time you hear fertility, don’t think, “that isn’t for me because I don’t want or intend to have babies” think “what a great reminder to look after my reproductive health.
Find Out More:
What Does Stress Have To Do With Period Pain
How Does the Way You Sit Affect Period Pain
Find out more about your period, period products in my Periodology Course.