What is a normal period cycle? And how can you tell if your periods are normal or not? Based on my research and personal experiences, I’ve discovered that you can identify most any menstrual irregularity simply by observation. And there are five key factors to watch for.
I’ll briefly discuss what’s considered a normal period cycle based on each of these factors, and the common types of menstrual irregularities.
1. REGULARITY OF YOUR CYCLE
Normal: If your menstrual cycle occurs every 21-35 days, it’s considered normal, as long as it’s consistent from month to month. Not every woman has her period every 28 days like clockwork.
Irregular Periods: However, if your cycle varies from month to month, it would be considered irregular, even if it falls within the 21-35 day range. To regulate your period, check out my post How to Sync Your Menstrual Cycle with the Moon Cycle.
Early Periods: If your periods come consistently early, so that your cycle is less than 21 days, it would be considered an early period.
Late Periods: It would be considered a late period if your periods come consistently late, so that your period cycle is longer than 35 days.
Bleeding Between Periods: One irregularity is menstrual bleeding that occurs consistently at about the mid-point of the cycle, around the ovulation time. The bleeding may last 1-2 days or longer.
If you have irregular periods, it's important that you take a closer look at your current lifestyle and begin creating some healthier habits to correct the imbalance. Irregular periods are a serious warning sign that your hormones are out of balance. So pay attention!
2. THE DURATION OF YOUR PERIODS
Normal: The average duration of menstruation lasts between 3 to 7 days, with the most common duration lasting 5 and 6 days.
Long Periods: If your menstruation lasts longer than 7 days, it’s considered a long period.
Scanty Periods: If it lasts less than 3 days, especially with only a small amount of blood, it would be considered a scanty period.
3. THE AMOUNT OF BLEEDING
Normal: We don’t lose as much blood as many of us may think. The average blood loss during a menstrual cycle is 30-80ml, which is about 2-6 tablespoons.
Heavy Periods (Menorrhagia): If you have a regular period but your bleeding is heavier than normal, it indicates you are suffering from what is known as menorrhagia (a heavy period). There are several reasons that can cause heavy bleeding. Some are more serious than others.
If your heavy bleeding is severe enough to interrupt your normal life, I recommend that you see your gynecologist and get a pelvic ultrasound scan to rule out the possibility of fibroids or other more serious menstrual conditions.
Scanty/No Periods (Amenorrhea): If your bleeding is very light or lasts less than 3 days, it would be considered a scanty period. And if you miss your period for at least three months, you have what is called amenorrhea (no period).
4. THE QUALITY OF YOUR BLOOD
Normal: The normal color of menstrual blood is dark red, lighter at the beginning, deep in the middle, and pinkish at the end of the period. The normal flow is neither too thick nor too thin, and contains no clots.
Abnormal: If your blood is bright red, pale red, or purplish red with dark clots, it may indicate various conditions of your state of blood and/or Chi.
Omega-3 fatty acids can help thin out blood clots and promote healthier blood circulation. Several studies also suggested the effectiveness of omega-3 fatty acids in easing PMS symptoms.
5. THE DEGREE OF PAIN
Normal: Some mild cramps in the lower abdomen on the first day of your cycle are considered normal.
Painful Periods (Dysmenorrhea): However, if your period cramps are severe and hinder your ability to function, and if they occur before, during, and even after your menstruation, you are likely suffering from what is called dysmenorrhea (painful periods). Many women find our Flow Tea helpful.
So why am I tell you all this? And what can you do with this information?
The first step to healing is to become aware.
From me, personally, getting in touch with my menstrual cycle helped me heal my PMS symptoms and painful periods. And I want to give you some simple yet important parameters to pay attention to when observing your own menstrual cycles.
These will enable you establish the basis for what’s normal for you and help identify irregularities when they occur. From there, you’ll be more equipped to seek out relevant resources and professional care to help heal your menstrual disharmonies.
1. Start tracking your menstrual cycles with Cycle Harmony’s Free Period Tracker.
2. Score your menstrual health and get recommendations based on your score.
3. PMS and period problems are usually early signs of hormone imbalances. Leaving uncorrected, hormone imbalances can have serious health consequences in the long term.
I encourage you to learn to listen to the signals your body has been sending you, identify the causes of the imbalance, and take steps to restore balance in your system. Sign up to receive your FREE Step-by-Step Guide to balance your hormones and harmonize your menstrual cycles!