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Understanding Your Menstrual Flow

May 25, 2021

 Ever wonder what story your menstrual blood is telling you? Many people in the functional medicine world are viewing the menstrual cycle as the 6th vital sign (pulse, respirations, oxygen saturation, temperature, blood pressure, period blood lol). Because it’s true …




But what is a healthy period? Lets “flow” right into it, shall we?! Hahah omg I crack myself up (dad jokes are just too good to not throw in there sometimes amiright?)


A normal, healthy period comes on all in one fell swoop.

You start bleeding as if from out of nowhere.

There is no “spotting” or brown discharge a few days before you start actually bleeding.

The blood is cranberry colored.

You have a nice steady flow for 1-3 days, with these first few days being your heaviest.

The blood then gradually subsides.

You may or may not have light cramping during your heaviest days.


Please note that I am speaking about periods in women who are NOT on the birth control pill or affected by hormonal contraceptives. A period that happens when you are on the pill is a chemical bleed and not a true period. For more information about how birth control affects your overall health, please check out Dr. Jolene Brighten’s work here. She is incredible and a wealth of knowledge!


What does it mean if your period isn’t “normal”?



Periods that only last 1-2 days can mean either a progesterone or an iron deficiency



Cycles shorter than 28 days. This could be an indicator of suboptimal thyroid health



Super heavy bleeding can be a sign of fibroids. Heavy bleeding occurs when there is a buildup of estrogen.



When your period starts with a few days of brown spotting, this is a sign of low progesterone and stagnant blood. The lining from last month did not completely shed, so at the start of the new cycle, you get the leftover remnants.



This could also be a sign of low progesterone. This is typically associated with a cycle that lasts longer than 30 days. These clots may range in size from a coin to a golf ball.


I do hear a lot of women say “well brown spotting leading up to my blow is normal for me.” I hear you on this, however just because it’s ”normal” for you does not mean it’s normal.

Same thing for people who say “it’s normal for me to only poop twice a week.” This is SO not normal!! This is where I encourage you to go deep and take a good look at some of your dietary and lifestyle practices that may be influencing things like your period flow (or how many times a day you are pooping!)


What is your period telling you?

Tell me in the comments below!!


 (This is not medical advice)



Emily 😊

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