What does a healthy period look like?

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably spent a fair amount of time — for better or for worse — in front of a mirror, wondering if your body is normal. The shape of your thighs, the size of your feet, your uneven breasts. But have you ever stopped to consider if your period or menstrual cycle are “normal?” Is there even a normal when it comes to this stuff?

The answer is yes – there is a norm for what a healthy period should look like. And it’s probably not what you think it is. Menstruators are often led to believe that when it comes to periods anything goes and that pain, cramping, mood swings, fatigue and heavy flow are all part of the package. But that is simply not true.

Here is what a normal period should look like:

Cycle Length

A normal cycle falls anywhere between 21 and 35 days long. While it’s normal for your cycle to vary in length by a day or two, it definitely shouldn’t have large variations from month-to-month.

Bleed

Your actual period should last around 2-7 days.

Flow 

Menstrual flow should be a maximum of 80 mL over the entire course of your period – that’s about 16 tampons or two and a half DivaCup’s worth.

Colour 

The colour should be bright red, like cranberry juice and free of clots.

PMS 

Fatigue and some light cramping are totally normal, but you shouldn’t be experiencing severe PMS symptoms.

So what if that’s not what your period looks like?

It could be a signal that your hormones are out of balance and could use a little love and attention. Making changes to your lifestyle and especially diet can help bring your hormones back into line. Since your hormones are made from the food that you eat, the food that you eat can have a positive (or negative) effect on them!

This post on nutrition tips for pain-free periods is a good place to start if you’re ready to make some diet changes.

Looking for more support? Book a complimentary, no-pressure call with me to find out how food and lifestyle changes can help you have better periods, increase your energy and improve your mood while we’re at it.

One thought on “What does a healthy period look like?

  1. Whitney Ryan says:

    I remember a (guy) friend of mine in college once say that the average period was only 1 Tbsp of blood. The girls I was with and I all cracked up and were like “yeah, try 10x that amount.” 2 and a half DivaCups sounds a lot more realistic!

    It’s really helpful to have these guidelines of what’s normal all in one place. Thanks, Amanda!

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