What’s the big deal with learning more about our menstrual cycle (ovulation cycle) anyways? Are you wondering, like I was, if this is truly applicable to you? The answer is simple: YES. Whether you just went through puberty, you’re single, married, or ready to start a family, every woman should learn her ovulation cycle!
Most girls take a class on their monthly cycle in middle school. They’re thrown into life as a woman without any real education on their cycle. Aside from the unrealistic expectation that we should get our period every 30 days, we’re taught that anything outside of that time frame means we’re “irregular.” Personally, I had the puberty talk in 6th grade, then later with my mom when I started my period. In my 20s, I consulted a doctor about my erratic cycle, but I was never educated on what could be causing it to be irregular or how I could get to the root of the issue. I never learned that charting my cycle could help identify common health issues.
It wasn’t until I started tracking my cycle to monitor my fertility that I realized the importance of knowing my body. As women, we have lived in a culture of shame—we hate our cycles and see menstruation as a monthly annoyance because of the physical and emotional symptoms. We have been taught that the symptoms are part of who we are, and something we must deal with. We have been taught that it is not something that needs to be monitored until we are ready to pop out babies.
The Importance of Reproductive Health
A woman’s ovulation cycle is a vital sign of her not only her reproductive health, but her overall health. If you look at a graph of hormonal levels throughout a single cycle, it looks like a roller coaster. My original thought when I saw this was, “no wonder we are crazy!” But it’s just the opposite. This hormonal roller coaster is what keeps us from being crazy. It represents balanced hormones at the correct times of the cycle. When our cycle is out of sync, our hormones may be out of balance, resulting in irregular cycles. This can cause severe symptoms such as depression, excessive fatigue, mood swings, abdominal cramping. etc. This may be a sign of a deeper underlying issue.
When our cycle is in sync, our hormone levels look like this roller coaster graphic and we should feel GOOD physically, mentally, and emotionally throughout our cycle. Being familiar with our cycle allows us to live in harmony with our hormones. We feel and crave different foods, activities, and companionship in different parts of our cycle for a reason!
Breaking the Cycle of Shame
Knowing our cycle can help us live in harmony with our hormones. We feel and crave different foods, activities, and companionship in different parts of our cycle for a reason! It’s time to fill in this information gap for women and break the culture of shame surrounding the ovulation cycle. I encourage every woman to stop accepting what is not normal and to take charge of her health. The cycle is a powerful tool available to women that can help unlock the secret to living the healthier, happier, symptom-free, productive, thriving lives we all desire.