Menstrual Cycle – Role of Your Uterus

How do you feel about your menstrual cycle?  Love it?  Hate it?  Dread it?  Embrace it?

I would venture to say 90% of women would respond with “hate it” or “dread it”.  Why do we feel that way?  Is this pattern of thought destroying who we are as women?  Are there some people who really like their periods?  Yes!  I happen to be one of them—I didn’t used to feel that way but I do now.  My whole view on menstruation was that it was dirty, needed to be hidden, that you push through it and you suffer through it.  I now see how negative that view was and how that negative view was affecting me as a women, wife, lover, and mother.

God created menstruation–but for many it is not seen as anything God given nor blessed.

My hope is to help women embrace menstruation as God designed it, to not see it as something to endure but as something to honor and cherish.

We were created as bleeding women for a reason.  This is the whole reason why I am so passionate about women’s issues.

One of the products that has helped me learn to love my period is the Diva Cup. (I have no affiliation with this company, just love their product.) This great little device can be worn from 8-12 hours before it needs to be emptied, it is reusable so you aren’t dumping anything into the trash, it doesn’t contain harsh chemicals, and it is easy to use.

If you are a Diva Cup wearer, please share your stories here.  I would love to hear how this has changed your menstrual cycle for the better.

If you are NOT a Diva Cup wearer, I challenge you to try it.  You and your body just might like it.

Another thing that really helped my menstrual cycle seven years ago was Maya Abdominal Massage Therapy. I wanted to see if this type of massage therapy would help to realign and restore the center of my body after 3 births, 4 babies, and my constant battle with yeast infections.

When I went to my appointment I started with filling out a female intake form that asked me about my diet, my pregnancies, my menstrual cycles, my family’s history of disease, my activity level, etc.  I then went through an hour long call with the massage therapist, in which she dug a little deeper.

Through our conversation she hypothesized that my uterus was resting on my bladder, literally pushing my bladder down.  Your uterus is suppose to be 1 ½ inches above your pubic bone.  If this was the case it would explain many things I’ve experienced through my life such as a cystocele, sciatica, problems with my feet, heavy menstrual cycles, menstrual cramping, bruising on my legs, and yeast infections.  I’m discovering that the uterus is essential to a women’s total body health—which makes complete sense because the uterus makes us uniquely female.

The misalignment of the uterus can also contribute to the following things:

  • PMS/Depression prior to menstruation
  • Painful intercourse
  •  Painful periods
  • Late, early or irregular periods
  • Headache, migraine or dizziness with period
  • Blood clots and excessive bleeding
  • Difficult menopause
  • Chronic miscarriage
  • Premature deliveries
  • Difficult pregnancy
  • Fertility issues
  • Endometriosis
  • Polyps/Fibroids
  • Vaginal Yeast conditions
  • Uterine infections
  • Chronic indigestion or heartburn
  • Gastritis, Colitis, Crohn’s
  •  Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  •  Multiple food allergies
  • Low back ache
  • Frequent or painful urination
  • Bladder infection
  • Incontinence
  • Chronic skin conditions
  • Varicose veins of legs and hemorrhoids
  • Tired weak legs
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Diverticulitis
  • Sore heels when walking
  • Numb legs and feet (especially while standing still for a while)

A uterus that is tilted one way or another can also affect the thinning of the uterine wall which is menstruation.  A uterus that is not positioned correctly could potential shed the lining unevenly.  I also learned that the uterus is like a sponge and if it is tilted back toward the colon it can actually absorb fecal matter.  An indication of this would be brownish flow during menstruation—who knew!

The uterus also secretes estrogen, androgen, and progesterone—these hormones support sexuality, pregnancy, birth, and the ability to nurture others.

Since this appointment, I also learned that my very poor posture was a huge player in the misplacement of my uterus.  The key to good posture and good alignment for your uterus is to keep your front hip bone (ASIS) vertical of the pubic bone.  Slouching, high heels, and carrying children on your hip can all impact one’s alignment and the integrity of the uterus.  (Yes, ladies our cute high heels affect our uterus.)

Who knew the uterus was such an amazing and influential organ to the female body.  From this point on I will cherish this organ (my inmost being) so much more.

Can you Hold It?

If I asked you to hold “it” (the “it” I’m referring to is your need to go to the bathroom) for three hours, could you do it? Some of you might say yes, but only if you greatly sacrificed your intake of water. Others of you would answer, “no way.”

I used to be one of those people who could not go more than two hours without using the rest room. I was also one of those people who would go to the bathroom “just in case,” meaning even if I had gone to the bathroom 30 minutes before I was leaving my house to run errands, I would go “just in case.”

According to Fitness for the Pelvic Floor by Beate Carriere, PT, urination should look like this for most people.

  • Urination should occur every 2-3 hours (6-8 times a day).
  • It is normal for people over 50 to get up once during the night.
  • Most adults will urinate for 12-15 seconds, which means the bladder is full.
  • Urinating less means the bladder has gotten into the habit of emptying too quickly and has probably shrunk in size.
  • Tilting the pelvis forward during urination is often helpful.
  • The bladder will stretch up to 14 oz. without significant pressure inside the bladder.

In addition, she also says bowel movements should look like this:

  • Emptying the bowel usually happens 10-30 minutes or up to an hour after a meal, maybe once or twice a day.
  • It takes 45 hours for food to pass through your digestive system (Give this a test. Eat a handful of sunflower seeds, don’t chew them, see how long it takes for them to appear in your stool.)
  • Titling the pelvis back during a bowel movement is often helpful.
  • The pelvis can be titled forward during inhalation and backwards during exhalation to stimulate a bowel movement. Also twisting from side to side can help.

Next time you urinate, count how long it takes you. Is it longer than 12-15 seconds? If so, you are allowing your body to be full before emptying it. If not, you have likely trained your body to empty before it truly needs to do so.

One of the blogs that greatly changed my constant urges to go the bathroom was this blog by FemFusion Fitness called, Urinary Urgency: Avoid Going “Just in Case“. My mind was training my body about when I needed to urinate instead of my body signaling my brain.

If you are person who goes to the bathroom often, try this. Instead of having your mind tell your body when to go to the bathroom, let your body tell your mind. This is not easy. You will find yourself playing a little bit of a mind game, but keep at it. Eventually your bladder will start to be full and will signal your mind that you need to go.

I know several people who were going to try hold it longer and see what happened. For one person, after one week, they were no longer getting up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.

I know that talking about how often you go to the bathroom is not a common conversation in daily life, but for those of you who are game, I would love to hear how you are doing with this.

Lastly, for those of you who have experienced UTI’s, I have a MUST read blog for you. I personally have never had one, but I have known many people who have had them. This blog .com just might be the missing piece you need from ever having a painful UTI again.