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.

Why I Ditched Kegels

Pelvic floor health is something I have had a passion for ever since the birth of my first child. After my daughter’s birth, my pelvic floor was just not the same. Jumping and trampolines made me nervous.

At my post-natal follow up, I found I had a cystocele, which is a slight drop of the vaginal wall.  As I searched how to correct my pelvic floor dysfunction, the unanimous answer was Kegels.

Here is a little history on Kegels.

Kegels were first published in 1948 by Arnold Kegel. A Kegel exercise is to repeatedly contract and relax the muscles that form part of the pelvic floor. The aim of Kegel exercises is to improve muscle tone by strengthening the pubococcygeus muscles of the pelvic floor. For four years, I did Kegels on and off to correct my pelvic floor issues and I saw no change. I thought this was due to having my children too close together, not having enough time to heal, and not doing enough Kegels.

What’s the matter with the Kegel?
When muscles are too tight, they are just as ineffective as muscles that are weak. Kegels often over work the muscles of the pelvic floor, which causes them to shorten. As the pelvic floor shortens, it begins to draw the sacrum towards the pubic bone (front side of the body). This movement creates slack in the pelvic floor muscles, which makes the center of it sag downward. In addition, the pull of the sacrum forward can cause lower back pain. Anyone have an increase in lower back pain since doing Kegels on a regular basis?

Kegels are a short-term solution to a whole body problem. Practicing the tips below are much more effective in healing pelvic floor disorders than any amount of Kegels. Kegels are good for creating a mind/body relationship to the muscles in the pelvic floor and during intercourse, but that is about it.

If you want to understand more about why a Kegels should not be the only part of your pelvic floor repair work, check out this great blog post.

So if the Kegel is not good for the pelvic floor, what is?

  1. Align your pelvis

2. Align your feet and stretch the legs

3. Standing more (but in good alignment)

4. Stop sucking in (let your belly be a belly and hang out)

5. Start healing your diastasis recti

6. Learn how to engage your transverse abdominal muscles correctly

This book is also a life saver for understanding how to heal pelvic floor disorders and disatasis recti.

How To Align Your Pelvis

The number 1 tip that I give to people who are working on healing their diastasis recti is to correct their pelvic alignment. Your core muscles cannot do their job well when the bones of the body (pelvis) are incorrectly position. Think about buying a house. When you look at a house one of the main aspects you look at is the foundation and the structure. You want to know if it is sound or if it is in need of repair.

Your pelvis is a major structure for supporting your core. If your pelvis is not in the proper position, it does not allow the core muscles to activate properly and it can also weaken the linea alba which is the connective tissue between the rectus abdominal muscles. When healing your diastasis recti it is important to allow the core muscles and the linea alba to be in the best position.

Check out this short video below on how to align your pelvis when standing, sitting, or lying on your back.