Everything You Need To Know About Menstrual Circles
The menstrual cycle is an essential aspect of women’s health, and yet it remains a taboo subject in many societies. Women have been taught to be ashamed and embarrassed about their periods, leading to a lack of knowledge about menstrual health and cycles.
However, in recent years, menstrual circles have emerged as a safe space for women to discuss their menstrual health and empower each other.
Menstrual circles are gatherings of women who come together to share their experiences and support each other through their menstrual cycles.
In this article, you will learn the history, purpose, and benefits of menstrual circles, as well as how to start and participate in one, as well as the role in building a community of empowered women.
All you need to do is sit tight as we delve into the world of menstrual circles and discover the power of sisterhood in menstrual health.
History of Menstrual Cycles
The history spans back to ancient times. Evidence from archaeological findings suggests that early humans were aware of the menstrual cycle and its connection to fertility.
For example, ancient Egyptian papyri dating back to 1550 BC show that women used a variety of methods to manage menstruation, including tampons made from softened papyrus.
In many traditional societies, menstruation was viewed as a sacred and powerful process. In some cultures, women were even considered to be more spiritually powerful during their periods.
For example, in ancient Rome, women who were menstruating were not allowed to attend religious ceremonies because they were already considered to be in a state of purity.
In many African societies, menstruation was seen as a rite of passage into womanhood, and women were often given special treatment during their periods. However, not all cultures treat menstruation with such reverence.
In some societies, women were considered unclean or impure during their periods and were forced to separate themselves from their families and communities. This segregation could last for days or even weeks, depending on the culture.
In the early 20th century, menstrual hygiene products such as pads and tampons were introduced, which allowed women to manage their periods with greater ease and discretion.
Also read: 7 Very Important Things To Know About Period
However, despite advances in menstrual technology, the stigma surrounding periods has persisted in many parts of the world.
In recent years, there has been a growing movement to challenge this stigma and to promote greater awareness and understanding of menstrual health and cycles.
This movement has led to the rise of menstrual circles, which provide a safe space for women to discuss their periods and support each other through the challenges and joys of menstruation.
What Is A Menstrual Cycle?
The menstrual cycle is a natural process that occurs in the female reproductive system, whereby the body prepares itself for the possibility of pregnancy each month.
This process involves the release of an egg from the ovaries, the thickening of the uterine lining, and the shedding of this lining if pregnancy does not occur.
The menstrual cycle is controlled by a complex interplay of hormones and varies in length and intensity from woman to woman.
The menstrual cycle can be divided into several phases, each with its own unique hormonal profile and physiological changes. These phases include:
This is the phase where the uterus sheds its lining, and bleeding occurs. This phase typically lasts from 3-7 days.
This is the phase where the body prepares to release an egg from the ovaries. The follicular phase begins on the first day of menstruation and lasts for approximately 14 days. During this phase, the hormone estrogen is produced, which stimulates the growth of the follicle containing the egg in the ovary.
This is the phase where the egg is released from the ovary into the fallopian tube and is available for fertilization by sperm. Ovulation usually occurs around day 14 of the menstrual cycle, although this can vary.
This is the phase that follows ovulation and lasts approximately 14 days. During this phase, the hormone progesterone is produced, which helps to thicken the uterus lining in preparation for a fertilized egg.
If the egg is not fertilized, the levels of progesterone and estrogen decrease, which triggers the start of menstruation and the shedding of the uterus lining.
It is important to note that the length of the menstrual cycle can vary from woman to woman, and can also change over time.
The average menstrual cycle length is around 28 days, but cycles can range from 21-35 days. It is also common for it to be irregular during puberty and menopause.
In addition to the physical changes that occur during the menstrual cycle, many women may experience emotional and psychological changes as well.
These changes can include mood swings, irritability, fatigue, and food cravings, among others. These symptoms are often attributed to fluctuations in hormone levels, particularly estrogen, and progesterone.
How To Calculate Menstrual Cycle
As a woman, calculating your menstrual cycle can be a helpful tool for tracking your menstrual cycle and identifying any irregularities or health concerns.
There are several methods for calculating your menstrual cycle, including using a calendar, tracking physical symptoms, and using a period-tracking app. And in this article, you would be exposed to all the methods.
Using a calendar:
This is one of the simplest methods for calculating your menstrual cycle. To do this, you will need to track the first day of your period each month.
Once you have this information, you can count the number of days between the first day of your period and the first day of your next period. This will give you the length of your menstrual cycle.
For example, if your period starts on January 1st and your next period starts on January 29th, your menstrual cycle length is 28 days.
Tracking physical symptoms:
Another method for calculating your cycle is to track physical symptoms. You may experience physical symptoms such as bloating, breast tenderness, and cramping during your menstrual cycle.
By tracking these symptoms, you can get a better understanding of when your period is likely to start.
To do this, you will need to pay attention to your body and track any physical symptoms you experience each month.
Also read: 8 Real Causes of Infertility in a Woman
Once you have a few months worth of data, you can use this information to predict when your next period is likely to start.
Using a period tracking app:
Finally, you can use a period-tracking app to calculate your menstrual cycle. There are many different period-tracking apps available, and they can be helpful tools for tracking your period, predicting when your next period is likely to start, and identifying any irregularities or health concerns.
To use a period tracking app, you will need to input the start and end dates of your period each month.
The app will then use this information to predict when your next period is likely to start and will provide you with helpful reminders and information about your menstrual cycle.
Benefits Of Understanding Your Menstrual Cycle
Understanding your menstrual cycle can have many benefits, both in terms of your physical health and your emotional well-being. And in this article, some of the main benefits of understanding your menstruation cycle will be discussed.
Improved reproductive health:
Understanding your menstrual cycle can help you identify any irregularities or health concerns, such as irregular periods, heavy bleeding, or painful cramping.
This information can help identify and address any underlying reproductive health issues, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, or thyroid disorders.
Better family planning:
Understanding your menstrual cycle can help you plan for pregnancy or prevent it, depending on your goals.
If you are trying to conceive, tracking your menstrual cycle can help you identify your most fertile days and increase your chances of getting pregnant.
If you are trying to avoid pregnancy, tracking your menstrual cycle can also help you identify when you are most likely to ovulate and take precautions to avoid unprotected sex during that time.
Improved mental health:
Many women experience emotional symptoms, such as mood swings and irritability, during their periods.
Understanding your menstrual cycle can help you anticipate and prepare for these symptoms, which can reduce stress and improve your overall mental health.
Tracking your menstrual cycle can help you identify patterns in your physical and emotional symptoms, such as bloating or fatigue.
This information can help you plan ahead and take steps to care for yourself during those times, such as getting extra rest or taking a relaxing bath.
Increased body awareness:
Understanding your menstrual cycle can help you develop a greater awareness of your body and its natural rhythms.
This can help you make informed decisions about your health, such as when to schedule a doctor’s appointment or when to take time off from work or other activities.
How to Start a Menstrual Cycle
The journey of starting your menstrual cycle can be overwhelming if you don’t have people to talk to and connect with. And that is why you need a menstrual cycle.
Starting a menstrual cycle can be a powerful way to connect with other menstruators and build a community around the menstrual cycle. Here are some steps to consider when starting a menstrual cycle:
Identify your purpose and goals:
Before starting a menstrual cycle, it’s important to think about why you want to create one and what you hope to achieve.
Some common reasons for starting a cycle include creating a safe and supportive space for menstruators, learning more about the menstrual cycle, and exploring menstrual health and wellness practices.
Gather a group of interested participants:
Reach out to friends, family members, or colleagues who you think may be interested in joining a menstrual cycle. You can also use social media or online forums to find people who are interested in the topic.
Set the tone and structure:
Determine the tone and structure of your menstrual cycle. Will it be a casual gathering or a more formal meeting? Will it be focused on discussion, meditation, or another activity? Setting expectations for the cycle’s tone and structure can help ensure that everyone is on the same page and feels comfortable participating.
Develop guidelines or a code of conduct that everyone in the cycle agrees to follow. This can include things like respecting each other’s privacy, avoiding judgment or criticism, and practicing active listening.
Plan your meetings:
Decide on the frequency and duration of your menstrual cycle meetings. You may want to meet monthly or quarterly, and each meeting may last anywhere from one to several hours.
Determine meeting topics and activities:
Plan out the topics and activities for each meeting. Some ideas may include exploring menstrual health and wellness practices, sharing personal experiences, learning about menstrual products, or discussing menstruation-related news and events.
You can provide resources and information, such as articles, books, podcasts, or videos, to your menstrual cycle members. This can help deepen their understanding of the cycle and foster further discussion.
Starting a menstrual cycle can be a fulfilling and empowering way to connect with other menstruators and explore the intricacies of the menstrual cycle. By following these steps, you can create a supportive and inclusive space for everyone in your cycle.
Conclusion On Menstrual Circles
In conclusion, menstrual circles can be a powerful way to connect with other menstruators, explore the menstrual cycle, and promote wellness and empowerment.
By providing a safe and supportive space for discussion, education, and self-care, menstrual circles can help break down the stigma surrounding menstruation and promote menstrual health.
If you found this article informative and helpful, we encourage you to share it with others who may be interested in starting or joining a menstrual cycle.
By spreading awareness about the benefits of menstrual circles, we can help create a more inclusive and supportive society for all menstruators.
Together, let’s work towards breaking the silence and taboo around menstruation and building a world where menstruation is celebrated and embraced. Share this article, and let’s start a conversation about menstrual circles!