Today’s bonus episode guest is Kirsten Karchmer, a board-certified reproductive acupuncturist and founder of Viv Wellness. We discuss everything you always wanted to know about menstrual periods but didn’t know who to ask.
- What are some of the most persistent myths about periods?
- What does a healthy cycle look like?
- Is PMS normal?
CONSISTENCY & APPEARANCE
- What does the color of your period indicate?
- Is a flow that is heavy, thick, and goopy normal? If not, what can be done to help it?
- What does a watery period with a lot of clear mucus indicate?
- Is spotting normal before and/or after full flow? How many days is acceptable, and at what point does it become a concern? What is a healthy ratio of flow to spotting? What about spotting both on BCP and off of it?
- Why do we get clumps or clots, and does it indicate something may be wrong?
- Is it okay to have really short and light periods? Does this indicate a lining problem?
- What are the possible causes of long (35+ days) cycles?
- How much variation in length is normal from cycle to cycle?
- Although I got my period while on BCP, it has not returned since stopping the pills and only arrives while undergoing fertility treatments. What can I do to restart my period? Any idea why it hasn’t returned?
- Why do doctors sometimes say they don’t really care if you get a period at the beginning of an IVF/FET cycle?
OTHER HEALTH CONDITIONS
- Is it really true that onset of menses at a young age (for example, 9 or 10 years old), coupled with painful menstruation going forward, indicates endometriosis? If not, when should someone be concerned they might have endo?
- Can certain medications affect cycle length?
- How does leaky gut or poor digestion affect your period?
- Do periods change after pregnancy? Why, and in what way? Is it a cause for concern?
- Is there anything else we haven’t already covered that you’d like to add about periods?
- What words of hope would you offer to someone who’s still on their infertility journey right now?