Health Articles

Perfect period 2 v2

Categories: Women's Health

01 June 2023

What does a healthy period look like?

Is there such a thing as a perfect period?

What is your period supposed to look like as you get older? Does it change?

Many women believe that a perfect period is just a myth, but that's not the case. A healthy, pain free period can be a reality. It can be achieved by understanding and addressing your individual symptoms. Then using these to guide you with your actions, strategies or whether to seek external help.

If this idea of a perfect period seems unrealistic or triggers you – You’re thinking…

‘That can’t be right?!’

 Then it’s time to delve a little deeper into what is going on.

 First, let’s look at what a perfect or healthy period can look like. Then discuss some symptoms to look out for and lastly, what happens with your period as you get older.

 What does a perfect or healthy period look like?

Generally these are a guide of how a healthy or ‘perfect’ period can look:

  •  The cycle generally lasts between 26-32 days.
  •  The bleed lasts between 4-7 days.
  •  The colour of the blood is likened to a crimson red colour. With no clots of mucus.
  •  No pain. Possibly some slight discomfort, yet no pain.
  •  There is a build-up of cervical mucus in the lead up to ovulation.


What do these changes in my cycle mean?

What happens if yours doesn’t look like the 'perfect, healthy' period mentioned above? 

Here are some pointers to what may be going on:

Any other colour than crimson red:

Dark, purple or brown blood and the presence of clots may indicate poor uterine circulation.

Brown blood is old blood. This may indicate low progesterone.

 Heavy, bleeding and clots: 

Are you frequently changing your sanitary products? Every 30 minutes to an hour. Are you staining your underwear or sheets? Heavy bleeding may point to things like anemia, endometriosis, fibroids or polyps.

 A short periods or very light bleed:

A shorter period or skipping a period altogether may indicate low levels of oestrogen. Oestrogen is made from fat. If your diet is low in fat, then the body has a hard time making the hormones required for a healthy period. 

 Shorter cycles:

Have you ever had 2 periods in one month? Yes, unfortunately this can sometimes occur. Looking at your thyroid and addressing any abnormalities is the focus here.

 Painful periods:

While some level of discomfort or cramping is common during menstruation. Severe pain or discomfort should not be considered normal.

Period pain, also known as dysmenorrhea, is a common symptom of the menstrual cycle. Key word being common, yet it doesn’t mean that you have to suffer.

Period pain can point to other issues like adenomyosis, endometriosis, pelvic congestion syndrome or a heaviness or pressure from fibroids. We discuss these in greater detail below.

 What happens if your period isn’t as described?

What else could be going on? If you are experiencing issues with your period, pain, discomfort, pressure, bloating, painful sex or bowel movement, or heavy bleeding, then these symptoms may indicate that something is going on.

Let’s look at some of the common conditions that occur:


Endometriosis is a condition in which the tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows in other areas outside the uterus. This tissue can cause inflammation, pain, and irregular periods. It can also lead to infertility in some women. Symptoms of endometriosis may include:

  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Heavy or irregular periods
  • Painful periods
  • Painful ovulation
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Fatigue.

Endometriosis is a common condition and affects up to 10% of women.


Adenomyosis is endometriosis, evil cousin. It can present with similar symptoms to endometriosis;

  • Pain
  • Bloating
  • Discomfort
  • Heavy bleeding

It can be common to have both endometriosis and adenomyosis at the same time.


Fibroids are benign uterine growths that come in different sizes, from small to large. They can grow inside, outside, or in the walls of the uterus. Some women may not experience any symptoms, while others may suffer from heavy bleeding, cramping, pressure on the bladder/rectum, infertility, or miscarriages.


PCOS, or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, is a hormonal disorder. It is characterized by the presence of multiple cysts on the ovaries, as well as an imbalance of hormones such as estrogen and testosterone. Symptoms of PCOS can include irregular periods, acne, weight gain, excessive hair growth, and difficulty getting pregnant. Other common symptoms include fatigue, mood swings, and depression. PCOS is a complex condition.


PMDD stands for Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. It is a severe form of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). Characterized by mood swings, irritability, depression, anxiety, and other symptoms. These typically occur during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. These symptoms usually resolve within a few days of the onset of menstrual bleeding. PMDD affects around 5% of women of reproductive age.


A migraine is a type of headache that is often characterized by severe pain. Other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound may also occur alongside the headache. Some migraines can be hormonal driven. There is a link between oestrogen and histamine and histamine and migraines.

 Digestive issues:

Digestive issues refer to a wide range of conditions that affect the digestive system. Some common digestive issues include acid reflux, constipation, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), celiac disease, and food allergies or intolerances. Symptoms can include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation
  • Heartburn.

In some cases, digestive issues can also cause nausea, vomiting, and weight loss. Sometimes when accompanied by other period or cycle related symptoms digestive symptoms can point to other things. Including endometriosis with bowel involvement, SIBO or leaky gut. These can all exacerbate period or cycle related symptoms too.

 Iron deficiency Anaemia: 

Anaemia can also cause heavy bleeding and can be confused with other cycle related issues like adenomyosis or fibroids. Iron deficiency anaemia is where your body doesn’t have enough iron. Iron helps the body to carry oxygen in the blood and plays a key role in many functions.


What is the take home message?

There are many symptoms that can be cycle/period related including pain, bloating, heavy bleeding, digestive or mood issues and migraines. However, it doesn’t mean that you need to suffer through these. There are many things that can be done with nutrition, herbal medicines and supplements and lifestyle changes to get your cycle back on track and resembling more of a perfect or healthy period.

The biggest take home message is - “Listen to your body”. 


Your cycle through the years:

Does your cycle change through the years?

Yes and no.

Generally, in your teen years, your body can still be working out what a cycle is so irregular cycles can be common. Approximately from your 20s’-40s it’s usually pretty consistent.

If there are changes to your cycle during this time, it may not be specifically related to age. It could however point towards some of the symptoms and conditions mentioned above. It therefore warrants more specific work with your health practitioner or investigations with your Dr.

 What happens in your 40’s and beyond?

 During your 40’s there may be changes as you head into peri-menopause and towards menopause. The changes in your hormones during this time, can cause ovulation to be more irregular. Flow may change or you might skip a cycle, which is then followed by a heavier cycle. Oestrogen levels change and hence other symptoms like hot flushes & vaginal dryness can occur. Other reported changes during this time can also be related to mood. Feeling more irritable, angry or having trouble sleeping. It may be harder to lose weight particularly from the mid section. 

 There may still be other symptoms during this time.  Including:

  • Pain
  • Bloating
  • Heavy Bleeding

These symptoms may indicate the symptoms/conditions mentioned in previous sections of the blog.

Do you need to suffer through these changes during your 40’s? Most definitely not. If you have symptoms at any time during your life, then listen to your body, she is trying to tell you something.

We can work together to formulate an in depth plan with testing, nutrition, herbs, supplements and lifestyle changes to get your cycle back on track and reduce your suffering and symptoms.

Reach out if you have any questions about anything cycle related.