Knowing your cycle is key to loving your body and experience as a woman – that’s a seriously radical and rebellious act in a world where billion dollar diet and beauty industries, which are reliant on your insecurities and self-loathing, exist.
Be radical. Love your body.
1. Get to know your menstrual cycle – this is done more effectively when not using hormone-controlled contraception methods. You can do this with a charting device like Daysy. It’s hormone-free and hassle-free, taking your temperature and charting your cycle. It’s 99.3 per cent effective and uses a light system to show you when you’re fertile.
2. Chart your emotions – make note of your feelings in a diary each month. Do this for at least three months, and you’ll start to notice patterns, hot spots and power days in your cycle. These will vary from woman to woman, but they will become a unique-to-you guidebook to how your body works.
3. Get familiar with your cervical fluid – taking note of the consistency and colour of this fluid throughout the menstrual month isn’t just for those who want to get pregnant. It helps you to know how fertile and healthy your womb is, too. Milky + lumpy consistency = not fertile. Egg white + runny consistency = fertile.
4. Pay attention – be mindful of the natural processes your body is going through. Often, we try to block this out with painkillers and tampons so we can carry on as ‘normal’. Try slowing down and noticing the effects of bleeding on your body and your mind, especially on the first day.
Adapted from Love Your Lady Landscape by Lisa Lister.