Written by Gemma Rigby
Many people think that having a period isn’t important, that we can use a pill (or other means) to block periods out and avoid the hassle. I used to feel exactly the same way. But there are lots of benefits that come from having a period.
Wait! What?! There are benefits to periods??
We’ve put together 5 reasons why it’s important to have a natural period - one that follows ovulation. (Note that we are not referring to the bleed you get when on the pill. That bleed happens because when you stop taking the pill for your ‘pill break’ week, the withdrawal of hormones causes the lining of your uterus to shed.)
Let’s establish some basics here:
- There are different phases to our menstrual cycle (menstruation, follicular phase, ovulation, and luteal phase).
- Different hormones are involved in each phase.
- The phase that follows ovulation produces progesterone.
- Progesterone is wonderful.
(Just another reminder that when we use synthetic hormones, we typically do not ovulate, and therefore we do not receive the benefits of progesterone. So as you read this you can also ask yourself, "Do I want those benefits in my life?")
So to reiterate - having a natural period results in ovulation, and progesterone swoops in after ovulation. Here’s the top 5 ways progesterone helps us (there are more):
- It regulates sleep.
- Provides mood-enhancing and anti-depressant effects.
- It supports bone health.
- It promotes anti-aging.
- It boosts your metabolism.
Progesterone also lightens your period, reduces inflammation, regulates your immune function, and supports healthy thyroid, brain and breasts.
We've named just a few reasons why having a true period (with ovulation and the following progesterone) is beneficial. If you don't have a period then a whole host of symptoms can arise - this includes pill bleeds and anovulatory bleed too because they aren't a true period. These symptoms can include, but are not limited to
- Mood swings,
- Disrupted sleep/insomnia,
- Weight gain,
- Headaches, and
- Breast tenderness.
You can read more about how to increase progesterone in our article here.