The curse’, as many refer to the monthly female bleeding has never been a great topic of conversation. But it is an important one as over a life time a woman spends an absolute fortune on sanitary products, an estimated £18,000
See more info
But is there another way. Something to save you a lot of money and is also good for the environment (just imagine the colossal mountain of used sanitary towels and tampons that collect just in one year, not to mention all these clogged up toilets!).
It is called the moon cup and I have used it myself for over a decade now. It is a silicone cup that is very comfortable and safe. Find out more about the Mooncup.
When I was doing a bit of research of how many women in my neighbourhood knew facts about the menstrual cycle and the moon cup, I started a conversation with a 30ish year old woman and was shocked when she revealed that she did not really know how many days a normal female fertility cycle lasted for or even how to count fertile days and so on. She just relied on the pill. I would have expected this response from a 14 year old girl, but not from a grown woman. I pointed her to this website and rushed home to complete this article.
What is the menstrual cycle?
This is a series of changes that occur in a woman’s body on a roughly monthly basis. First the ovaries release an egg and this is called ovulation. At the same time your body prepares your uterus for a possible pregnancy. If the egg is indeed fertilised by a male sperm, then a nine month pregnancy is the consequence. But most of the time this does not happen, so the egg is no longer needed and the lining of the uterus sheds the egg and this is called menstruation.
How to find out the average length of your menstrual cycle
Always count from the first day of your period until day before your next period. This is the length of your menstrual cycle. It varies from woman to woman, but anything between 21 to 34 days is seen as ‘normal’. The average time is 28 days, which is the same length as the moon cycle and the reason why so many civilisations connected the moon with fertility. (Please read more about fertility in the article Conceive with the moon. )
Be also aware that if you are taking extra hormones, such as the pill or an iud with hormones, this can alter the length or frequency of your natural menstruation cycle.
Know your body
If you never suffered from heavy or painful periods or use a permanent contraceptive you may not pay much attention to it all. But I believe that start dates, flow rates and regularity can give you important clues about the state of your health. So get your diary out (or the monthly LWTM calendar – it is free, but you need to sign up to our list for this ), then circle the first day of each period, it is that simple.
What should you look out for?
- Length. Over time you work out the average length. You need this information to find out if you are pregnant. A delayed period without pregnancy can point to a health problem or the onset of the menopause
- Flow. Stronger periods could point to fibroids or onset of the menopause
- Irregularities. Women with premature ovarian failure and ‘polycystic ovary syndrome’ are prone to irregular or lapsed periods, so too are women who suffer from eating disorders, substantial weight loss/gain or are still breastfeeding.
- Consult a doctor if
– you have had no period for more than 90 days and you are not pregnant
– you develop a strong bleeding and bleed more than seven days
– bleed mid cycle and/or are in serious pain
Here is link to the official moon cup site.
Looking at the moon cycle can be very helpful if you are trying (or not trying) to conceive. All of you will be familiar with the normal female fertility cycle (also known as the biological cycle) where mid-cycle a woman ovulates and can conceive. This always occurs 14 days before the next period.
But then how does this explain that so many women conceive outside this cycle – at ‘ technically not possible’ times? There has to be more to it!
This was the question that plagued the Czech doctor Eugen Jonas in the 1950ies. He was a psychologist and listened to many stories of his female clients, who either suffered from unwanted pregnancies or lack of conceiving.
He therefore decided to look more closely into the subject matter of female fertility. He unearthed fragments from Ancient Greek and particular Babylonian texts, where doctors successfully calculated the optimum time for conception and birth control using a method that overlapped the time of menstruation together with the path of the moon. Combining these old texts with his own research data he realised that each woman has a time in their cycle where she was more easily aroused and ready to conceive. This cycle varied from woman to woman, as it was dependant on the time she was born. So for example a woman born on a full moon day would always find this time in the lunar cycle the easiest to conceive. He then named this second fertility cycle – the cosmobiological cycle.
Once both cycle overlap, they form a nearly perfect birth control system which has a success rate of over 98%, higher than even the pill and completely natural.
So how does this work in practise?
Firstly mark the start date of your last menstruation on your calendar and count 15 days on, this is the ovulation date. Mark this day with a cross. As sperm can last to up to 3 days and as ovulation does not happen always on day 15, I suggest you cross off 4 days before and 2 days after your calculated ovulation day.
So you should have crossed off day 10 to 17 after the first day of your menstruation, this is the biological cycle and this is where the normal ‘natural birth control’ ends with a success rate of around 55%, so just following this cycle is a bit of a gamble.
The next step is to find out your cosmobiologcial date (the date within the moon cycle you were born). I am sure you can research the day of your birth and add moon cycle to the search to find out the exact ‘moon date’ for example 3 days after New Moon, 6 days before Full Moon and so on.
Then check a current moon calendar and find which date in that cycle correlates with the moon phase date you are born. It may sound complicated, but once you know you are born on the 3rd day of the Waning Moon (so 3 days after Full Moon) you can just mark it on the LWTM life-style calendar for each month.
To make it easier here is an example:
Your first date of your last period was on the 1st January, so you would cross off 10th to 17th January. If you were born on a Full Moon (and that month it was on the 24th), then cross off the period between the 20th and the 25th Jan.
The crossed off days are the ones you can conceive, all other days should be safe.
Over time, these cycles slightly shift. This happens particularly if your own fertility cycle is either shorter or longer than the average moon cycle. There may even be times when both cycles overlap and this is an ideal opportunity for women to fall pregnant who previously found it hard to conceive.