Menstrual Gratitude: Why We Are Lucky to Have a Period

In our culture, we tend to have a negative view of menstruation. We see it as something that is shameful or dirty. Something to dread. Something that should be hidden. Something that is associated with pain and suffering.

I am no stranger to resenting my feminine physiology. Reproductive pathology has been my greatest motivation to seek healing. I’ve had painful, heavy periods, debilitating PMS at all ends of the spectrum, hormonal imbalance which has lead to frustrating chronic acne. Top it all off with a ruptured ectopic pregnancy, internal bleeding, emergency surgery and losing one of my fallopian tubes and I feel confident that my ovaries and I have been through a lot.

On the other side (and sometimes still in the middle) of all of this, I still feel so honoured to be a lady. I am in such awe of the resilience and brilliance of the female body.

Here are my top three reasons why I’m so in love with being a woman and having a period:

  1. PMS is a monthly reminder that we have things itching us under the surface and they need to be dealt with. A shift in the endocrine system (i.e hormones) can move our seemingly less important issues to the forefront of our minds. If we are feeling anxious or depressed about something in life, a good ol’ surge in progesterone will remind us “this needs to be worked out! Don’t ignore the stuff that bugs you”. This is not to say that I advocate for using PMS as an excuse to behave in an irrational or inappropriately emotional way. Issues can be worked through in a mature and rational way if we remain unattached to our anxious or depressed feelings.
  2. Menstruation is an opportunity for the body to detoxify every month. What an amazing built-in, automatic, monthly cleanse!
  3. The period is a direct reflection of our state of health: Every woman’s period tells a story of her internal state. So much can be learned by observing her menstruation. Even if we intellectually deny that things are off, every month we are given a clear and unwavering reminder of exactly where we’re at. Too much stress? It’s going to show. Had a few too many glasses of wine that month or maybe too much sugar? My body will let us know what’s up.

If things are unpleasant/heavy/painful/tough/stressful/anxious/bloated/depressed it means that there is work to be done. Painful periods and PMS are not normal and are indicative of something that needs to be corrected. If we leave this everyday aches, pains and annoyances alone and do nothing about them, they can one day lead to more serious illnesses. Unpleasant periods are like an early warning signal that we are in need of change. I think that is something to be infinitely thankful for!



Michelle Kapler
Michelle Kapler

When I’m not working, you can find me knitting socks, writing for my blog, eating oysters that my husband has lovingly shucked, creating and co-creating meals for loved ones or hanging out with my Herbal Medicine Textbooks and and a very specifically pulled espresso.

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