Search icon


08th Apr 2024

We asked a menstruation coach the period questions most of us are too embarrassed to ask

Jody Coffey


‘Is this normal?’ is a question that’s associated with women’s health far too often

While our period has been a monthly fixture in our lives since puberty, sometimes it can be a bit of a mystery to us.

The inner workings of the female reproductive system, unfortunately, can come with more questions than answers.

This is especially the case for people who suffer from endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

We recently asked you, our readers, if you could have one question about your period answered, what would it be?

The majority of replies returned very valid questions, however, many were, sadly, accompanied by three words: ‘Is this normal?’

Across the board, it appears that many women go through their lives wondering and worrying if their menstruation cycle is working as it should be.

We sat down with Menstrual Cycle and Chronic Pain Coach, Lisa de Jong, and asked her the ’embarrassing’ questions our readers asked in private with the hopes of normalising symptoms and bringing awareness to period health.

Is it normal for poo to be looser around my period?

While an awkward question to ask, it needs to be asked.

Yes, loose poo around and/or during your period is normal, Lisa reassures.

When we are menstruating, we have hormones that are released called prostaglandins.

“What prostaglandins do is they contract the uterine lining and sometimes they can travel in and around the bowels and that can also cause our bowels to be looser,” she explains.

“It’s really common and really normal. You’re not alone with that.”

However, if having loose stools is difficult, draining your energy, or impacting your day, Lisa suggests looking at the ways that you can bring that down, such as a good healthy diet, sleep, exercise, and water.

“Our gut health can be linked to stress. So, find ways that you can reduce stress in your life and bring a little bit more calm and ease before your menstrual cycle.”

Are clots normal?

Passing clots while on your period is normal, the menstrual coach says.

However, if clots are very large to the point where they shock you or if they are quite painful to pass, Lisa recommends getting checked out by your doctor or GP.

“Start to build in a little bit more self-care around the menstrual cycle so that you can bring in a little bit more hormonal balance.

“Having more hormonal balance can really be good for preventing clots.”

Credit: Getty via Canva Pro

My period isn’t painful, but it’s very heavy. Is this OK?

“Having a very heavy period is very common but not necessarily normal,” Lisa says.

This is especially the case if it’s so heavy that impacting daily life, such as keeping you at home.

If it’s accompanied by a lot of pain, she recommends getting checked by your doctor or your GP, consider tracking your cycle and taking a supplement.

“A supplement such as Cleanmarine Period Plan is a great supplement to add to your everyday self-care for your hormonal health.

“It has B vitamins, vitamin D, Omega-3s, and it’s such a great way to look after our hormones for hormone balance and our energy.

“Also trying different ways to reduce stress levels through mindfulness calming activities before your period can be really helpful.”

My cycle always varies. Is this normal?

If your menstruation cycle differs in length from month to month, it’s not a cause for concern, Lisa says.

“There’s no such thing as a normal perfect menstrual cycle,” she reassures.

“My cycle varies every month. I would say I have a regular cycle but it’s not bang on 28 days. I don’t worry about that too much

“I have signs that I know my period is coming; my mood might dip a little bit, I might get a little tired, so I know it’s coming.”

When it comes to the menstruation cycle, there is such diversity in how we experience it, making cycle lengths varying a normal and common thing.

However, if certain symptoms are interfering with your daily life, consider getting curious about period health and/or speaking to your GP.

Credit: Getty via Canva Pro

Is it normal to have major fatigue around your period and ovulation time?

Lisa acknowledges how difficult it can be to go through major fatigue every single month.

She says that while it could be attributed to hormones, it could be a symptom of another health issue, urging anyone going through major fatigue to get checked over.

“It could be something else so definitely get checked out by your doctor and start to be curious about how you can come into a better relationship with your menstrual cycle.

“How can you self-care just a little bit more in your menstrual phase? A good balanced diet including maybe a bit more protein could be an idea for fatigue, and finding ways to reduce any kind of stressors in your life can also be really good.”