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Charting your way through the Cycles

Use any kind of calender, through a pocket calender is handy for quick reference, or to jot down notes over the course of the day. The next time you bleed, mark on your calendar the day your period started. If it begins in the evening, make note of it, this may make a difference in the prediction of the day you ovulate. This is Day 1 of your cycle.

The next time you bleed, this cycle has come to an end and the next month's has begun. Mark the first day of your period Day 1 again. So the day you begin bleeding will be, lets say Day 30 of the cycle which as just come to a close as well as Day 1 of the cycle beginning with the new blood flow.
Now, go back to day 1 of the cycle which has just come to an end and count the days. How many days were in last months cycle? Make note on your calendar how many days it was. Are you able to determine when you were fertile, can you tell when ovulation occurred? Were you able to tell when ovulation was happening as it was happening? Check your calendar for any notes you made. Ovulation occurs two weeks before your period, count back 14 days, make a note. Does this coincide with when you suspect ovulation occurred? It helps to use a separate chart on which you can jot down notes on things like mucus conditions, pms symptoms, abdominal twinges, ovulation, or when you think ovulation occurred, moods, cramps, and amounts of blood flow during menstruation.

It is difficult to determine exactly when ovulation is occurring. As long as you can identify when you are fertile, this is enough to prevent pregnancy from occurring, assuming you are using methods to protect yourself from impregnantion.

An example: sample calender chart

When you have done this for a minimum of four months (the longer the better), look at your records. {If you are sexually active, be sure to use another form of contraception, like condoms or other barrier methods.} They should give you some idea of how your cycles are. Are they regular? (the same amount of days each time), or does it vary? This information is very important. If your cycles are regular, it becomes easier to predict your fertile time. If it varies, that means the day you ovulate changes, and the risk of accidentally getting pregnant increases. So be sure to use a reliable source of birth control faithfully.

Irregular menstruation can be a sign of a problem, some thing might be out of balance. Often young girls who are just starting to bleed will have erratic cycles, their young bodies may not be producing enough of this hormone or that hormone. These imbalances can be corrected by eating a proper diet, and supplementing with herbs. A healthy, fit body promotes a smooth, regular menstrual flow, acne-free skin, and reduces other symptoms of menstrual discomfort.

Make sure you get plenty of calcium, herbs can be a wonderful source of minerals like calcium and magnesium. Consider spirulina tablets, it is an easily digestible source of protein, vitamins and minerals.

Sea vegetables are an excellent source of trace minerals, often lacking from our modern diets. Seaweeds such as kelp are also a source of natural iodine which is necessary for the function of the thyroid gland, which regulates the production of hormones. Iodine will help correct hormonal imbalances which contribute to menstrual irregularity. Seaweed can be taken in tablets or added to foods as seasonings.

There are many wonderful herbs which can aid in rebalancing hormones, herbs like Vitex and Wild Yam. Consult your local herbalist to determine which herb is right for you. Many of these herbs can be used safely over long periods of time to correct hormonal imbalances. These imbalances are responsible for most menstrual discomforts, such as PMS, cramps, irregularity, and so on.

There are many ways to go about making your cycle regular. All it takes is dedication. I have used Wild Yam to regulate my cycles. I took three capsules of the powdered root twice a day. Its a lot to remember something twice every day, but it worked for me. I took Wild Yam for about six months, during this time my cycles were a predictable 28 days every time. Wild Yam has been widely used to correct hormone imbalances. Wild Yam can be used safely over the long term without any harmful side effects.

When Wild Yam is used in the dosage listed above, it is reputed to have a contraceptive effect. I personally have no proof this prevents pregnancy and I do not recommend using this as a sole method of birth control. I have used it as a back up method, but I did not rely on it. Apparently a mid-wife located in Texas recommends this to her clients to prevent conception. She claims it works, but I have been unable to reach her for further verification.

Here is some important bits of Information you should be aware of.

Further Reading:
Taking Charge of your Fertility
A Co-operative Method of Natural Birth Control
Herbs & Aromatherapy for the Reproductive System
Wild Yam: Birth Control without Fear

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