Take Alisa Vitti's V-Sign Quiz + Become BFF with Your Flo
Just about every woman experiences it, but hardly any of us talk about it: our periods. The secrecy — and, yes, shame — associated with this fundamental part of being a female has always baffled me. After all, I was the founder of the “Period Club” in sixth grade! I’ve always been particularly curious and passionate about this topic, and I’m always looking for ways to get women excited to learn about their own flows.
Luckily, science is finally on my side: the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recently announced that the menstrual cycle can now be considered a vital sign — along with your blood pressure, breathing rate, temperature, and heart rate — to determine your overall health.
Plenty of things can throw your period off track: the wrong diet, poor lifestyle choices, too much stress, and even the wrong cleaning products can affect your hormones in a profound way. So having problems with your flow can indicate problems with your overall health.
But unlike all the other vital signs which you may know how to measure, you’re probably wondering how to judge your flow and what exactly the “norm” is. Luckily, there is an easy way to figure out where you stand: this free V-Sign quiz can help you determine and decode your unique period type and figure out how to address your symptoms and optimize your hormonal health.
When you take the quiz, you’ll see that there’s so much you can tell about your overall health just by paying closer attention to the color, duration, frequency, and consistency of your flow. This kind of attention may take some getting used to — many women are used to immediately flushing or trashing any evidence of blood and the thought of inspecting it so closely freaks them out. But once you understand and accept that this is just one more important way to gauge the state of your body, you’ll see how important it is to really tune in and address any problems.
Curious where you stand? Here’s a quick list of the various types of period you may be experiencing and what it could mean for your health:
This is the gold standard of normal periods. It starts and ends with a bright, cranberry hue, and it lasts about 5-7 days. The consistency should be similar to a Jell-O mix that hasn’t quite set, and it should arrive like clockwork every 28-30 days.
The color and texture of your period can, however, change every month, and if you’re not seeing this kind of healthy red flow, know that you can change whatever characteristics need changing within one to three cycles with the right guidance. You’ll learn how to fix your symptoms once you take the quiz, but read on to see if your period matches up with any of the possibilities below and what it could mean.
If each period begins with brown, spotty stains, you may have low progesterone levels. The brown color means the blood is an old remnant from your last period, and you didn’t have enough of this important hormone to get it out of your uterus. Low progesterone is a common trigger for a slew of period-related problems, irregular cycles, and PCOS.
If you’re experiencing consistently heavy periods with clots and going through multiple pads or tampons per hour, your estrogen levels might be too high. This can happen if your food choices aren’t helping your liver break down extra estrogen, and the excess is causing problems like ovarian cysts, endometriosis, or fibroids.
Conversely, if your period is very light and lasts three days or less, your estrogen levels are likely low due to adrenal fatigue, extreme dieting, and/or a nutrient or vitamin deficiency.
If you bleed twice or more a month or your period isn’t coming at all, it could be because you have a sluggish thyroid. This can be the case even if your lab results indicate your levels are “normal.” Perimenopause, PCOS, and premature hormone aging can all also contribute to irregular cycles.
Concerned that you fall into one of the “abnormal” categories? Take heart: you can absolutely alter your hormonal situation with the right food and lifestyle fixes. Just by taking the simple V-Sign quiz, you can confirm which type of flow you have and figure out exactly how to fix it so you have a happy, healthy symptom-free cycle. Your health is in your control!