Menstrual literacy is key to having a better understanding of your menstrual cycle as well as your body. Having menstrual literacy means that you have the knowledge and skills to understand the anatomical and biological aspects of menstruation, as well as how to properly care for yourself when menstruating.
Menstrual literacy is also understanding the different phases of the menstrual cycle, how your body responds to each phase, and how this impacts your emotions and thoughts. Ultimately, it helps you determine which practices and habits can support you emotionally and physically throughout your cycle.
The foundation for menstrual literacy is understanding the menstrual cycle from start to finish. Once you’re able to fully grasp the cycle and its different phases you will be able to understand the impact each phase has on your body. We can also guarantee that you will have some “aha!” moments as your knowledge increases about each phase. It will make sense as to why you crave certain foods at a specific time during the month, or why you feel fatigued or even more aroused. For example, during the follicular phase which is when the body prepares to release the egg and estrogen levels are very high, some menstruators feel an increase in sex drive and feel their best physically and emotionally. It’s also reported that this is the best time to take an important exam or test as it’s the phase of your cycle which would support you the most while doing something of high importance.
You can even go as far as to create an exercise routine that’s unique to each phase of your cycle or switch up what you’re eating so that your diet is more supportive to each of the different phases too. These are ways in which menstrual literacy can empower and support you in developing a better relationship not only with your cycle, but with your body and its emotional and physical well-being. If you’re looking to deepen the connection with yourself and your body menstrual literacy is the first step in doing so.
Many of us are so far removed from ourselves emotionally and physically that we don’t know where to begin when something feels off. However, menstrual literacy can change this by increasing self-awareness, emotional intelligence and self-acceptance.