Charting your cycle with the Fertility Awareness Method lets you easily answer this question. You’ll know how long your cycles are, if/when you ovulate, and any changes to your menstrual flow.
"By paying attention to your monthly cycle — including how frequently you bleed, how much you bleed, how long you bleed, and how much physical pain strikes — you’ll best realize when a change in your period occurs, which is the first step in discovering an underlying health problem," says Erika Stalder in this article.
Suppressing menstruation with hormonal contraception doesn’t allow women the opportunity to know if everything is a-okay with their body. Getting normal (for the general population and for you) periods means you probably don’t have:
- thyroid problems
- pituitary problems
- adrenal problems
- other abnormal changes in hormone levels
- premature ovarian failure (POF)
- polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
- endometrial build-up
- uterine fibroids
- loss of bone density
- and more…
The sooner a problem is discovered, the earlier (and hopefully easier) it will be to address. That's how the menstrual cycle can be used as a vital sign!