Why your period blood is brown on the first day
All of your signs and symptoms tell you a story about what’s happening inside your body. As someone with a female body you get an extra health report card every month, which is your period. By far the most common period issue I see with clients is brown bleeding at the beginning of your period. A lot of them have a clear feeling that this isn’t a good sign but they’ve been experiencing issues with their period for so long they almost don’t believe it can be fixed. Comment below if you’ve ever felt that way.
Here’s what I want you to know. It doesn't matter if you’ve been seeing brown for 6 months or 6 years, you can have a normal period. There is a reason for everything. We figure out the reason and we can make the right changes, and your body can heal.
What causes brown blood
Seeing brown blood at the very beginning of your period is a sign of low progesterone.
If progesterone is too low your body might not fully shed your uterine lining the way it’s supposed to. This means you hold on to a little bit of tissue, which oxidizes during the month, and shows up as brown spotting or bleeding at the beginning of your next cycle.
If you’re seeing brown blood you’re probably also having long cycles, you might be ovulating irregularly or not at all, and you might be struggling with fertility issues or PCOS.
What we want to do is support progesterone production, support the uterus so that it can fully shed every month, and we want to get rid of anything that prevents these two things from happening.
Support Progesterone Production
Track your cycles
To support progesterone production the first thing we want to do is start tracking your cycles more thoroughly. This means tracking your fertile signs in addition to your period dates so that we can determine whether or not you’re ovulating. Progesterone production relies on regular ovulation. So charting your cycles is going to tell us how much work we have to do to stabilize your hormones.
Manage Stress, Reduce Cortisol
Progesterone production also relies on calming your stress response. Progesterone is made out of the same raw materials as cortisol, your body’s stress hormone. If stress is high, or if your blood sugar levels are unstable, your body will prioritize production of cortisol, which means progesterone production decreases.
Eat Colorful Veggies
Progesterone production also relies on nutrients. In particular we need healthy fats and we need Lutein. Progesterone is produced by a tiny gland that forms inside your ovaries after ovulation, called the corpus luteum. The name means yellow body in latin, because it’s yellow. Lutein is the carotenoid that makes fruits and veggies yellow and it’s found in very high concentrations in the corpus luteum. Lutein is in yellow fruits and veggies but it’s actually highest in dark leafy green veggies.
Support the Uterus
Next, we want to support the uterus so that it can fully shed it’s lining each month. Afterall, the brown bleeding is from a build up of old residue that has oxidized. We want you to have a clean slate every month.
The best way to support the uterus in through vaginal steaming. If you’ve ever been sick with the flu and you do the thing where you stand over a pot of hot water with a towel over your head and breathe in the steam to clear your sinuses, that’s what vaginal steaming is for your uterus. You can also steam with special herb blends that incorporate herbal medicine to give your body even more support.
Uterus Support Tea
Herbs have powerful affects on our bodies. Drinking a special blend of herbs known to support uterine strength and function is a great way to prepare for a healthy period before it happens.
1 & 1/2 tsp Red Raspberry leaf
1 & 1/2 tsp Hibiscus leaf
1/2 tsp Nettle leaf
1/8 tsp Black Haw bark
Steep tea in 8 ounces hot water for 10 minutes. Drink hot or cool. You can order bulk herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs.
Get the support you need
These are really easy ideas to get you started. What I do with my clients is help you get to a place where you have more control over your health and your fertility because you understand why these things have been happening all your life and how to fix them. It’s never just brown bleeding, it’s never just a hormone issue. Nutritional therapy at it’s core is about teaching you how to interpret all of the signs your body is giving you, so that you can look at the whole picture and make the best decisions about how to care for yourself. If your curious about how nutritional therapy can help you, book a call to see how we can work together.