Why Change the Cycle is Important to Me as a Mother


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I will never forget that day. I went in for my annual women’s well check-up, as they call it. I had all of the standard tests run and I left, relieved that I wouldn’t have to return for another year. I was healthy, took care of myself, ate the right things and even exercised. There was nothing out of the ordinary when it came to how I was feeling. But then I got the call…

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My OB/GYN told me that I would have to come back in to discuss the results of my pap test. I was in my early 20’s and had never gotten a call like this. Usually, they mailed out a postcard with the date of my next appointment and a little note to let me know that all was well with my test results. I couldn’t think of any reason that something would be wrong. My cycle was a little longer and heavier than most, but I knew plenty of friends with the same issues and always thought it was normal. 

As I drove to that appointment, I was shaken. A million things went through my mind. My friend came along with me for moral support and was trying to take my mind off of it. She was certain that it was nothing and would be nothing. But I knew that they wouldn’t have me come in to discuss nothing.

The actual visit is a blur. I remember her using terms like “abnormal test results” and “biopsy”. I was 23, single and had no kids. I didn’t understand what that meant for me or for my future. Did I have cancer? Would I be able to have children one day? I thought things like this didn’t happen until you are much older. I was very wrong. She did the biopsy that same day and it was excruciating. The sounds, the thoughts, the uncertainty of it all. When she was done, she allowed my friend to come back into the room and I remember telling her that I felt like I was going to pass out. A few minutes later, a nurse was in the room with a sugary drink and made a comment about how pale I was.

The next few days were brutal. I waited for that phone call which would determine the next steps.  What they found was that I had precancerous cells and would have to have a procedure called cryosurgery, where they use liquid nitrogen to destroy the precancerous cells in your cervix. She assured me that the procedure was painless and once it was finished, my body would replace those cells with new, healthy cells. Everything was going to be ok but I would have to come in more often, to make sure my body was doing everything it should be.

Importance of Below the Belt Health

While this was probably the scariest doctor’s appointment I had ever been to, it opened my eyes to the importance of below the belt health. I often wonder what would have happened if I hadn’t made that appointment. So many women skip their annual check-ups… I was one of them! But the key to taking care of yourself, is getting that annual checkup so that if something is abnormal, you can catch it and stop it from becoming something so much worse.

change the cycle, period, menstruations, menstrual cycle, motherhood, below the belt health, we hate heavy periods, hologic, women's health, female empowerment, AUB, abnormal uterine bleeding, endometrial ablation, endometriosis, mother of daughters, girl mom

change the cycle, period, menstruations, menstrual cycle, motherhood, below the belt health, we hate heavy periods, hologic, women's health, female empowerment, AUB, abnormal uterine bleeding, endometrial ablation, endometriosis, mother of daughters, girl mom

change the cycle, period, menstruations, menstrual cycle, motherhood, below the belt health, we hate heavy periods, hologic, women's health, female empowerment, AUB, abnormal uterine bleeding, endometrial ablation, endometriosis, mother of daughters, girl mom

Knowledge is power, and women have the power to be their own best health advocates if equipped with the right information. #sponsored

I’m one of the lucky ones. I fixed the issue and was able to give birth to three perfect little girls. I can’t imagine my life without them and I can’t imagine what my life would have been like, if it weren’t for that one doctor’s appointment.  Now, I make sure to ask lots of questions at my annual checkup and bring up anything that might require attention. When we discovered I had a number of ovarian cysts at my last checkup, I’ve been even more aware of getting myself checked out on a regular basis.

Believe it or not, so much of this starts with knowing our cycle. And that’s a great place to start when you’re talking to your daughter. We are very open about these subjects in our home. I want my girls to be aware, to ask questions and to say something when something doesn’t seem right with their bodies.

Change the Cycle

Knowledge is power, and women have the power to be their own best health advocates if equipped with the right information. It’s time we start educating ourselves and our daughters about the importance of getting to know our bodies and about things like heavy periods, fibroids and pelvic health. I encourage you to check out changethecycle.com, an online community where women who suffer from uterine and pelvic health conditions can find resources that promote a better understanding of their condition and potential solutions.

Advocating for your health starts with knowing your body – and that means knowing what’s considered normal vs. abnormal when it comes to your menstrual cycle. And while we are all born with one, how much do we really know about our uterus? The uterus plays a critical role in menstrual and reproductive health, but we are not always informed about potential issues or abnormalities we should be looking out for. There are a number of conditions that can affect a woman’s uterine health, like abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB) or uterine fibroids that can cause pain, heavy bleeding and fertility issues. While common, these conditions are often not discussed, and women wait years to seek medical attention as result.

Medical Statistics You Might Not Know

About Fibroids:

  • Fibroids are noncancerous tissue growths in the uterus.1
  • Up to 80% of women will experience fibroids by the age of 50.2
  • Fibroid symptoms include: Heavy bleeding, periods lasting more than a week, frequent urination, pelvic pressure or pain, difficulty emptying bladder, constipation, and backaches or leg pains.1

About Abnormal Uterine Bleeding:

  • 1 in 5 women suffer from heavy periods that dramatically affect their health, confidence and quality of life.3
  • Women who experience heavy periods are not alone, in fact, 10 million women experience abnormally heavy bleeding.3
  • On average, women with abnormal uterine bleeding experience their period for 14 days a month4
  • Women with abnormal uterine bleeding miss 1.5 days of work/school every cycle = that’s 18 days a year on average.4

Make sure to check out changethecycle.com today to learn more about below the belt health issues. You can even take a symptom checker quiz to help you better understand your symptoms each month!

*Compensation was provided by Hologic via Momtrends. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of Hologic or Momtrends.
  1. Uterine fibroids: Overview. Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/uterine-fibroids/home/ovc-20212509. Accessed April 25, 2017.
  2. Uterine Fibroid Fact Sheet. Office of Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/uterine-fibroids. Accessed April 27, 2017.
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Heavy menstrual bleeding. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/blooddisorders/ women/menorrhagia.html. Accessed April 07, 2017
  4. Hologic, Inc. Data on File; AUB Patient Journey Research, conducted January 2017. Survey of 1,003 women who self-identified as currently or recently experiencing heavy bleeding with need to change feminine hygiene product every hour or more.

Advocating for your health starts with knowing your body - and that means knowing what's considered normal vs. abnormal when it comes to your menstrual cycle. #sponsored

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Hello There!

I'm so honored that you've found us! I'm Heather, a Mom of 3 who blogs about parenting, food, occasional travel and how I overcame my daily struggle with anxiety. I miss sleeping and rely on coffee and laughter to get me through the day. I hope you enjoy and visit often!

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  1. Our health must be our first concern before anything else. That is our greatest investment. Thanks for sharing your story! And congratulations for surviving such difficult situation in your life.

  2. This is a really inspiring article. Our bodies are truly amazing things. Thank you for sharing.

  3. You’re so right, it is extremely important for us as women to make time to care for our bodies, get the proper health checks and make self care a priority. Happy things turned out good for you, so you can share your story with others.

    XO, MJ

  4. The body is always changing especially as we get older, but knowledge is certainly power! Thank you for sharing your story with us and raising awareness.

  5. I am so much concerned with my healthy now that I used to be. SO important for me to keep on track with my cycles.

  6. I now I’m past that point in menopause but I remember going through it. My body was doing things I just didn’t understand

  7. There are so many conditions that most people don’t know about. Thank you for sharing your journey, and for being so open about the possibility of having cervical cancer.

  8. Wow this was a really detailed and informative post. It’s a topic I wasn’t familiar with so this was such an itneresting read.

  9. It is so important to listen to our bodies and make sure that we take care of our health. I am glad to hear that things worked out for you, and that the outcome was good. It’s awesome that you are sharing your story so inspire others to make sure they take care of their health.

  10. The health of one’s own intimacy is underestimated, but with the passing of the years it becomes fundamental also to save our own health.

  11. As someone who has issues, with my cycle and a handful of other things. This was very eyeopening. Thank you.

  12. Thank you for sharing your story! It is so so important for us to get regular checkups to take care of our health!

  13. This is something I can really get behind. So many women ignore their personal health because they just don’t understand it, or are too embarrassed to talk about what’s wrong, but it is so important to be knowledgeable, advocate for ourselves and be open to sharing our experiences with one another!

  14. This is definitely a very informative post. It makes a lot of sense to me now. I am glad everything is working well with you.

  15. This is so scary, and so so important to talk about.. so many people don’t discuss the harsh realities of what can happen, and avoid going for a regular check up! Thanks for sharing your story!

  16. I used to be a lot more adamant and good about going and getting checked. Now, I admit, I’ve gotten a little less. I need to go. Thanks for the reminder!

  17. This is a timely post, thank you for sharing. It always amazes me how when a group of women get talking about their cycles, it becomes apparent how common uterine problems really are. Supplementing with herbal uterine tonics has always done wonders for me.

  18. I think it’s so easy to write off issues with your menstrual cycle as I feel like no ones is really perfect. Definitely something to keep an eye on!

  19. I love that you are sharing your stories. Women need to share their stories as it helps educate each other.

  20. I always found it super annoying when I would fill out questionnaires at the gynecologist’s office, indicating my concerns and then the doctor never mentioned it. I’m glad that people are more open and are talking about women’s health issues more.

  21. I’m glad everything turned out okay years ago. It’s really important to get a regular check-up and prioritize your health.

  22. I love that you are sharing your experiences and important information to help other women who might be going through these things. Unfortunately for me, I suffer from fibroids and have had two surgeries.

  23. What a scary experience! I’m glad you caught it in the early stages. And thanks for sharing backed up facts about what we should expect or look out for.

  24. Beautiful post. A powerful post. Yes, trusting that knowing these little things is important can change any woman’s life. Thank you for an ever timely reminder.

  25. This is some great information. It’s super important to go in on a regular basis and get checked out. Thank goodness you were doing that.

  26. I am happy that you got checked before it because worse. My doctor gave me really good advice about minding my health. She said, “every year, on your birthday, get a mammogram and a pap smear. This will be your birthday gift to yourself.” And I have been doing this every year since then. Prevention is better than cure!

  27. Wow, thank you for sharing your story! An excellent reminder for all women to prioritize those annual checkups.

  28. This is a good initiative. Regular check-ups are important to know your cycle. Nice! I’ll share this to my girl and woman friends.

  29. Thank you for this! I’ve been wanting to have it checked but I am a little scared. But I know I still need to go.

  30. I agree, it’s super important to get regular checkups! I also track my cycles just so I’m aware if anything is off.

  31. Wow, this is such a great reminder! I can’t imagine how hard and scary it must have been getting the news. But good for you for staying on top of your health!

  32. Thank you for sharing your story. Many women ignore their health concerns because they are so focused on the health of their family.

  33. This is a very important message. Women that age thinks that they’re invincible, but you had to learn the hard way that we’re not. I’m so happy that you could still have the life that you wanted.

  34. Thanks for sharing with us your story and sharing these tips with us! These are details that any women should be aware of it!

  35. Wow, this was a nice and inspiring story to read. I am glad that you found it early and resolved the issue immediately. I am happy for you and for your 3 beautiful angels.

  36. Yyyeeeaaahhhhhh…you have spoken of something very key in our lives today. Many of us complain that we “don’t have time for those checkups” but cancerous cells have one better for us!

  37. Below the Belt Health is a wonderful way to think about all the things women have to take care of. I have had this exact scare. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I had a hysterectomy, so now I just have to take care of my cervix. Great post.

  38. This is such a wonderful article you’ve posted here it’s very detail and informative. Every women should know this and consider as much as possible. This will definitely a great help for them in many ways.

  39. I had no idea what fibroids were made out of. My mother in law just had a very large one removed with her uterus.

  40. Thanks for sharing your story. Thanks for also sharing this important information all of us women should know.

  41. I’m glad you were able to share your story with us. This is why I think it’s so extremely important to always get yearly checkups. I’m glad you were able to find out and get it figured out.

  42. Thanks for providing this information. Great to hear that all is well with you now. So glad that you went to your annual appointment.

  43. Glad everything went well years ago! We all have to stay vigilant. These things can grow quick if we do not keep on top of them!

  44. What I can say is that I am THRILLED they were able to catch this before it was “too late”!! I have to admit though, I am so bad with going to the doctor -however, I went every time I was supposed to last year when I was pregnant!

    1. Post

      All three babies, I was there multiple times a week. It’s funny how that seemed to be more about the baby than my own health.

  45. Thank you so much for sharing your story! I think too many of us ignore our health in that particular area. Those exams can be uncomfortable at times, but they can save our lives.

  46. Thank you for sharing your story, for the great resource I’ve bookmarked and for the kick up the rear to book my pap. I’ve always been a keen cycle watcher and it’s surprising how many physical, mental & cognitive symptoms can be attributed to out-of-whack hormones. <3