Doctors are increasingly referring to women’s reproductive health as the “fifth vital sign” for good reason, thanks in large part to the work of organizations like FACTS. A complete fertility chart of a woman’s monthly cycle can reveal much about her overall health. Here are just a few examples::
- Consistently low basal body temperatures may indicate a hormonal imbalance.
- Inappropriately high estrogen levels could point to overweight, which comes with its own host of problems.
- Inconsistent discharge or very lengthy cycles may indicate a reproductive disorder or even ovarian cancer.
So, for the ladies, this February — which is National Self-Check month — commit to making your fifth vital sign one of your most important self-checks. Don’t accept vague dismissals about what “normal” periods look like (after all, normal and healthy are not always the same). Don’t be fooled by the artificial “stability” of the pill or the lie that to be good, a female body must perform like a man’s.
Commit to putting your total health first, beginning with your vital signs.
— Forest Barnette
Marketing and Communications Associate