How To Track Your Cycle, Understand Your Period, Alleviate Pain
How to track your cycle expert advice

Cycle Track: How To Understand Your Period And Help Alleviate Pain, According To An Expert

Cycle tracking, diet and supplements can help with period pain, says expert Lisa de Jong. Maria Neuman met her in Dublin … 

Do you remember exactly where you were when you first got your period? How you felt? Did it feel like you had finally reached some glorious transformative stage of womanhood? Or more like a sense of dreaded inevitability that was leaving you with decades of cramps, pregnancy panic, and a newfound fear of wearing white jeans?

“A lot of the conversation so far has been about destigmatising periods,” says therapeutic practitioner and coach, Lisa de Jong, who works one-on-one helping women to find relief around their cycle. “While many women have normal physical struggles during their cycles, it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom, we can empower ourselves in this conversation,” she adds. Lisa ended up being so measured on all things menstruation after years of struggling with undiagnosed endometriosis (a painful condition that causes inflammation and scar tissue to grow outside the uterus on areas like fallopian tubes and ovaries). Not only can endometriosis be physically debilitating, and lead to long term fertility challenges, it can also present many and varied symptoms leading to misdiagnosis. Also, de Jong says, it’s much more common than people think, with one in ten women and girls suffering from endometriosis in Ireland.

Lisa’s personal journey of pain, confusion, and surgery, to alleviate her endometriosis and menstrual pain is what caused her to double down on her knowledge – and encouraged her to make simple lifestyle changes to great effect. “Even after two surgeries, most of my pain relief has come from other interventions,” she advises. “The three pillars for me are diet, supplements and tracking my lifestyle.”

Lisa favours foods that contain healthy fats (like eggs, avocado, meat or nuts) one of the key building blocks for your body’s hormone production, as well as a great source of protein. Other great things to fill up your fridge with are fibre-rich foods like vegetables, fruits, and whole grains like porridge, brown rice, even popcorn.

The next step is supplements. Lisa searched for over four years before finding Period Plan from Cleanmarine, with ingredients to support hormones, your moods, energy level, as well as skin.

“I find the world of supplements quite confusing and you can end up taking six different tablets to make sure you’re getting everything, but Period Plan has it all in one.” Packed with Omega 3, Vitamins B1, B2 and B6, as well as rosemary extract and soy isoflavones, if you stay consistent and make it part of your routine (it doesn’t need to be taken with food, so it’s easy to pop them in the morning with a glass of water) you’ll notice feeling more even-keeled throughout the month, with fewer energy dips, mood swings and cramps.


Track your lifestyle and your cycle. Download a period tracker on your phone (we like Flo and My Calendar) or attach a period tracker to your fridge ( has loads) so you know what your body is up to and when. “I’m not saying you have to LOVE your period, just have a relationship with it. All of these things I do just help me to have understanding of my body’s needs at the different stages of my cycle,” says Lisa. “Periods, pregnancy and menopause are each a rite of passage, and a journey.”

Of course, if your periods are irregular, don’t just rely on lifestyle tips to turn the ship around. “Not all period pain is normal, so if your pain is debilitating, is impacting your work and relationships, that needs to be looked at,” she advises. Start with your GP and read all information on the website. If your GP isn’t giving your concerns serious thought, Lisa says there’s nothing wrong with getting a second opinion. She also recommends her Pain to Power podcast (at and the Let’s Talk Hormone Health podcast hosted by Lorraine Keane, available wherever you get your podcasts.

“Even though I’m an educator, I try not to think about my own period too much nowadays,” says Lisa. “It has taken me some time but now I have a balanced relationship with it.”


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