Predictable periods are a sign that your body is working normally. You should have regular periods, unless of course you are pregnant, breastfeeding or in menopause. But often things can go awry with the menstrual cycle and cause problems.
This blog will discuss the main problems with the menstrual cycle and what to do about it. Read on for advice for your period!
The problems can be varied. Some of the more common ones are:
These issues are essentially caused by imbalances in hormone levels, specifically progesterone and estrogen. It may be that progesterone is too low or too high. Low progesterone can lead to an irregular menstrual cycle. You may have estrogen dominance or too little estrogen. Relative estrogen dominance can be a factor, when estrogen is high relative to low levels of progesterone.
Another way that hormones get dysregulated is due to birth control. Birth control pills contain synthetic estrogen and progesterone, or just progesterone, which prevent ovulation each month. If there is no ovulation, you can’t get pregnant. However, the pill has negative side effects. It disrupts the body’s natural hormone cycle to prevent ovulation. It keeps estrogen levels artificially high. Synthetic hormones are not seen or broken down by the body as well as natural hormones are. Studies show birth control pills can reduce the development of strong bones, negatively impact gut and immune health, damage vaginal and bladder health and impact brain health. The effects of birth control pills can be very subtle and take years to appear.
It can get confusing with the different reproductive hormones, the debate around the Pill and the fluctuations experienced throughout the monthly cycle. So, what can you do to better manage your cycle?
Testing helps to get to the root of the problems.
Hormone testing is key. Blood tests can help determine whether hormonal imbalances are causing your menstrual problems. However, the gold standard hormone test is the DUTCH (Dried Urine Test Complete Hormones). This test samples urine to establish hormone patterns. It is by far the most effective way to look at reproductive hormones.
Work with your Nutritionist to get testing and interpretation. With the test results, you can see what your hormone imbalance is, specifically, and take steps to re-balance things.
Fortunately, hormonal imbalances can be improved, or even reversed, with diet and lifestyle changes. Here are some suggestions you can try, on your own, to improve things.
These tips should help to rebalance your hormones and bring your cycle back to its natural state. If you need more help, then get a DUTCH test done with your Nutritionist and take a targeted approach to addressing your hormonal balance today!
Written by Bronwen Carmichael and Nicola Schuler