A woman with a voice, is by definition, a strong woman
Have you ever met a woman who celebrated her bleeding cycles?
But I’ve known plenty of women (myself included) who used contraceptive pills to avoid the dreaded bleed.
We are taught early on in life that menstruating is a pain. It messes with our life, makes us feel frumpy and can get in the way of everything from work commitments to social engagements to romantic getaways.
I will never forget the first time I started menstruating again after I had my baby. I was standing in the hotel lobby with my husband, babe in arms chatting to a friend we hadn’t seen for years. It was a serendipitous meet up as we were making our way to our hotel room from the swimming pool and he just happened to be checking in to the hotel.
Standing there in my bathers with my towel wrapping my baby up as he fell asleep I looked down to realise that what I thought was water dripping down my legs was actually blood. And it was dripping on to the white marble floor of the hotel lobby.
I remember glaring at my husband as if it was his fault while he looked back at me unawares of my predicament. I unwrapped my son from the towel which made him cry in a startled response, dropped the towel on to the floor to hide the mess and ran to my hotel room, pretending I needed to quickly change the baby.
Both men had no idea what was happening and they probably never will but I was absolutely devastated with embarrassment and although it was 13 years ago, the memory has stuck with me and I get a rush of humiliation when I think about it.
With experiences like this (and I know I’m not alone), its no wonder that women look for ways to avoid menstruating and that society has adopted chemical contraception as the norm.
But the reality is, we are meant to bleed. We are meant to cycle with the moon, our body thrives on the ebbs and flows of menstruation and messing with our menstrual cycle has long term risks that you may not even be aware of.
Over 28 days (approximately) your sex hormones – oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone are designed to fluctuate. These hormones work as an orchestra to do more than make babies (which is an absolute miracle on its own). Each hormone has extensive powerful roles in the body and if we mess with them, the consequences can be long lasting and dire.
The role of sex hormones
The word Oestrogen comes from the Greek word Estrogen which means ‘to produce passion’. Oestrogen is what makes us a woman. It is our female power, our intuition, our inner guidance, our wisdom and our sisterhood. Oestrogen is what sets us apart from our male counterparts and is the Yang to our husbands ying.
Oestrogen is our caring, nursing, nourishing self, she is why our children gravitate towards us when they feel sick and she is how we know to reach out to a friend before they even tell us they need help.
Oestrogen tells us to call our mother in law because she is lonely and she keeps the family together through stressful experiences. Without oestrogen we are less intuitive and more mechanical. Without oestrogen we lose our inner compass that knows where we should be and who we are in our tribe.
Oestrogen keeps our muscles flexible and strong and our bones dense in structure so we don’t break. Oestrogen is imperative to brain health and women with low oestrogen levels show a decline in cognitive brain function such as memory. Oestrogen protects the blood vessels, controls cholesterol and plays a vital role in heart health and women with low oestrogen levels are more at risk of heart disease.
Progesterone is known as the calming, mood, sleep inducing, libido seducing, and bone-enhancing hormone. Progesterone functions as a precursor to produce testosterone while also acting as a balancer to decrease oestrogen levels.
Progesterone has been linked with improvement in cognitive function, or the mental process of understanding through thought and experience, as well as in using intellectual processes such as thinking, reasoning, and emotional memories and emotional modulator.
Progesterone acts as a Neurosteroid in the brain which helps form nerve cell connections, regulate behaviour, respond to stress, anxiety and depression. Progesterone also helps repair damaged brain cells, is implied in neurogenesis (growth and development of nervous system tissue), calm inflammation and protect nerves.
Progesterone is sometimes called the “pregnancy hormone” because of the role it plays in helping a woman get pregnant and maintain a pregnancy. Progesterone carves out the uterus, shaping it to accept and maintain a fertilized egg but it’s importance in the brain is something that all women should be educated on regardless of their child bearing status when choosing whether or not to take medications that affect this hormone.
*Progestin is not progesterone. Many women take a synthetic mimicking drug called progestin as a hormone replacement option. It should be recognised that progestin is a single function medication where as progesterone is multi functioning and complex, acting on many systems in the body as it fluctuates naturally. Progestin is not a substitute for progesterone and there are many risks and side effects associated with taking this synthetic drug. Women can seek an alternative bio identical progesterone that will be made up specifically for the individual.
Testosterone gives us courage and strength and power – both mentally and physically. It is the hormone that drives our sexual desire towards our partner, lubricating our emotions and our body in preparation for intimacy. Testosterone is recognised for the anabolic process it has on building muscle and it has a similar effect on the brain. When in abundance we have clarity, drive and energetic purpose. When depleted we suffer from anxiety, depression and mood disorders.
Testosterone deficiency leads to physical frailty and psychological disfunction, diminished focus and reduced wellbeing.
Society vilifies testosterone with comments like ‘that bully has too much testosterone’ or ‘it was his testosterone that made him do it’ when in fact men who are angry or depressed are more likely to be oestrogen dominant. In a 2017 study, Testosterone was found to enhance strategic social behaviour rather than dominance seeking behaviour.
Testosterone builds muscle and bone strength and those depleted in the hormone generally have problems with mobility, flexibility and structural strength.
Women naturally peak testosterone production around 26 yrs old when the body is biologically primed for child bearing and the amount diminishes to half that by 40. Synthetic contraceptives prevent the production of testosterone completely in the ovaries and the hormone must be produced by the adrenal glands and peripheral tissue. If a person is stressed or adrenally depleted this process can be difficult which may be one reason why we see so many women who have been on long term contraceptives in their 40’s and 50’s experiencing chronic bone, joint and muscle issues.
The pill robs u of your ability to get to know yourself. It is a form of chemical castration – no libido, poor, risky decisions, gobbles up Vit B, COq10, when we choose mates we need to be able to use our intuition and the pill prevents that ability due to pheromone changes. Brain and ovaries are manipulated
According to the gov website health direct.gov.au/contraception-options the only side effects from synthetic contraceptions are:
The hormones used in contraceptive pills, implants, injections and intrauterine devices can have common effects that include:
- irregular periods or bleeding between periods
- lighter or skipped periods
- less painful periods
- mood changes
- pheromone disruption
And less common but very real issues such as:
- body dysmorphia
- blood clots
- heart attack
- neural defects in pregnancy
- brain dysfunction
A 2017 study indicates the relationship between contraceptive pill is due to synthetic hormonal disruption.
My question is. Why are the effects on hormones not warned about on the leading website for gov health in this country for contraceptive awareness? And if it’s not spoken about on there, what are the chances that your own GP discussing it with you since they get their directions from the gov regulatory bodies? To have a look at the lack of information go here
There are a multitude of pills, insertions and injections available as contraceptive options for women. It is important to understand that chemical disruption of the female cycle has short and long term damaging effects on hormones which relate to mental and emotional wellbeing, structural health and disease susceptibility. Heart disease is the number one killer of women in Australia and synthetic hormones are known to damage the blood vessels and stress the heart long term.
1 in 3 women in Australia will die of heart disease.
According to Greg Hunt, ex minister for Health, “Most Australian women – 81 per cent – aged 16-49 years use some form of contraception”. I wonder how many of these women know the dangers associated with synthetic hormone disruption and how many would choose other methods of contraception if they realised that they are endangering their own health for the sake of convenience?
Women who sign up to using medical contraceptions are at increased risk of cardiovascular issues, metabolic disruptions and dementia.
How can women enjoy a healthy sex life while reducing the risk of unwanted pregnancy?
First of all we need to learn our own body better. Get to know your natural cycle and understand when you are most likely to get pregnant. Women have what’s called an ovulation window which is when the body releases an egg that may get fertilised by sperm. Once you know when your ovulation window is, you can safely program your most fertile time of the month and when you need to take precautions (such as using condoms).
A great resource to better understand this is www.yourfertility.org.au
There are some apps that help you track your cycle so that you can naturally prevent or promote getting pregnant www.naturalcycles.com and apps that will help you better understand your menstrual cycle in general. I use www.helloclue.com otherwise known as Clue app.
The app helps keep track of my cycle and I can diarise my moods, energy levels and activities to better understand how my body works and what signs to look and listen for. I use the free version but you can get a paid version with even more tools.
Other reasons people go on the pill:
Reduces period pain
Reduces PCOS and PMS
All of these issues are signs of a hormonal imbalance in the body. Women will be prescribed the pill to deal with the imbalances and this can help ease the symptoms but it is not the body that is the issue. Our body is an innate, intelligent hormonal system that is always working towards balance and our natural rhythm is an orchestral ebb and flow of hormones to nourish, sustain and maintain that balance.
So why are women led to believe that taking synthetic hormones or a synthetic prescription that prevents the natural, life giving force that our menstrual cycle is is the best option?
A narrative has been created that makes women believe that their body is broken, that their body is getting in the way of living their life and that by suppressing the body’s own functions we might be serving ourselves well. But nothing could be further from the truth and by following this narrative without proper information we may be causing more damage than good.
What women need to do is realise that the body is talking to us. These horrible, uncomfortable symptoms of bad skin, sore tummy, fibroids, PCOS didn’t happen overnight. Our body is always communicating with us, giving us signs and signals to tell us that we need to eat, sleep, exercise, socialise. Our body is also communicating to us through illness, discomfort and pain that we need to change what we are doing because we are not functioning optimally.
Maybe you are too busy, maybe you have a lot on your plate, maybe you haven’t been taught that your body is capable, maybe you have been misinformed or maybe you are overwhelmed?
Something I am learning as I work with women is that most of us want to do what’s best for our body and we do realise there is no quick fix but we simply do not know where to start. The information available is both confusing and conflicting and the people we often turn to for advice are handing out marketing material rather than helping the woman in front of them and serving her individual needs.
All over the counter and prescription medications have a disastrous effect on mitochondrial health which leads to worse outcomes in the long run.
There is not a medication in the World that doesn’t have a deleterious effect on the rest of your body so no matter what you choose, no matter what you take and no matter how healthy you are, synthetic hormones are bad for your health full stop. Prescription medication is for short term use to mask symptoms and never but never considers the body as a whole nor accounts for your bio individuality, your epigenetic profile or your long term health goals.
If you want to learn how to support your body through natural contraceptive choices and learn how to live a lifestyle that marries with your personal health goals you will most probably need to look a lot further than the person who put you on synthetic hormones. Safe, natural contraception is not found in a pill, it is not bought over the counter and it certainly isn’t a cookie cutter solution for the masses.
Your body is unique, a one of a kind that belongs to you and no-one else and the only person who can truly understand your body is you.
Learning your body, your cycles and your needs takes time and if you’ve been living a synthetic hormone, chemical castrated existence, its going to take a while to find your natural rhythm. But the pay off is immense.
Whether you have turned to contraceptive medication to prevent unwanted pregnancies, for the convenience of not having your period or to help ease the process of menopause, I just want women to understand what they are signing up for because the women I am meeting at retreat want to make the right choices but the information they are receiving is poor.
Ultimately the choice is yours and I am all for each woman choosing what is right for them. We are each very different and our ideals are ours to choose.
Choose wisely. Choose with care.
Want to take a deep dive with me into women’s health? Join me for a day retreat at our sister location, Sanctuary By The Sea in Wagait Beach. The schedule is set for 2023 and you can book in for a day of self care, pampering and learning. The day is full with workshops, discussions, massage, infrared sauna, ice bath, Pilates, meditation and nourishing food.
Jump on to the app and book your date for an amazing day under ‘workshops’
Did you know that I offer individual health consultations? Book in for a health discovery session with me and take the next step towards better health for yourself. Health consults are 1 hour and are available in person or on Zoom. Email me for a booking firstname.lastname@example.org.