If you were a teen or young adult who regularly suffered from raging PMS, period pain, heavy bleeding, or acne, you likely heard something like this from your gyno:
“Birth control can fix all of these issues. It can clear up your skin, relieve symptoms of PMS or PMDD, stop the heavy bleeding, and make your periods lighter and more painless so you can live your life again!”
You thought, “Wow – this is too good to be true.”
You suffered in silence for so long that it was easy to ask yourself, “Why not?”
Only back then, you were a little younger and a LOT more gullible. You believed your doctor at their word and didn’t know a manufacturer’s insert even existed for every pharmaceutical product, which is readily available to you and lists the potential adverse outcomes or long-term side effects.
You didn’t understand the idea of informed consent – or having the authority to independently research and weigh the potential benefits – and decide if they outweigh the risks based on your unique bio-individuality and needs.
Then a couple of months into treatment, you started to experience side effects you had no idea was even a possibility, because your doctor didn’t give you a heads up before writing the script. Ten extra pounds mysteriously appeared, your moods were all over the place, and your heavy periods were replaced with uncomfortable, unsightly bloating and excruciating migraines.
Somewhere along the way, you stopped feeling like yourself, and you didn’t know why.
What We Didn’t Know About Hormonal Birth Control
Does this sound like your experience? If so, you’re not alone. This was my experience, too. But hindsight is 20/20 and we wouldn’t be where we are today without the lessons of the past.
The truth is, birth control certainly cannot FIX everything and it comes with a ton of nasty side effects that can last long after you stop taking it, such as:
- Hormonal birth control only acts as a BandAid, masking and suppressing symptoms
- Its “promises” come with dangerous side effects that are seldom discussed in the doctor’s office
- Coming off of hormonal birth control would be akin to feeding a gremlin after midnight – in that all of those stubborn symptoms you experienced before would be back, only this time, with a vengeance
- Because the root cause was ignored or missed, you would likely end up back at square one with your health
- Having a healthy menstrual cycle is mission-critical to whole-body health and a research-backed indicator of overall well-being
If we only knew then what we know now, am I right?! But there is beauty in getting older and letting experience teach us the most valuable lessons. One of those lessons, for me, was learning how important having a period every month actually was. And the only thing more important than learning to give ourselves grace for our younger, ill-informed shortcomings is understanding these five reasons every woman should have a period each month.
5 Reasons Every Woman Should Have a Period
#1 – A healthy menstrual cycle is a research-backed indicator of overall well-being.
A 2004 study found that evaluation of the menstrual cycle is just as important as other vital signs in diagnosing potentially serious health conditions, such as abnormal blood pressure, and heart or respiratory rate, and it could even improve the early identification of myriad potential health concerns in adulthood.
#2 – Your period can provide critical diagnostic insights in the event something is wrong in your body.
Symptoms are our bodies’ whispers that eventually turn into cries or screams and we can hear them if we listen closely. They provide valuable clues about what’s going on with us. Our periods are no different. By having an ovulatory cycle, even if it is inconsistent or abnormal, labs can be run that help your healthcare provider identify the problem. Hormonal birth control makes these answers much harder to uncover.
#3 – Ovulation is synonymous with vitality.
Let me let you in on a little secret: Ovulation is not just for making a baby. This intricate system sometimes results in a precious little bundle of joy, but when it doesn’t (which is most months), it is still worth doing. Beneficial hormones like Progesterone that your body generates as a result of this phase make us as women healthier, happier, and more harmonious. One expert considers ovulation to be akin to “making a monthly deposit into the bank account of long-term health.” Conversely, not having enough Progesterone can cause estrogen dominance and other unfavorable health outcomes.
#4 – Sex hormones facilitate many important biological processes.
Sex hormones support brain function, metabolic and heart health, immunity, and so much more. Birth control suppresses the hormones that spearhead these functions.
#5 – Your period is your superpower!
When we leverage the four phases of our cycle, we can tap into our amazing potential and lean into our body’s greatest assets. From heightened intuition to more energy, to better relaxation, or more creativity, riding the waves of your majestically-designed feminine flow can bring you more joy and help you feel more centered and connected to your body.
Common Causes of Irregular Periods
Now that we know our cycle is a clearly underrated but proven vital sign, let’s talk about some common causes of an irregular menstrual cycle:
- Hormonal Birth Control
- Nutrient Deficiencies
- A High Toxic Load
- Gut Issues
- Thyroid Issues
You may fall into one or more of these categories. But believe it or not, there are practical steps you can take to regulate your menstrual cycle and feel like you again.
3 Easy Ways to Get Your Hormones Back in Balance
#1 – Nourish your body with hormone-loving foods like fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and healthy fats.
While sometimes all you need is to add a few healthy foods to your diet, nourishing your body could also mean avoiding the not-so-good foods you’re used to. Sugar is addictive and the culprit of many preventable health issues today, which should make those Thin Mints a little less appetizing (but it doesn’t, I know!). But for those stubborn cravings that won’t subside, Crave Reset can help you tackle your breakup with sugar with powerful adaptogenic herbs that also support your body’s stress response.
#2 – Practice stress management by implementing daily mindfulness or deep breathing techniques.
There are many easy-to-apply stress-stopping hacks you can adopt to ease the strain of worry and anxiety. My Daily Self-Care Journal is one easy tool to add to your daily routine that can improve self-awareness, focus, and promote feelings of peace that will help you better manage stress (and give your cortisol a rest). If you’re someone who lives in chronic stress or “survival mode,” your adrenal glands are likely hanging on by a thread. Your adrenals go into overdrive to help you adapt to real or perceived danger in order to ensure your survival. If they never have any downtime, you likely suffer from adrenal fatigue. Adrenal Love is a masterful combination of adaptogenic herbs that can help you regain control of your body, better manage stress, and replenish your worn-out adrenal glands.
#3 – Replenish missing vitamins and nutrients.
If you suspect you may be nutrient deficient (and if you spent years on hormonal birth control is likely the case), Magnesium Restore and Activated B Complete are the dynamic duo for you. Magnesium does the heavy lifting of gently restoring balance to your body and hormones while the B Complex targets many critical functions in the body that are in the throes of hormonal ups and downs, saving them like a knight in shining armor. The overarching benefits of these two supplements will leave you feeling more rested, more energized, and more capable of balancing the many facets of life.
Reclaim Your Health
Learning all of this information for the first time might feel overwhelming. You might wonder if there is any coming back from the damage hormonal birth control caused or if you’ve lived with certain issues too long to believe positive change is possible for you. But the answer, I promise you, is a resounding YES!
I know this to be true because I have experienced much of this firsthand. Spending years on hormonal birth control and enduring some of the worst symptoms of my life spurred me to take charge of my own health journey where I learned just how resilient the human body really is. I talk more about my personal story in my book, The Essential Oils Hormone Solution. In it, I also share my time-tested 14-day Hormone Reset Plan that will get you and your body back on track.
We can’t change everything overnight, but overnight, we can change something. Taking just one step to improve your health can make all the difference.
Cheers to reclaiming your health!
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