It’s no hidden secret that when it comes to our periods, hormones and fertility some of us were left in the dark for a long time. So often we hear the story of adult women not knowing anything about their hormones until they’re trying for a baby and having to do a crash course. We also face the reality of hormonal contraceptives being prescribed and taken for years, leaving women never fully understanding their hormones or bodies.
So here we are to teach you five things you probably weren’t taught in sex education but wish you were.
1. You are only fertile 6 days out of a month.
As young women we are told that if we are sexually active we will fall pregnant. The truth is that there are only 6 days out of each month you are fertile. This is a phase of our cycle we call ovulation. Ovulation occurs generally around day 14 of your cycle. During this period the mature egg is released from the ovaries, and made available for fertilisation. The egg is viable for approximately 12-24 hours. Sperm is able to survive in the reproductive tract for 5-6 days, giving you your 6 day fertile window.
2. Your period shouldn’t be feared but welcomed
Certain symptoms such as pain, cramping, bloating, irritability and fatigue around your cycle can typically cause young women to fear their cycles. But it is important to note that just because these symptoms are common, it doesn’t make them normal. Unbearable pain & cramping, extreme fatigue and chronic mood changes are typically signs of hormonal imbalances. A naturopath can assist in regulating your hormones and reducing these debilitating symptoms.
3. There are 4 phases of your cycle, and each will have their own symptoms
Being able to understand the four phases of a womens hormonal cycle is not only empowering, but can allow a connection to your body and an understanding if there are any issues. This can also be used as a contraceptive tool, being able to understand the ebb and flow of hormonal changes, also being able to know when you are most fertile & when to expect your menstruation.
4. That its better to understand your cycle & abnormal symptoms than bandaid them with contraceptives
As mentioned earlier certain symptoms are common but that doesn’t mean they’re normal. A lot of women with menstrual irregularities are told by their health practitioner that going on a form of contraceptive will subside their symptoms. However, the reality is that while their symptoms may lessen, it is just a bandaid approach, and the cause of the issue will still occur when they cease their contraceptive, and may at times cause more issues in the future. Approaching your cycle with more awareness and working with a naturopath to regulate your hormones may be a more effective way to approach your menstrual irregularities.
5. That diet and lifestyle have a huge impact on your cycle.
Certain foods and lifestyle choices have the potential to harm or heal your hormones. Prioritising whole foods rich in nutrients, protein, healthy & fats, exercise, sleep and stress support are a great start at balancing your hormones. While avoiding over consumption of processed food, sugars, and high saturated fats. Also ensuring hydration is prioritised. This will not only support regular cycles, but also have a great impact on skin.
Educating women on their cycles, hormones and periods is such an empowering way to engage with your body & get to know the signs when things might not be right.
If you feel as though you may have chronic hormonal issues, or irregular periods please book in a consultation with one of our amazing naturopaths.