Sadly, the conversation about periods, poops, and other things women go through, is something that we’re not having enough so we don’t know what normal really is. And when you don’t know what normal is then you can’t know what abnormal is. You just don’t know what you don’t know.
In this conversation, Dr. Lyndsey Maher, owner and director of Soleil Acupuncture, joins us to talk all about what women should know about their bodies. A licensed naturopathic doctor based in Connecticut, Lyndsey talks about what goes on in a woman’s body once you get to a certain age. Passionate about women’s health in all stages of life, Lyndsey is still in constant disbelief at how incredible the female body is. Get a load of information from her today, including all of the things that we think women have to suffer through when we don’t really have to!
Here are some power takeaways from today’s conversation:
- Perimenopausal definition and symptoms
- Understanding the menstrual cycle and what a normal period should look like
- What your stool should look like
- Finding an experienced provider you’re comfortable with
- The importance of looking at your hormones
- The effects of hormonal birth control
- The concept of seed cycling
[02:55] What Does Perimenopausal Mean?
Premenopausal is truly a woman who is cycling fertile and has a regular period every month, whereas perimenopausal is about seven to 10 years before menopause. Sometimes, we connote it with those one to two years leading up to menopause, because that’s when a lot of those changes take place. The average age of menopause in the United States is 51, so women in their 40s are pretty much in their perimenopausal period. Symptoms of perimenopause include sleep changes, feeling warmer than usual, hot flashes, sweats and discomfort. It can be a constellation of different things that everyone experiences. It could also manifest through stubborn weight that you just can’t lose.
[06:03] Understanding the Menstrual Cycle
The menstrual cycle starts from the first day of bleeding to the next bleed. In essence, the purpose of this cycle is to essentially get pregnant. Research says that a normal cycle is between roughly 27 to 32 days so we should be having between nine and 10 to 12 periods a year.
[07:22] What a Normal Period Should Look Like
An ideal period would be 20 days with minimal cramping, no need to take a pain reliever, and no need to take off time. You also don’t need to be in the fetal position on your bed for much of that time. There should be no headaches. Knowing your hormonal levels is a good way to start balancing your hormones out.
[17:33] The Effects of Hormonal Birth Control
The advent of hormonal birth control really gave women the empowerment to go into the workforce and not become a mom right away. It’s also allowing for underserved populations to have a little bit more control who don’t have education surrounding their body. But if women knew more about their bodies, it would give them more empowerment and control over their planning than to take something that dismisses and shuts down the conversation between the brain and your ovaries. Younger women who go on birth control have a greater likelihood to develop depression since their brains are not yet fully formed. If you are on hormonal birth control, you’re not getting those ebbs and those flows. You’re not going to be as creative and productive as you would like to be so you could regress a little bit and feel those sensations of depression.
[26:07] The Seed Cycling
Eating seeds like flax seeds in the follicular phase promote more estrogen. Flax seeds are also good at bulking up the stool. In the second half, consume seeds like sunflower and sesame seeds.
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