We have been groomed to be told that our periods/menstrual cycles are supposed to be a certain way . . . or it’s just “your normal.”
My mission is to empower you to reclaim the word hormonal and educate you on some things may be common but in fact are not normal. Aligning your hormones will address the root cause and release your inner power and encourage you to lean in and celebrate the beauty of being a woman.
Myth #1: PMS is a normal part of having a period.
PMS or Premenstrual Syndrome is common, but it’s not normal—it’s telling us something. This looks like mood swings, headaches, bloating, food cravings, fatigue, anxiety and more. And because we have been conditioned to believe that pain/problems are par for the course, it prevents us from finding solutions and causes women to suffer unnecessarily. It has dismissed our feelings and opinions and can devalue our power.
Truth: PMS symptoms arise when there is an imbalance of estrogen and progesterone in the luteal phase of your cycle. This imbalance can be triggered by diet choices, stress and gut health. Research shows that the longer we ignore PMS, the greater the risk for long-term ailments. When women are in tune with their cycle, we nurture our feminine energy, and PMS symptoms become a thing of the past.
Premenstrual time should be a time of insight, clarity and direction.
Myth #2: Cramps are unavoidable.
Your uterus is your fifth vital sign. More than 50% of women report they suffer from cramps/period pain. Just because you’ve been told this is a part of having a period does not make it normal nor is it optimal. When you suffer from moderate to severe cramping, you can take ibuprofen, but it’s not the solution and overtime will wreak havoc on your gut. This is a time your body is telling you it’s not in harmony and something else is going on.
Truth: Your body produces a certain type of prostaglandin (PgE2) that can cause uterine contractions and in excess leads to cramps. Your body also produces a few other prostaglandins that are antispasmodic in nature to counteract those contractions. These are natural painkillers that allow our bodies to effectively relieve pain two-fold rather than cause cramping. The good news is that when we get to know our bodies and nourish them, we can provide the building blocks our body needs to promote the production of the good prostaglandins to ease period pains. Very mild cramping on one day is common, but ladies . . . we don’t need to suffer. Bad cramping is not normal.
Myth #3: The pill fixes your period.
Most women believe they menstruate once per month when taking the pill.
Truth: This is not a real period. This is a withdrawal bleed, not resembling a natural period that comes from a hormonal cycle. In the early days of introducing/marketing the pill, manufacturers felt women would be so disturbed by not getting a period that they wouldn’t want to use it. This is how the placebo week was created. For real menstruation to occur, you need to ovulate. And the main point of the pill is to suppress ovulation. Without ovulation, your natural hormonal cycle gets stuck in a static low-hormone phase and then a natural period doesn’t occur. A synthetic birth control pill merely suppresses your own hormone function and can mask any underlying causes of hormonal imbalances, which over time affects your overall health.
Am I against the pill? Absolutely not! But all providers need to be discussing the risks versus the benefits and long-term effects of what the pill can do: depleting certain nutrients, disrupting your microbiome, affecting mental health and post-birth control syndrome.
Myth #4: There’s nothing you can do about a bad period.
Do you focus on your wellness a bit more during cold/flu season? I know a lot of us do. It’s odd that when we have period related symptoms (heavy bleeding, cramping, etc.), we ignore that because that’s been our “normal”
Truth: The reality is we can do something about it. This thinking is a direct result of sprinkled education about our hormones and what kind of support they need. You can take action, change your hormone reality and have better periods. Remember how our uterus is our fifth vital sign? You wouldn’t let a viral infection linger unnecessarily, just like you don’t have to put up with period problems. To correct this, think cyclic lifestyle, supplements, food/exercise and self—care—you deserve nice periods, ladies.
When I talk about why every woman needs a midwife in her life, this is to help close some gaps and empower and optimize women’s health care. Holistic care addresses the myths and opens the door for progress and balance.
Anne, APRN, CNM, WHNP
Let’s transform together and give you high-quality, personalized health care. Let’s find your full circle.
I’m Anne (pronounced “Annie”), and I am the owner/founder of Full Circle Women’s Health Clinic. I believe women are a full circle, and I strive to provide evidence-based full spectrum women’s health care in a personalized and holistic approach, partnering “with woman” and empowering her to make informed choices for her care. My heart is to give back to my community by offering alternative healthcare options for women. I am a board-certified nurse midwife with master’s degrees from Frontier Nursing University in nurse midwifery and women’s health nurse practitioner.