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I had NO IDEA how hormones worked!

Hormone cycle

When I was growing up, hormones and reproduction were a mystery to me. I didn’t even know about ovulation and my mum barely told me about the birds and the bees. I had no idea there was this small window of opportunity during your monthly cycle if you wanted to get pregnant. It wasn’t until I had difficulty getting pregnant myself that I began to look into these things. This was in the pre-Facebook and Google days, so I did what women did at that time – I asked my friends and work colleagues. One lady at my work had just had a baby and she was the one who asked me, “Are you doing it on the right day?” I was like, “What?? There’s a right day?” Gee, those poor girls who got pregnant in high school, after having sex only once, must have really lucked out!

The Truth About Hormones

Hormone cycleAnyway, after this conversation I started researching ovulation and the effect it has on our hormones and our ability to get pregnant.  I learnt that because I had been on a contraceptive which meant I didn’t ovulate for nearly 15 years, my progesterone levels were low and this might have been why I was having difficulty getting pregnant. Sure, I had put on heaps of weight, felt constantly flat both in terms of energy levels and my mood, but the biggest realisation was that my libido had gone out the window. I thought this was normal for women as they got older.  I thought that a lot of things like period pain and sore breasts were normal too. Then I discovered that there was an increased risk of cysts, fibroids, reproductive cancers and even osteoporosis from being on this particular contraceptive. Why had no doctor ever told me about all this? Or if they had, why hadn’t I listened?

These revelations set me on a path of wanting other women to know about hormones and the important role they play in our bodies. It’s why I run regular Healthy Hormone workshops. I want to educate women about the everyday things which could be unbalancing their hormones.

Understanding Your Hormones (Part I)

To begin to grasp how hormones work, it’s good to have an understanding of the stages of a woman’s cycle. Now every women is as unique as a snowflake, so you may not match the cycles I describe below exactly, but I’m sure you’ll get the picture. You can think of it like the four seasons of the year –  Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. If your hormones are in balance, this is what you should expect. In Part II of this post, we’ll talk about what puts your hormones out of balance and what we can do about that.

Winter

Let’s start with the first day of your menstruation. This is the season of Winter. It’s when our hormones and our energy are at their lowest. Physically, this is a time for rest and renewal. It’s a time to look after ourselves and retreat indoors to hibernate away from the ‘cold of winter’.  Emotionally, we are reflective, withdrawn and our moods can be all over the place. This is a great time for creativity and letting go.
Essential oils to support women during this time include:

  • Clary Sage – has a nice herbal aroma that relaxes the mind and helps balance moods.
  • SclarEssence™- this is a blend that supports women’s health with the balancing properties of Fennel and Clary Sage, soothing Peppermint and calming Spanish Sage.
  • Dragon Time™is a blend of calming and soothing essential oils, which also possess balancing properties. This blend of Clary Sage, Fennel and Lavender, Marjoram, Jasmine and Blue Yarrow essential oils is recommended for both young and mature women.

Spring

The next season is Spring which is the pre-ovulation stage and in terms of a woman’s life, this is her ‘Maiden’ stage. In spring we come out from hibernation and start getting our garden ready. It’s kind of the same thing with our bodies.This is a time of cell growth as our bodies are making the lining of our uterus for the egg to be implanted in. Physically, we are energetic, focused and our hormone oestrogen has begun to increase. This is a time when we are productive and it’s a  great time for starting new projects. Emotionally, we are happy, adventurous, hopeful, wanting to go out and experience the world.
Essential oils to support women during this stage of their cycle include:

  • Progessence Phyto Plus™is a wild yam extract infused with Vitex and essential oils to help women to find the balance that nature intended.
  • EndoflexTM is a blend of Spearmint, Geranium, German Chamomile, Sage, Myrtle and Nutmeg that everyone should have in their personal collection. It stimulates vitality and is a good companion to an exercise program and a healthy diet.

Summer  – 

is the time for holiday romances and things are definitely heating up. Oestrogen has reached its peak in our bodies and progesterone is on the rise. We may be more social, playful and even flirty.  Physically, our libido is high, our skin and hair are looking good and we have more energy – the perfect ingredients for a bit of romance! We definitely enjoy lovemaking during this stage. It is Mother Nature’s way of ensuring we make babies, as it is also the time at which we are most fertile.
Emotionally, we are feeling great and ready to birth new things. We are more supportive of others and our nurturing abilities are coming through.
Essential oils to support women during this stage of the month include:

  • Progessence Phyto Plus™is a wild yam extract infused with Vitex and essential oils to help women to find balance that nature intended.
  • Sage – emits a strong spicy, uplifting aroma when diffused. It has traditionally been used for it’s clarifying properties.
  • Idaho Blue Spruce is an exclusive oil that is distilled directly from Young Living’s St. Maries farm in Idaho. This incredible oil contains high percentages of alpha-pinene and limonene, with a pleasing evergreen aroma.

Autumn  –

is Post Ovulation. We are either reaping the benefits from our holiday romance (if that’s our desire) or putting things away for the winter, awaiting another spring. Physically, progesterone has been at its highest as the corpus luteum begins to break down. This is the structure on the ovaries where the egg has been released. If progesterone levels are out of balance we can experience symptoms such as PMS, depression, miscarriage, decreased sex drive, heavy blood loss, migraines and hypoglycemia. Emotionally, during this time we begin to pull back and withdraw, wanting more alone time. We may be moody and less focused. However we can also be more creative and strategic.
Essential oils to support women during this stage of the month include:

  • Dragon Time™ is a blend of calming and soothing essential oils, which possess balancing properties. This blend contains Clary Sage, Fennel and Lavender, Marjoram, Jasmine and Blue Yarrow essential oils. It is recommended for both young and mature women and known for its balancing properties.
  • White Angelica™– containing pure Melissa and Bergamot essential oils, White Angelica promotes feelings of protection and security when diffused and can be used to guard against negative energy.

#hormonesAren’t women’s bodies amazing in the ways they change over the month? In Part II, I’ll talk about the things that cause hormonal imbalance and everyday actions we can take to bring back the balance.  If you would like to check whether your hormones may be out of balance, you can see a health care professional for a blood or saliva test. If you would like a free copy of the Hormone Balance Checklist that I use, click the link. Or if you would like to book a face to face or skype consultation with me (I’m Certified Clinical Aromatherpaist who specialises in women’s hormones) then phone 0438 189 906 or email me and I’ll be in touch to book a time.

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