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Women's Health & Hormones

Updated: Apr 14

Painful Menstruation and Menopause Symptoms Are NOT Normal

I am 47 years old at the time of writing this and I feel amazing! I haven't experienced much in terms of perimenopause even though the average age for menopause is ~51, so I'm well within the window. Perhaps I'm genetically blessed? What's more likely, is that my body is extremely good at moving lymph, purging toxins and metabolizing hormones. These are some of the leading contributors to female cycle irregularity and reproductive issues.

In Ayurveda, there is no such thing as menopause. Meaning if we eat right for our dosha and the season, know how to manage our stress, stay hydrated and incorporate movement into our daily routine, we are far less likely to experience the common signs of menopause; symptoms like waist girth, weight gain, breast swelling & tenderness, cramps, clotting, heavier menstruation, hot flashes, migraines, irritability, etc.

Interestingly enough, before I began practicing Ayurveda, I had all of these symptoms and more. In my late 30s and early 40s, I couldn't sleep without the fan on due to night sweats and often had painful bloating, back aches and breast swelling for 1.5 to 2 weeks prior to my period. I was moody, emotional and had excessive fatigue leading up to my time of the month. I have always been regular with my cycle, but did have four miscarriages so my reproductive health has been predictably unpredictable over the course of my life. Thankfully, I've not had cysts, endometriosis, fibroids or other major issues.

Today, I notice my irritability increases ever so slightly about a day or 2 before my period starts, and sometimes I have sugar cravings, but for the most part, I don't notice any changes. I'm not doing Hormone Replacement Therapy and haven't used any form of birth control in 12+ years. All this to say that I'm choosing to age naturally and allowing my body the opportunity to gracefully move into this next phase, AND I truly feel healthy and vibrant. I leverage food, twice annual cleanses, occasionally Shatavari, an Ayurvedic herb known to support women's health, and routine as my process for staying healthy and regular. This is the way it's supposed to be!

Sadly, our society has normalized some of the a major signs of deteriorating health, and labeled them as menopause or menstrual issues.

It saddens me to hear young girls and women talk about how much they dread their moon cycle. It is natural, beautiful, uniquely feminine and one of the best indicators of our overall health.

Rather than me explaining the ins and outs, I thought you might like to hear from other experts in this field. The wonderful resources listed below offer some really simple and practical ways to manage these big changes in a woman's life with minimal 'suffering'. They also do a brilliant job of describing the challenges, the science and the all-natural ways we can help our daughters, mothers, friends, sisters and grandmothers reframe the story and beliefs they have about menstruation and menopause.

If you are struggling to regulate or have had reproductive issues, it's time to take a closer look at how lymph is moving and draining in your body, and consider some simple lifestyle changes. You'd be surprised at how quickly your body will respond when we support the liver, kidneys and gallbladder which impact the reproductive organs and monthly cycle.

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