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Empowering Women With Guest Lara Briden PERIODS 101 What can go 'wrong' with your periods? Plenty, unfortunately. Naturopath Lara Briden shows you how to solve common problems. What is happening with your period? Does it come every month? Does it come at all? Is it heavy or painful? Whatever your period is like, it’s time to make it better. What should your period be like? Your period should arrive every 21 to 35 days, or up to 45 days if you’re a teenager. It should arrive without premenstrual symptoms, and without pain and last anywhere from two to seven days of bleeding. Over those days, you should lose a total of 50 mL (or about three tablespoons) of menstrual fluid; more than 80 mL is excessive. Of course, you’ve probably never measured the actual volume of your menstrual flow. You can estimate it by counting the number of menstrual products: one regular pad or tampon holds 5 mL or about 1 teaspoon, so 80 mL equates to about 16 filled tampons over all the days of your bleed. Learn to know your cycle To determine the length of your cycle, start counting from your first day of heavy bleeding your heaviest flow. Call this “Day 1”. Do not count the days of light spotting that come before your heavy day. Your spotting days are not part of this cycle, but rather the final days of your previous cycle. Irregular periods Your period is irregular if it comes more often than every 21 days or less often than every 35 days — or if it does not come at all. An irregular period can be due to several different things including a medical condition, so please check with your doctor for a diagnosis. Based on their assessment, they may diagnose you with one of the two most common reasons for irregular periods: polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or hypothalamic amenorrhea. 36

Issue #7 | The Inspired Guide | January 1st 2020

PCOS is the state of having irregular periods because of elevated androgens (male hormones) and possibly insulin resistance. It also often presents with the symptoms of acne and facial hair. Hypothalamic amenorrhea (HA) is the loss of periods due to undereating, either undereating generally or undereating carbs. In some ways, the PCOS and hypothalamic amenorrhea are quite different — almost opposite. PCOS can be driven by too much sugar, and hypothalamic amenorrhea is caused by too little food or carbohydrates. In other ways, the two conditions are similar enough that your doctor might mistakenly say you have PCOS when you really have hypothalamic amenorrhea. For example, take care that your PCOS diagnosis was not based on an ultrasound. Polycystic ovaries can occur with PCOS, yes, but they also occur with hypothalamic amenorrhea. One study concluded that relying on ultrasound for diagnosis can result in hypothalamic amenorrhea being misdiagnosed as PCOS. The treatment for PCOS is to reverse the underlying problem with insulin by reducing sugar in your diet and taking magnesium. The treatment for hypothalamic amenorrhea is to eat more. Heavy periods Your period is heavy if you lose more than 80 mL of menstrual fluid (16 fully soaked tampons), or if your period lasts for longer than seven days. A heavy period can be caused by medical problems such as fibroids (benign growths of the uterine muscle), endometriosis (a painful condition in which tissue similar to uterine lining grows in the pelvis), or adenomyosis (a condition similar to endometriosis in which tissue similar to uterine lining grows in the uterine muscle), so please check with your doctor. Once she has ruled out other causes, your doctor may conclude that your heavy periods are “hormonal,” which means they’re caused by “unopposed oestrogen” or cycles in which you did not ovulate

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The Inspired Guide - Issue #7  

Read Issue #7 of The Inspired Guide - FREE Conscious Living and Holistic Wellbeing eMagazine! Filled with inspiring and informative article...

The Inspired Guide - Issue #7  

Read Issue #7 of The Inspired Guide - FREE Conscious Living and Holistic Wellbeing eMagazine! Filled with inspiring and informative article...

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