5 Feminine Health Myths Debunked!
Today we’re going to play an eye-opening and, admittedly, infuriating game called “uncover all the misinformation you’ve been led to believe about your body that is just plain false.” Now I’m not here to tell you that your doctors or middle school health teachers were liars, but I am here to tell you that if you were led to believe one of the myths below - then you were given false information.
Misinformation is one of my biggest frustrations as a women’s hormonal health coach. We have been conditioned to believe lies about our bodies that have left us terrified of our hormones, constantly worried about unwanted pregnancies, hating our periods, and relying on pharmaceuticals rather than our own wisdom of our bodies.
That ends now. You deserve to know the truth about how your body works. You deserve to know what hormonal birth control is doing to your body other than preventing pregnancy.
You deserve to be empowered with the wisdom of your body. That is female empowerment at its finest.
5 Feminine Health Myths Debunked!
1. You still get your period while on the birth control pill.
This is my all-time favorite myth to debunk. You do not get a period while taking the hormonal birth control pill. Yes, you bleed monthly, but it is NOT a period. The bleed that happens on the pill has long-time been referred to by doctors as your “period”, but that is incredibly misleading. What doctors are not telling you is that the bleeding that occurs monthly while on the pill is referred to as a “pill bleed” or “withdrawal bleed.” That is because the bleeding that occurs monthly on while taking the pill is triggered by the withdrawal of synthetic hormones that happens during the sugar pill week of your birth control pills. Real periods are triggered by ovulation. You do not ovulate while taking the hormonal birth control pill, unless you take it incorrectly and ovulate accidentally - which would subsequently put you at risk of becoming pregnant. The fact here is that only ovulation = period.
2. You can ovulate multiple times in one month.
Nope. You ovulate once over the course of 24-48 hours approximately 10-16 days before your period shows up. This is the reason why you only get one period per month. As we mentioned above, ovulation = period. If you bleed more than once in a month, it is likely that at least one of those bleeds is not truly a period but more likely spotting, withdrawal bleeding, or an anovulatory bleed from a long previous cycle where ovulation did not occur but the uterine lining needed to release itself. On the other hand, if you skip a month or so without getting a period that is because you did not, or have not yet, ovulated since your last period.
Fun Fact: The egg that was released this month during ovulation has been in a race to maturity in your ovary for the past 3 months! That means that all your lifestyle choices from 3 months ago impacted the period you will get this month.
3. You can get pregnant every time you have sex.
Despite what your health teacher made you believe in middle school, it is scientifically impossible to get pregnant every single time you have sex. Here’s why… Every woman has a specific fertile window during which she can conceive each month. For every woman that window is 6 days long at the most. FOR EVERY WOMAN.
For pregnancy to occur, sperm needs to fertilize the egg follicle released during ovulation and the resulting embryo needs to implant itself into the uterine lining during a process called implantation. Since a woman only ovulates once per cycle for 24 hours and sperm have been studied to survive in optimal cervical fluid conditions for up to 5 days at most, then biologically a pregnancy can only occur at most 6 days out of every month.
SIX DAYS. Cycle tracking helps you learn how to know when those 6 days are in your unique cycle. They occur at different times for different women.
4. It’s normal to feel crappy the week before your period.
No. Just no. Your period is not the curse of being a woman, contrary to what society has led you to believe. Premenstrual symptoms are a sign of hormonal imbalance. They are your body’s way of telling you something isn’t quite right.
Just because millions of women feel shitty the week before their periods and report pms symptoms, does not mean it’s normal. It means it’s common. It means that hormonal imbalance is very common, but it doesn’t have to be your normal.
The week before your period really shouldn’t feel much different than any other week of your cycle. You might notice a dip in sex drive and energy, both of which are boosted by ovulation, but otherwise you should still feel vibrant, comfortable, and able to carry on with your daily acitivities. Symptoms like bloating, constipation, mood swings, anxiety, cramps, acne, breast tenderness and swelling are all signs that your hormones need some love. In fact, almost all pms symptoms are related to an imbalance in the post-ovulatory phase of your cycle when progesterone is supposed to be high, but because of our high stress, chemical-filled lifestyles estrogen tends to overpower progesterone and rob us of its calming effects.
As a woman who used to struggle with heavy periods, raging mood swings, bloating, acne, brutal cramps, and painful breast symptoms that now has the lightest, most pain-free and comfortable periods of her life I can assure you - you do not have to feel crappy the week before your period.
My favorite pms supplement - magnesium glycinate daily. It helps boost progesterone, balance out your stress response (HPA axis), and aids in moderating estrogen.
5. Hormonal birth control regulates your period.
If you’re reading this blog post then you’ve probably heard at least one doctor tell you that if you want to regulate your period, hormonal birth control is the solution. Here’s why that couldn’t be more wrong…
As I mentioned before, hormonal birth control takes away your period. The period you get on hormonal birth control is simply an anovulatory or withdrawal bleed. So how then does hormonal birth control regulate your period if it takes it away entirely and replaces it with a fake period? It doesn’t.
Hormonal birth control overrides your primal communication pathways between your brain and your sex organs to completely shut down the hormonal process that would trigger ovulation and allow you to have a period.
To truly regulate your cycle, you can’t take it away. You have to make diet, supplement, and lifestyle changes to support healthy ovulation so that you are able to ovulate more regularly, which will lead to more regular periods.
It’s also worth mentioning that if your periods are heavy and you want them to be lighter, hormonal birth control doesn’t do that either. It takes your period away and replaces it with a fake one. To lighten your real period, you must work towards balancing your hormones to result in a lighter flow. This often looks like decreasing the amount of estrogen present or boosting progesterone to balance estrogen out more efficiently.
*Note - The mirena IUD does allow some users to ovulate. In which case the above information would not apply. However for those on mirena who have only a few bleeds per year or no bleeds at all, then ovulation has likely not occured.
So if everything you were led to believe about your hormones, periods, and fertility is wrong what are you supposed to do now?
EMPOWER YOURSELF WITH CYCLE WISDOM.
Ready for some good news? I have created a course to help you do just that.
I created the Cycle Wisdom 6 week group program to help women, just like you, move past the BS and start embracing the wisdom of their bodies.
In this program, you’ll learn:
- How your menstrual cycle works, how it impacts your body, & what's causing your period problems - so that you can give your body what it needs to feel good.
- How to track your cycle to uncover hormonal imbalance, prevent pregnancy naturally without a lifetime of birth control, & conceive as soon as you're ready.
- How to harness the wisdom of your cycle to tap into your intuition and awaken the woman within who knows your deepest needs, boldest desires, & wildest dreams.
If you’re ready to break free from the deception, step into your full feminine power, and have better periods, an effective natural birth control option, and the ability to get pregnant on your own terms when you’re ready -- then I 100% want you to be a part of this incredible group of women.
Disclaimer: Brandy Oswald is not a doctor or medical provider and does not give medical advice or provide any information concerning the diagnosis or treatment of any health condition. The information provided by Brandy Oswald and Do It Naturally is of a general nature and is intended only for educational purposes to help with your personal health improvement goals and should not be relied on as medical advice. Always consult a physician with any health concerns and prior to changing your diet, lifestyle, supplements, or prescription medicine routine. Should you choose to use the information provided by Brandy Oswald it is of your own volition and you recognize that neither Brandy nor Do It Naturally is held liable for any intended or unintended outcomes.