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Female Friday

July 13, 2018
female friday

Female Friday is BACK this week, with a couple of hot links! Lately I’ve been trying new things – like golf! I can hit a ball past the 50 – and as someone who is not particularly skilled in sports, seems like a huge achievement for me!

Here’s what you should be reading

The future effects of stress during pregnancy (link)

“Children of mothers who experienced a death in the family during their pregnancy are more likely to be diagnosed with anxiety, depression, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It is one of the first studies to show the impact of in-utero stress on mental health later in life.”

While family deaths may not be able to be avoided, this study makes the case for taking care of mental health during pregnancy – especially if you hope to avoid mood disorders in children. A mother’s mental health is important during and after pregnancy, and seeking support should not be avoided. 

Reducing menstrual cramps (link)

There is value knowing what is available to you for those painful periods, but I can’t say I agree with this entire article. Here’s my take:

  • To calm inflammation, avoid inflammatory foods. If you’re eating a pint of ice cream before and during your period, know that it can lead to more inflammation (and more pain!). Investigate your food choices and your stress levels around the time your cycle begins. 

  • Birth control will not ‘fix’ your period. Birth control acts as a temporary bandage for your period problems, and once you go off it, those symptoms are likely to come back. Investigate it further. Plus, if you have debilitating cramps, it might be endometriosis

  • Stay active. Certain yoga poses have been shown to be helpful for period pain. On a personal note, I save high intensity workouts after my period is over because I do believe in rest and relaxation during bleed days. It also fits in with the yin/yang perspective as the beginning of the cycle is more yin-based. 

  • External heat on the abdominal area. Agree!

  • Talk to your gyno. Or your ND to figure out how to relieve the pain from a holistic perspective.  

Best Menstrual Cups (link)

Are any of your favourite menstrual cups on this list? I’ve only tried the DivaCup. PS. If you do use a menstrual cup, be sure to use it safely!

Experiencing a period as a trans man (link)

An illuminating read with an accompanying video, about a menstruating man. 

“In one scene, Bliss changes their pad in a men’s restroom and then has to roll it up and put it in their pocket because there aren’t trash cans inside the stalls. And in another, they walk down an aisle full of pink and purple period products, lamenting how everyone who makes and markets pads and tampons assume that only women use them.”

Endometriosis and birth control (link)

“In a 2017 study “Progestin-only pills may be a better first-line treatment for endometriosis than combined estrogen-progestin contraceptive pills” Dr. Robert Casper also praised progestin-only birth control pills as a viable option for endo women.”

I would add a caution about progestin-only birth control methods, because there have been studies linking them to depression and lowered feelings on quality of life. 

Female Friday

March 16, 2018
toronto naturopath, naturopathic doctor toronto

It’s been a minute since I last popped in to post a couple of Female Friday links! I found some good ones this week and wanted to share them. Also, the above photo is from Bite Lip Lab, where I helped create two custom shades of lipstick last week. Did you know the average woman eats about 7 pounds of lipstick in her lifetime? #NOTHANKS And while I’m not going to stop wearing a dark berry or bright pink, I will make a conscious effort in making sure my beauty products don’t contain any harmful ingredients that are going to mess with my hormones!

What you should be reading this Friday

Normalization of Period Pain

“The widespread belief — shared by the medical system and the public alike — that menstrual pain is “normal” poses a barrier to the prompt diagnosis of endometriosis even before a patient steps foot in a doctor’s office. A 2006 study of women eventually diagnosed with the disease found that one of the reasons for the diagnostic delay was that the women themselves didn’t see a reason to ask a doctor about their painful periods. They figured they were just one of those “unlucky” people who got bad cramps. And really, how would they know that their periods weren’t normal? There’s so much stigma around menstruation that many young women are left without any point of comparison.”

Are you paying attention to your pelvic floor?

“I’d never thought about my pelvic floor, like, ever. And I’d certainly never heard any friends talk about it. But according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, pelvic floor disorders affect a whopping 1 in 4 women—so many of whom go undiagnosed. And yes, that’s women of all ages, even young ones like me.

Childbirth injuries are a big contributor, but not the only one. Other causes include things like high-impact exercise gone awry and traumatic injuries to the area, which means childfree women can certainly be affected.”

Mixing Birth Control and Antibiotics

“Drugs can induce synthesis of a particular enzyme in the liver that then decreases the plasma levels of estrogen in the women taking the pills. Estrogen is found in most birth control pills, and works in tandem with progestin to prevent pregnancy. If estrogen plasmas go down, there could be an increased risk of pregnancy. A 1999 study in the Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases also found that Rifampin is the only antibiotic reported to reduce plasma estrogen concentrations.”

If you’re on birth control and are taking antibiotics – check with your doctor to find out if there are any interactions. Moreover, if a pregnancy isn’t in the cards – try an additional form of birth control like a condom to decrease your risk of getting pregnant. 

Female Friday

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September 15, 2017
naturopathic doctor toronto

I participated in a time tracking challenge this week hosted by Laura Vanderkam. I listened to her book “I Know How She Does It” and was immediately reminded that I prefer reading books and having the hard copy in front of me. Nevertheless, it was an interesting insight to the time journals of many successful women who not only maintain a successful career but also take care of a family. One of the highlights that I jotted down was to tackle your hardest tasks in the morning, and around 4pm to assess your to do list – what small things can you get done between then and quitting time? Sure, it’s an idea that many of us know – but how many follow through? I really enjoyed the concept of working on your to do list the day before, so you’re not spending hours the next morning trying to figure out your schedule.  

What you should be reading this week: 

5 Period Myths

If you’ve been a longtime follower of my blog (& other social profiles), you know that there are certain things we learned as girls that shaped how we see our period today. Painful periods? Common, but NOT normal. Check out the article to learn 4 more myths and then book an appointment with your ND to fix your period. Yes, this is possible. 

What you learn when you have endometriosis

Before you fall down the Buzzfeed rabbit hole, check out some of the common symptoms/experiences you face if you are a woman living with endometriosis? Can you relate to any of these?

Do Household Products Impact Your Fertility?

Organophosphate flame retardants (PRFs) can decrease fertility by interfering with your thyroid and sex hormones. There’s also some research suggesting that PRFs can lower sperm count, says Eric Levens, M.D., a physician at Shady Grove Fertility, which serves the Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and Baltimore metro areas. “The problem is that they are ubiquitous—and as a result difficult to avoid,” he says.”

Bad news: PRFs are everywhere, do what you can to avoid them, and for extra support make sure all your detoxification organs are working properly. (I can help with that!)

Hysterectomies for Endometriosis

It’s true that there isn’t a cure for endometriosis, but this can be an extreme treatment for women – especially if it’s posed as their only option. Because we don’t know the root cause of why endometriosis occurs, Naturopathic Doctors work to minimize and alleviate pain through various treatments like diet, botanicals and acupuncture. 

Forming Better Habits

By now, you know that I love to read. Check out my latest review of the book ‘Better than Before‘ by Gretchen Rubin. I share my favourite highlights and these are things that you are able to implement right away! Do you have any tips when it comes to forming habits? Share them with me!