Featuring: Nicole Jardim tells us exactly what happens to our hormones when we're stressed, find out more about your hormone balance in our must-quiz, and Dr Lara Briden discusses the 10 most common midlife sexual function changes
It's not a coincidence when my patients say I've had SUCH a stressful few months and my periods have been horrendous/missing in action (delete as appropriate!). Most people don't realise there is a strong and direct link between our stress hormones and our sex hormones. In short, the two don't mix well!
Our bodies will ALWAYS prioritise survival over reproduction, so when we are stressed and our circulating stress hormone levels are high, guess what? Ovulation gets shut down. That's right. Chronic levels of stress signal to the body that is isn't 'safe' enough to bring a baby into the world so it won't trigger the hormonal cascade necessary for us to ovulate. This short article breaks down EXACTLY what happens to our hormones when we are up against it.
As a self-confessed hormone geek, I get to ask people about their periods all day. And let me tell you, they vary ENORMOUSLY, in terms of length of flow, heaviness of flow, pattern of flow (slow, fast, slow or otherwise) and in terms of blood quality (colour, consistency, stringiness, clot presence etc). And that is without even going into the pain side of things which is equally unique to each individual.
According to Dr Lara Briden, a normal amount of blood to lose is around 80mls, whereas some women lose up to 500mls, yep, that's right, HALF A LITRE of blood loss per period! Any wonder these women are feeling slightly less than their best!? If you're wondering where YOU sit on the heavy period spectrum, you'll find this quiz a quick and useful yardstick.
While it is a common misconception that sexual desire and activity inevitably decrease at menopause, this does not have to be true for YOU!
This interesting article by board certified Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Dr Northrup, discusses the 10 most common midlife sexual function changes AND how to keep your libido up during the perimenopause transition. The great thing about all of these suggestions is that only two of them actually cost anything (yay for free stuff you can try!) and I offer both: namely ingesting phyto-oestrogens via your diet/ herbal medicines OR getting a comprehensive hormone panel done via DUTCH test (dried urine test for comprehensive hormones) to see whats REALLY going on in terms of your unique hormonal picture. Do book in for a FREE Discovery Call via my website if you wish to discuss either of these options further in relation to your own libido and/or vaginal dryness issues