Episode 25: Female Hormones, Menstrual Cycles & Fertility with Victoria Felkar (Part 1)

professionally I always thank her so much finally today we have I'm in Michigan I'm between countries I suppose I could say I am about two and a half hours from where I those witches in st. Mary's which is a very tiny little town in Ontario and then I'm actually going back to you Vancouver which is like what I'm born and raised and I only recently about a year ago in which Ontario I'm going there on July 3rd so I'll be there for a little bit it'll come back and I'll go back to Michigan yeah so I'm all over the place the ways we'll actual research yes so my degree is out of the University of British Columbia and Hoover and so that's where I've actually done all three of my degrees and I like I said I'm born and raised there so it just it was really the best school for me for my PhD so that's there but I'm able to do it remotely so I'm not the typical kind of what people think when they think of like medical researchers there in the lab I'm in I'm in archives I'm in resources I'm not talking to people it's a bit of a different process and a lot of that concerns from what my research is actually on and that it's a bit of a difficult area to research because it's clinical based so first we have to build the foundation and that's what my research does is it's building that foundation of knowledge in order to in the future possibly be more like clinical based research yeah she works in a gray area we'll see Mount help specifically I'm also Heys and when we say we're talking birth control we're talking you know everything in that scheme of things and female population mixed recycling a lot so specifically I guess tell us what the degrees are that you have done and then also yes specifically your nation now that you're all your clinical work is based around yeah so I am I've got I'm gonna nebulous I'm what you call it an interdisciplinary researchers so I kind of sit between a whole bunch of different fields and look at different perspectives around a health performance the female body in particular as it relates to sport medicine and the female athlete and the female athlete population is such a critically under research topic and unfortunately there are certain health I'm gonna say like characteristics that female athletes are women that exercise face that in contemporary medicine there's really not enough understanding or consciousness about which often means that these issues go either undiagnosed or misdiagnosed artists completely fly underneath the radar until my research does look at kind of that nebulous and I usually talk about it that I look at the female body from cellular to social so it is a big range I can talk about genes and I can talk about like mitochondria and cellular exchange but then I also look at the history but he straightens health research why do we think what we do as it relates to say administration I look at the social forces that kind of I am I guess encompass envelope women's health so often women are especially like younger women they are either seeing a male doctor so there's a bit of power struggle but also just dynamics of that maybe if you're a teenage girl you don't want to talk to your doctor about your heavy periods because they are so Sigma ties in taboo and so I look at all those different factors and everything in between and that came from I guess that perspective it's unique and it really did come from my kind of pre education so I did my undergraduates on my bachelor's degree in kinesiology in interdisciplinary research I then did my masters in kinesiology but I specifically where it's like a little world called socio-cultural historical research it has a very long long name but it it really was my way to be able to look at the body in a different way without having to go through the clinical kind of research ethics and the different paths that if I was at more of like a science research I would have to but then I'd jump back into more of that sport medicine for my doctorate and right now I am working on my doctorate it is literally titled women in steroids any more simple than that at the top the topic is so complicated that I just made it simple as I could and that does look at a whole bunch of different perspectives around the body you know athletic body ideas around menstruation reproduction and just ideas aren't even physical activity and how those have really really been shaped by the misunderstanding or just lack of understanding around female reproduction administration and how that relates to drug use and not just any type of drug i look at specifically steroids and I use the word steroid to talk about both as you mentioned and the interim like oral contraceptives as well as an aprotic and/or Zdenek steroids um I don't really like using the term like sex hormone like synthetic sex hormones because that word kind of doesn't really touch on what these drugs are it's a very it's a very kind of shallow description of hormones that do so many things in our bodies and when we use a synthetic agent that means we're also manipulating so many different things and our bodies we're not just manipulating our sex hormones and so the language that I use is very specific to try to reintroduce these topics or these ideas to to the people and it's just a different way so I talk about the use of synthetic estrogen and progesterone by female athletes since the nineteen 1930s in sport to manipulate and control reproduction for the purposes of sport performance so it's a very very very big big topic that nobody has talked about and I actually got into this work because I was one of those people I was a David I was a kid yeah I was a dancer when I was a kid and I am I was like guess I was quite good I did a lot of it I danced like part-time high school and that was my that was my jam but when I was about 13 years old 13 14 I had my first period and it was about two and a half weeks long which when you're wearing leotards Heights this is not fun at all my mom is actually she was on the first practitioners in Canada so she's quite an educated woman and I remember talking to her being like what is going on with my body like I don't and so we waited again next couple months later same thing happened and then we waited again same thing happened and so my mum took me to my GP so my general practitioner and he suggested that I go on a low dose oral contraceptive pill to regulate my period unfortunately there are so many myths and misconceptions with that notion that even as my mother that was such incredibly educated woman he didn't know at the time I didn't know at the time and so I went on birth control and I continued to dance I was incredibly active I had an eating disorder so huge amount of stress on my body and so what ultimately happened when I went off the pill when I was about 17 my body for the first little bit was it was okay I didn't have a period but I really don't have any signs of any hormones at that point time I never develop breasts I never had like any kind of facial hair characteristics that you associate with something like say polycystic ovarian syndrome I went on my way and then when I was 18 almost 19 I was in my undergrad super stressed all of a sudden my body just shut down and I ended up going through this really kind of crazy tumultuous health circumstances that were all we brought on by the fact that I didn't go through puberty properly because I was on both a contraceptive agent at the same time I was having a huge amount of stress yeah look at my body yeah so for the next three years it was just it was a crazy experience for me because as I was going through school and learning about all the stuff I was actually kind of going in that more of that pre-med track at the time I was also going through the medical system and I was getting bounced from specialist to specialist from like internal medicine to metabolic and not more like neuroendocrinologist all the way to more like the fertility specialist – because nobody really could understand what was happening since my hormones were jumping all over the place I was diagnosed at one point with Cushing's disease which is when you have really really high cortisol and then about six months later my cortisol just like dropped off so it was this crazy experience I'm and it really upset me because as a young female I was being told constantly we don't know which I know use that word all the time but back then it was not comforting at all especially when I just wanted answers I just wanted to be able to know what to do to make myself feel better again and so long the short I ended up getting hooked up with my now mentor dr. Eric Serrano I flew from Vancouver to this little place in Ohio to see him on one of my spring breaks and after that it was really a huge learning experience for me because a lot of the things that I had learned in my my degree about women's health reproduction he was telling me like he was challenging that and I've always been a bit of a to server but it was a big kind of wake up that I was like holy crap so you're saying that everything I'm learning is not actually the way it is but then what is the way how do I learn this and that really spun y'all on my way with my degrees with my education outside of my degrees and really has kind of been that where I got you today I guess another point of this though too is I was still readily active in fitness I started training when I was 15 and so I was quite young and in the gym at that point in time just running and really not doing all that much but as I got good 11 to grade 12 in high school I started weight training back then there was no Instagram there was no fat chicks there was nothing like that I trained up like a very like local YMCA so no he would think of to be this like steroid gym so I was in the fitness industry I'm already I mean I manage my career stream quite young and that was more of like your stereotypical like bodybuilding gym but so I was seeing drug use I was he anabolic androgenic served you some performance-enhancing drug use around me and I was kind of taking inventory and note of the things that I was noticing and the conversations I was hearing um same thing with I used to read like old school muscle magazines and I would read like the drug columns from like the early nineties I got just really really interested in this because I started to see parallels with what was happening to my own body and also what was happening to my I have chooses two older sisters and one of them was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome quite young and so I was seeing that what she was going to with certain like really crazy hair growth and her hair falling out on her head that's everything and I was trying to make sense of this and back then I knew that there was some similarities to these things but I didn't know the extent until not only I went through it myself but then my research went that way and so it really is like my I guess my standpoint that I bring to this topic is the summation of all of these different things and it really was this crazy life experience that came together with my education my brain that just likes to solve puzzles and my interest to just help women and to bring knowledge to this because it's just such an under discussed area of research absolutely so let's go back a little because it really resonated with me what he was saying about my community and other signs and symptoms of things cuz I actually showed him a podcast ever that about a similar experience and I just knew that what was wrong with me was all the cortisone adrenals and every dump so what was some of that guess the big things that were the red flags being back then he knew what he just wasn't right compared to you haven't bounced around well at first so what happened was is it was it was my first semester and I had I had been pushing my body really really hard I was Bobby said just moved out I was not sleeping I was not eating enough I was still trying to train I was taking five horses trying to also like you know make friends and be social and everything else and my immune system ended up just crapping out on me I had like laryngitis bronchitis pneumonia like I had like five things at the same time I was in the hospital and I couldn't understand why that happened but during that process I gained about 30 pounds really really rapidly and it wasn't just like 30 pounds of water it was fast yeah and as somebody who had an eating disorder that was excruciating for me to go through especially because I didn't understand it it wasn't that I was eating it wasn't that I stopped you know exercising well I did when I was five days in the hospital but I still got back to it right away after and I after that weight gain things really started to rapidly unfold so I started to gain secondary hair which I'm like my family we're hairy people but this was like over and beyond what if what was normal for me personally the hair on my head started rapidly falling out and I've always had a really thick long hair so at first I was like oh you know as normal shedding and then it was like oh my gosh every time I put my fingers through my hair I'm getting clumps my voice actually dropped so I used to sound a lot more high-pitched when I was a kid and when my voice drops that was terrifying I didn't understand it and and of course because I wasn't like also training I've got really muscular really quickly like I got super jacks super strong I was dumbbell pressing 90 pound dumbbells at 19 like stupid sure um that I didn't understand I thought was really cool I'm like I'm just gonna harness happening here but I couldn't drop body fat so that thirty pounds I gained I just could not drop it from life of me and I was working with like John Meadows who he is an incredibly intelligent man and he said to me within the first couple weeks he's like there's something about your body like you need to come down to my doctor's I don't understand like what's what's happening I've never seen somebody worked so hard and and not drop I am I tried and this is like this is over a decade ago but I tried what she's now popular but like you know genic and doing keto testing and we tried like I did zero carbs for two weeks and I still could not get into ketogenesis I was peeing on my little dip sticks and my body just would not give I was never hungry I couldn't get a pump so there was definitely some major things happening I had cystic acne and still didn't have a period and I'd all would get cramps but nothing would nothing would come of that so luckily because of hooman like with my mom's world she not makes her documenting all that stuff and she got me to start journaling all of my symptoms I was feeling kind of put together timeline of things so I've been able to keep like a really really cool like health journal since then but that's really what helped dr. Serrano starts with his pieces of the puzzle together and even though I had gone to other doctors nobody nobody could put the pieces together like I was diagnosed with a an adrenal tumor at one point that I had to do a ton of like MRIs and Kat sans terrifying they also told me like at that point in time I had really low bone density and yeah so which as an exerciser I didn't understand I was like I'm a young active email but I kept breaking things and I still to this day and a lot of that does come from back I didn't obviate um try I didn't ovulate in a critical growth period of my life and that is when your bones are forming and both estrogen progesterone are absolutely vital to bone formation that's why you do see higher rates of menopause are at tired zoster process and postmenopausal women and it's because their bodies aren't producing those hormones as they once did and we need estrogen to help make our bones but we need progesterone to help preserve our bones and to keep them to keep them healthy and so there was like all these little clusters of symptoms and that I was experiencing and what it came down to is that my body like I just did not go through puberty properly and my body was trying to kick start this again and kick start again but it just couldn't get the wheels back on the track and you you compound not only like my lifestyle of having anything disorder and overtraining with the use of or an oral contraceptive the high stress I was experiencing and also some of the just I call them inner predispositions but the things that are just me so I have an older sister that has polycystic ovarian syndrome I have a my mom was she was filled with different autoimmune things so there was some type of genetic thing we thought that was going on as well and this is before the times you could just easily get genetic testing done we knew that like my dad had kind of battled with his weight and kind of not necessarily metabolic X syndrome but type 2 diabetes for his whole life and so we saw these little things within my family history too that kind of was like okay well if we put all these things together we can create this actually really clear picture of what's going on and what's happened with you and and utilize that clear picture to actually then get me back on track it took years to do so I don't think and I'm sure like you can agree with this you never get over this it's not something that you can just walk away from it's when you have some type of reproduction or any type of disease or dysfunction within their body is a game management it's not something like you can just go like okay I'm cured now all right let's get on with life it's no I have to work every single day to be able to make sure that my body is functioning optimally for me and what how my body functions optimally like what I define is the optimal is gonna be very different than other people and that's something that was really important to my ability to to just be with my health stop and to not try to just keep fixing myself or looking for the Cure and exponentially research and my sister and her her now-husband but back then it was her fiance they sat me down one day and they're like we know that you're probably taking like illicit drugs and we want to tell you about and warn you about them I'm not like this is me this is just like my body's yeah and I mean there's so many different consequences of that to like the things that I don't often talk about when I talk about my health history or even just other women going through this is that the social and emotional effects of that to this day I still I'm working through to feel that your body is you're essentially you're a trader your body is doing something that you cannot control not knowing what that is the emotional effects of not being able to wear what I wanted to wear to look how I wanted to look to feel like I wanted to feel the effects that I – of being somebody that had an eating disorder and had that bit of fog just Marcia already I mean that just causes it to go absolutely crazy so I'm was also doing with depression and anxiety and all these other things at the same time which now and I'm sure we can talk about this later I know in fact how my hormones are there is an effect of like the neuro endocrine system so your brain and your neurotransmitters have a profound effect on your reproductive cycle and health but back then I just I was like well I'm just fat and unhappy and people are people are causing calling me lazy call me said that I've been binge eat so I always haven't matter like accusatory statements as well it really shaped the way that I saw food I already had kind of a weird relationship with food because I also have a bunch of digestion issues and I've had this since like I was born but I already had kind of like a snitching relationship with food and that just caused it to like completely for about four years go go in the toilet and this was a time that I was already great branching into my work and being perceived to have my together being perceived to be like you know a climbing in person in the industry and I was like oh you guys have no and so that did take me a long time to to work doing and like I said it's something I'm still working through every single day I don't think I'm ever gonna be like quote we're covered from it and that is if I can say one thing to like women that are going through something like this and don't search for that end point that being fixed or being cured because it's not gonna happen your body's on a light switch we're not just gonna flip it on one day or flip it off one day it really is the the there is a summation of factors that got me in that place and there's the summation of factors that helped me to get where I am now and that I am like healthy relative to my own body yeah and that that was the probably the biggest thing I learned from this experience he says to not expect that I may not like the golden endpoint and don't it's you know done in it idiot what's healthy like I said for you you friend towards healthy I remember I used to get really frustrated when I was coaching clients and they would have these amazing metabolisms and that damn made 3,000 calories and get shredded and I get them on sale you get healthy prep and I go oh yeah I can try that I can unbirth girls then I'd be like quit your bitching because we got so messed up but the thing is we didn't get so messed up we wouldn't be helping as many women as we are so I see it as a place of gratitude you kind of always have to go to that whenever you're having one of your days when you're like and then I still wish I could eat more food I still wish I could you know things but yeah I really appreciate you sharing that story so don't think I've listened to a lot of podcasts that you've been on that I don't think you've really like gone really date intensive like that so I think that's really cool because I think that a lot of people don't want to just hear someone that's perfect and they're talking about these things and it's nice to hear that you're real and that you've been through it and then you understand both sides of it so thank you so much for that so appreciate it yeah let's let's get into it I guess some of the beach because now so I'm gonna start off with a little more on minstrel ovulation infertility side of things and insurance don't mean timorous tidies payday use first up we've already summarized who you are sort of ticked off that – do you know why you're doing what you're doing so it really let's keep it in – menstrual cycle so a big one so I guess really just explain to general box I had a really good consult with her yesterday which was perfect timing because she said to me my menstrual cycle is 40 days long I'm freaked out because it's not normal and I said is it for 40 days and she was like yes and I was like cool like it isn't a technical it's not ever on Cindy 28 days let's look at these variables so I guess for you could you explain more about what a normal menstrual cycle is the things that you might be looking for in terms of sites for females if there are meds for cycling issues yeah so I think like I mean that's it's a great question and it is something that with we've all just touched on it is something it's so individual to a person and that really is what their research is said as well and so just in terms on cycle length to begin with I think it's a good jumping-off point but essentially there is no easy answer to this and I'm it's it's funny because always asking like hello just like what's your one takeaway or what's the easy way and I'm like that's the thing we have to understand is this is not simple our bodies in order to in order to have a reproductive cycle that is like a healthy oscillatory cycle are going through a lot and a lot of things happen in place and so when we think about the average length it typically like you know many studies and many people believe it's 28 days or a luminaire month but that's it's not the case for everybody um and so your cycle what we considered being like a normal cycle can be anywhere from like I mean 20 18 to 23 days all the way up to 35 last days and that's what a change also throughout some these life course so typically speaking cycles gets shorter with increasing age and the normal length will actually go a little bit shorter as they are nearing perimenopause and so the answer is that there is a bit of bright like variability as well because women will have often periods within their life course or their reproductive life force where they don't have a regular period for themselves so there might be two weeks of difference throughout any period of time and so really that the answer is there it depends on the individual it depends on the woman and the only way that for you to understand this is to be able to track and pay attention to the body because what we see in a lot of the at least a lot of the I guess ok textbooks or the okay studies are the okay and talk online is that it is a misconception about menstruation that then makes you feel like you're broken cousin don't have that perfect 28-day cycle and so I think the best thing for men shredding let me to do is to track themselves and you'll know what normal is when we think about normal it's not just length either like if you're having a painful period if you're having a ton of flow if you are having you know mood disturbances or sleep disturbances or you just feel that something is off even if you have a 28 day like clockwork cycle can you still call that normal I don't think you can unfortunately though within kind of this mainstream medicine that they don't always control for things like this they don't always ask those questions I feel that for a lot of individuals – they perceive that bleed like the flow miss flow is the sign of a period but that's not a sign of a healthy period ovulation is the key to success and I think I like stand on my soapbox every opportunity again talk about this and knowing if you all eight is the best way to understand your period and so ovulation is the process of how our bodies make progesterone we make progesterone and other sites in our bodies as well but most of our progesterone production are to come from ovulating and so you can have a bleed you can have even discharge or a 28-day kind of like cycle and that you go from not waiting to bleeding but if you don't ovulate you can't say that you have a healthy period you just have blood you just have flow and so the first step I think for most women to understand their their hormones their health is to find out whether or not they ovulate another big thing too is that there's also certain kind of like check marks or periods that we can look for and so you have a kind of like I call it almost like your phase one is which is the time before you ovulate and the phase two your cycle which is the time after and so those lengths also need to be tracked because if you have say a short luteal which is the phase after that can also be signs of dysfunction if you have say you all ate every three months and you track this for a year and you see that you ovulate every three months that could be normal for you um if you don't ovulate in winter that could be normal for you but you won't know until you crack and that that can be really just something like vitamin D deficiency I'm vitamin D is critical for our hormone health and there are some women that I mean from like oh there's also like evolutionary perspectives on this that their bodies especially if there's some inner stream that greatest physicians a whole my shadow things that go on to this but if it's cold if their bodies sense danger and their bodies okay I don't I don't need this yeah and another thing too is to be able to look at like both internal and external factors so I've worked with an individual working I mean tons of individuals at this point my career but one example is a I had a person I worked with for a couple years and so she didn't obvi late anytime you're like major like either exams with school or events like Christmas because the she dress was enough to cause her body to say like hey I'm not in a good place right now I don't gonna be able to make babies because ovulation that's how we can make babies it's how we can have you know a marker of whether our bodies are fertile or not and so for me like those are some of the I guess the major signs there's a lot of abnormalities as well like I mentioned usually people so red flag goes with amenorrhea which is not having a period but there can be things like abnormal uterine bleeding so say you are bleeding a really heavy breakthrough bleed at that mid-cycle point or every time you have sex you're having you're bleeding afterwards that's not normal for what we think of as a part of the general population it could be normal for you but without you tracking you need to you need to get a better idea of this and if you still have cuz usually I say birds of a feather flock together if you have a ton of breakthrough you're gonna have us something else going on – but you have to track to be able to understand what that is typically speaking it's a sign of high estrogen and low progesterone what I call help in the acronym so high estrogen a chi and then both I'll cheat and what health means is you've got high estrogen low progesterone and usually a sign of really high information and this is typically common in athletes and athletes don't typically have and what we call an oscillatory period because their bodies are under a lot of stress there is like that I'm sure you guys get a lot of questions down there about polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS and that's one term that like I cannot stand because it is not the harbor term yeah it is it's what we call hyperandrogenism which is high levels of androgens and those androgens can happen from multiple sites within the body there's also something called primary ovarian insufficiency which means that your ovaries cannot produce what they need to to be able to create an auditory cycle and PMS or PMDD which again those aren't in my opinion to be endpoint diagnosis those are a sign that something's not going right same thing with PCOS it's a cluster of symptoms that something is not going right it is not an endpoint and so no and we have to be able to get these this almost like this report card of our menstruation and our reproductive cycle and really our how to be able to have a better understanding of what's going on and finally traditional like our mainstream medicine is starting to understand this and there are calls for women to be tracking their menstrual cycle and it doesn't need to be a complicated process but it is crucial and especially it's crucial right now because now more than any time in history women are faced with a gauntlet of reproductive disorders and it's not normal and that's the thing that I want to try to get out to people as well as that if you don't have a auditory cycle and that's a regular occurrence if you have heavy bleeding or heavy cramping and as a regular regular occurrence that's not what we consider her to be a marker of good health and therefore we have to dig deeper and find out what's going on and like what are we 2019 we've got just an epidemic of hormonal services and women's life cycles and whether this is related to the use of hormonal contraceptive environmental toxins hide stress lifestyles dietary factors I mean anything from even premature hysterectomies or oo activities there is a lot of stuff that women are facing right now and as somebody that's gone through it my heart just breaks when I start looking with women more often when I'm doing podcasting I'm hearing what other people stories when I'm digging into the research because it is scary at the rate that this is occurring and that as I guess the medicine as a whole really does not have a solid understanding of how to help women for me the first thing comes is just to track tracking is crucial tracking like I mentioned doesn't get too complicated there are there are apps I usually tell women just a new query of apps because you might get a new phone that doesn't have the same app on one phone the app can just go down you don't control that what you can control though is a date book buying yourself a thermometer and to take a look at and I can send this if you guys want me to three to post but there is a incredibly well researched clinical tool that was developed in 1990s by dr. Geralyn Cryer and it lists all the things you need to look out for enter to track to do this for more than one month to do this at least for three to six months to get an idea of what's going on and this for me is such an important thing that's not being done often enough or women are using apps that only give them half the story and they're not asking questions are out around say hair growth or external stresses or how their sleep patterns are because all of these things are going to influence their reproductive cycle another big thing too is watching for just other signs little little nuances like acne if you're starting to get acne look like clockwork at the same time each month that's a sign that your hormones are doing something if you're noticing that your hair growth is changing your hair growth you haven't shaved your legs more often track that if you're noticing that you're having gastric disturbances regularly now on their own these things just look like I call them like little like bread crumbs that you don't know what they're doing it's when you put them all together yeah and you work with somebody to help you build that build that puzzle of what's going on and even if you have a regular healthy period do this you are going to prepare yourself for so much I guess goodness in your future if you can do this because you're gonna be able to see when there are things that aren't going the way you want them to and to be able to take active measures will you almost like pre actively or preemptively rather than waiting until it's too late absolutely it's it's hard to backtrack about it emails women see me on Facebook and they like me I'm say 233 and I've had those issues my whole life and now declining now you're funny age as well in them that's also a scary thing and I'm not just scare women out of it like really like couple dweebs maybe not ovulating that might take a few weeks and then you're thinking about them completely and it's it's scary and also very sad because again what you said in Korea's where we're most stressful we were blown got you know we think about having kids later it's like all of those things come on he's just setting up such a scary environment for women so I think it's yeah it's like you said tracking and I'm one thing and just getting because that was the next one was gonna go into years a lot of clients that actually don't get any form of a blank so I've had a fair few clients that that's definitely a struggle for them so that was my next question so you lost your mistress I collect the period of time from say ADA LeBoeuf at over diving I've got some clients that haven't even done those seats and I just haven't had a sign but usually it's from coming off the peel that's probably the other things and you know it's still not occurring a few years on and I've got that with a couple of clients right now and again they don't sort of have any of those signs and symptoms they are accumulate people that not over dieting I've fixed all those other variables I can look at still nothing is occurring so I've got the diary and yeah is something that I love me to touch on like besides all those things is that other things that still could be occurring even if you're doing everything right yeah so one of the things that I usually usually suggest for women to do is to create a timeline of their of their health essentially it's like a health index in to really start looking at things in a bigger picture even things before you're born about your mom's pregnancy with you and other types of family histories because we can build a much better complete health picture when we do something like that for example if somebody has ongoing let's say thyroid issues the thyroid is so connected with our reproductive health and so if the thyroid is not being managed properly that's going to affect our ability to have an auditory cycle something like anemia is also going to something like blood pressure issues is also going to gastric issues depression there are lots of other factors that can affect our ability to have a auditory cycle and so we do need to be able to map these things and so things such as I mean if you're if your mom had say gestational diabetes we now know that that affects and an infant and a child's ability to have a what we consider to be like a healthy reproductive future potentially especially when there's other factors going on if there's something like the late puberty mood disorders irregular bleeding skin disturbances obesity or overweight if you've had any type of pain or pelvic region that kind of trauma such as a sister and three OSIS if you've got any immune type disorders as well and you might not have them but somebody in your family like in that family might and so we're still learning about the genetic underlying variables here and so you might be a carrier of a gene that isn't quite switched on yet but is just about to get there because of other factors going on something like micronutrient deficiencies is another really big thing that I see a lot of and that's things that I'm such as a B vitamins and that somebody is incredibly deficient in their B vitamins and that their body is not going to be at a healthy kind of like a homeostasis to be able to have an auditory cycle or even just a cycle itself so there are s we have to think about those conditions and those factors affecting individuals and there are a lot of them like app I mean taking aspirin every day can throw off your cycle being on antibiotics can there are so many different things and we still don't understand them all and so I think as a being like a conscious individual is to be able to to map and to see what's going on first before we rushing to go to the doctors and be like ah help help help because often and this doesn't happen everywhere but one of the things I've seen as a continuing kind of occurrence within my career is the fact that more often than not when a female says that she has an irregular cycle or it does not have a cycle a physician is very likely to put her on contraceptive pill which is the complete last thing that they should be doing because that's now going to make you not ovulate and not have a normal natural cycle and the problem is is that when you go off that pill those underlying factors that you were you were dealing with are still there it doesn't just make a go away and so I'm seeing this more and more within my practice as I see women that like myself and like you it had some type of habla Tori or menstrual dysfunction as a teenager they went and got put on and contraceptive age and now they're trying to go off it in their late 38 20s early 30s and they're going like whoa I still haven't figured out what was that thing that was going on first and so my comment is I was if you didn't have a normal cycle first what makes you think you're to have one now like there is nothing from from a standpoint of it's like what we know that human body that would make that actually come true and if it does honestly kudos good job you are an anomaly there are not many people like you yeah and so things that like when we think about just everything almost like a continuum of ovulation and not all these four periods are unknowable and auditory periods we can think of specific events that we need to go from say having a non auditory period to an auditory period and things that actually do help our behavioral and psychological therapy because if there is something going on that is affecting your ability to have a I guess a healthy neurobiology that will also affect like I said our hormones because it's the neuro endocrine systems um lifestyle factors like sleep abnormal underlying health conditions also evaluate your own specific personal needs and conditions if you're somebody that you feel that you let's just say need a little bit more food every single day to just feel good and feel healthy by doing a caloric restriction that's gonna cause your body then to do that it's starving if it thinks it's starving you're probably not gonna have enough story period just from how our hormones work with just our general biology other things that can affect us too being non auditory are things like genetics stress and recurring abnormalities metabolic conditions nutrient imbalances drugs chronic and autoimmune disorders um pregnancy menopause breastfeeding there are so many things and so if you understand the things that make it so we can populate the things that make so we don't ovulate that also I think will give an individual a better way to do like a health inventory and to assess what's going on um yeah so I mean there's some of them and there are so many other nuances and other things here that I mean I could talk about this for day using days because I mean if you're somebody that lives by farming culture agriculture and in the place that you live there so using and spraying pesticides and herbicides your body is going to get those and your body's going to get them guess what it's the sense of that's a toxin kind of chemical and you are going to rock different processes in your body like reproduction those are things that me in medicine are still trying to understand I mean they're things that I know I crap like I went through this last year I moved to small town Ontario like I mentioned at the beginning and when the farmer started to Springfield I've never been through that before and I was getting like the craziest acne low sand and weird-ass dreams and all that these things are happening and intelligent step back and I was like okay let's think about this bigger scale here what else is going on what else could be influencing and that's even me somebody has been in this field for over a decade so yeah so that is like I think that kind of maybe answered some of your passions there about what are some things to look out for because realistically we could get into science like we I could start to talk about and your hypothalamus pituitary adrenal signals your hypothalamus pituitary ovarian signals and how need the different processes that are going to follow feedback weeks and everything else but I feel personally the other things the other factors are what doesn't get talked about yeah and those are the factors that are when we when we take a step back and like I mention and we look at it we go like yeah that makes sense if you're overeating if you're under eating your body's not going to be at homeostasis if you're overweight if you're underweight your body's not going to be on stasis if you have something like systemic chronic stress your body's not going to be at homeostasis it's really hmm it really is the sum of all factors and it's not just things like endocrine disrupting chemicals and I use that term to talk about things like birth control like like other types of steroids like other types of drugs like environmental factors these these chemical things that interrupt our endocrine system they can come from multiple different factors and it really we need to open our just a little bit more to really help fix that maybe will you prove these things but until we fix that what's the point in looking at your blood test so you're these so that like absolutely absolutely and there's some really interesting research into other fields so the way that I look at this is we can almost break it down into like a staircase so you have factors that are like the first level or things that are happening internal to your body then we can look at the things that are directly external to your body like say sleeping or dietary factors or exercise then we can look at it go up another step and it's the relationships and the networks we know from psychology that something like social bonding or a healthy relationship helps actually shift and change our hormones and it does that because we're also having and neurology we're having these um these other things that are happening we're getting all our dopamine spikes because we're happy you can go love that if that's happening and if you're in a really toxic environment that is going to affect your hormones we can go up another step and we can look at the community in the environment are you in a position that you feel that you're contributing we know that something like that also is really positive for our psychological and emotional health and in turn that's going to affect our ability to ovulate um we can look at like I said the environment where are you living are you living somewhere that you have access to what you need to thrive and then we also look at like the historic historical or the history of the social the socio and the cultural factors as well and these are the bigger picture things like I mentioned if you're an individual and you don't feel like you're getting the let's see the education or the knowledge you can't just blame your doctor you have to take a step back and realize your doctor also doesn't know and that's a bigger picture hand thing happening this is a bigger picture of Medicine we know that women are typically speaking do you have more health-related issues that are not properly studied because of just the way that medicine has been created and evolved over time we know that certain things like heart conditions go completely under diagnosed in women we know that there are so many women out there that actually don't get diagnosed at all with certain things because of the fact that they are a woman . and so i can't stress that enough that as an individual don't just get fresher and you're with your body or don't just seek help i'm safer for lifestyle factors think about the big picture here if i like if you mean i guess to minimize or to just simplify things the biggest things that i see in my work but influence somebody's health hormonal health or ability to have a reproductive healthy reproductive cycle our hormonal birth control use western diet and lifestyle factors medications and different disrupting chemicals stress and maladaptive coping gut health and then general lifestyle factors like not sleeping those are the things that i see most regularly with my work and those are the things that actually we can really start to hammer in and and manipulate relatively quickly some of them a little bit harder but something like getting your gut back on track it doesn't seem like a big thing but it's a big thing because we know the estrogen has a huge role in our gut we know that progesterone is our control on our guy and so well i can talk about the things like I mentioned the various things that we can look at to see whether or not we relating conversely we can also see those things and be like well that's what my hormones are affecting my hormones are affecting my ability to sleep so I'm not creating proper hormones that's a good effect my ability to sleep digestion I'm not creating proper hormones that sort of affect that ability and so these things have a relationship and so I personally believe if we can think about not just honing in and going on HR gene therapies or things like that right away if we can look at the other end it is a lot more of a sustainable approach and it's a lot safer of an approach create an environment for your body to thrive create an environment for your reproductive health to thrive and it will but you can't just rush right in because that's fan dating it if you just rush in and you start taking say like a micronized progesterone you still might not ovulate and because you have not figured out why you're not ovulating that's gonna cause more distress and more harm potentially in the long term which is gonna relate to a lot more health issues later on in life that's a big thing that I'm seeing now too is that the more than an individual kind of um I hope I can swear on this program okay can the more tender Isreal with their hormones in their teens their 20s and even their 30s the more that they're going to face a very kind of tumultuous perimenopausal period so when we talk about like menopause and the hot flashes and mood swings usually those are signs that that person has not had a healthy reproductive history over time it's not just a sign that there's something wrong right now this is a sign that no they've been on birth control off and on they've had things like fertility issues they've not taken care of their lifestyle habits there are they're carrying more adipose than what their body is comfortable with they have digest there's a lot of other factors going on with those things and slapping you know something like HRT or hormone replacement therapy onto those is not going to help with the underlying issues from this whole section is like hmm you can't mandate around what the actual cause is the unlike Riggins and I think that so many women that come to me and she'll come to you don't like we said don't want to admit maybe what they're actually doing and the impact that that's having on things and I always cited women like you want to always treat your buddy Electra in an environment to have a child if you can already have a child think about it that way like if you're doing stuff that's stressing yeah does your body want to have baby absolutely not no not beating it off nutrients because it does produce a child so thinking about how am i trading at an Irish again it's actually getting myself in a state where I could actually hold a pregnancy even though you know you may not once here right now fudge oh yeah exactly a pretty house living I think you know it's that's probably a big one is especially the fitness industry because there you ever see that so we were told about clients people coming out of choice fearing gaining weight and fearing all these things I wanting to have a family and you're kind of trying to hammer that home of like what do you think being that Lane is the environment to do that and it's almost like a side reality so we would like we're not supposed to be that way most of us like some genetic breaks out there but really like you have to have 45 to my baby so yeah and if you and if we think about this is that it's not like it's not a binary this isn't like a black or a white kind of thing is that you live either have body fat or you don't I talk about this as if it's a it's an L curve I got so excited there I stuttered but with a bell curve it's like an upside down almost like you with yandel bars and that health is not found at either end health is found in the middle and it's not just this one solid line it's actually a continuum there are a degree of kind of areas that can be considered healthy and within your within your life course this is sort of shift back and forth it's not gonna stay constant because we don't live in a world that's constant our bodies are not constant we thrive you know talked about this before another shows but the the circadian rhythm of the 24-hour cycle the moon cycle the tides our whole world is on cycles and our body functions and thrive isn't that way too if we think about something as simple as how we sleep well the the factors that allow us to sleep is a cyclical process you have melatonin you have serotonin you have cortisol changes you have other types of hormonal changes as well and these happen in a patterns have been in a cycle and so I think it's really important for women to kind of have acceptance within that and to realize that they just need to start listening in order for our bodies to function it is or in order for ourselves Sabah an auditory period in a hormonal Symphony hormones are a symphony they play a rhythm for every single object or cycle that we have and for a reproductive life and so we have these little almost like this orcas just playing in order for us to have a cycle but we also have this orchestra playing in the background which is our reproductive lifespan and this starts before we're born and as goes until we are dead it is a cycle of life and that when our hormonal rhythm gets throwing off our symphonies not playing the way that it should and so not having a period for a little bit might be okay for you I can't say without a doubt because I don't like to generalize but it is not something that should be done in the long term having an on off the tree cycle is not something should be done for long term because these hormonal signals they act as a symphony they act as a as a musical Orchestra playing together to create so many different things within our bodies things that we don't even quite understand yet and when there's dysfunction in this it leads to dysfunction throughout our entire bodies just because you don't have an auditory cycle you can't think that that's not going to affect other parts of your body it will it absolutely will so if one little thing in your symphony is out so if you have saved I don't know a drum player and the drum and your symphony is not staying to the right tune it can affect the quality of how the whole thing sounds so it can affect not only how your reproduction cycle is but it can affect how your thyroid is functioning it can affect how your digestion is functioning it can affect how your moods are all the instruments need to be in tune in order for our bodies to have a sense of well-being and when they're out of tune there are consequences I mean when we think about the the impact of reproductive hormones on our bodies they are so powerful they help us create strong bones they help us create strong muscles they help us have a healthy metabolic rate insulin sensitivity a libido fertility ovulation I mean like I said a healthy menopausal transition a resilient mood got help it's not just about our sex hormones it's not just about our metabolism there are many things going on here and the things that can affect or throw off this say this Orchestra from playing on the symphony complaining are things like I mentioned you know nutritional inadequacies or stress toxicity some type of malfunction within a different system of our body mineral deficiencies diet lifestyle asleep and so these are all things that we as individuals we can control those things we can manipulate those things we can't just go inside our bodies and be like hey you ovary turn on so we have to take that step back and look at the things that we can influence and control and to do those over our life course it's not enough like you said just to go like oh crap I want to make a baby now let's just turn on this like super healthy lifestyle um because our bodies are so much smarter than we are we know so little about the human body it's like the solar system do we know a little bit yeah we know a little bit a lot a lot and what we do know is constantly changing the more education and the more insight that we we we gain and things were also kind of be the opposite approach I usually this example here of like it once was thought that you know women's menstrual blood was toxic it was like it could kill finally the experiment that they did and that it's toxic and it's poisonous and it's like we have Janet's in scientific textbooks we now in 2019 hopefully realize that that is not true that there is this false sense of understanding there that we've changed our ideas and I think that within our lifetime we're gonna continue to shift and change our ideas around women's health and reproduction and we're gonna really start to understand that there are things that we once thought were okay that we no longer think are okay um and that could be things like the use of contraceptive agents especially in young women and that that is maybe not as okay as we once thought it was so what do you think scenarios coming back to that when a child does I should say child you know you just does start to get her period would you look at that staircase system and making sure you're ticking all the boxes rather than taking someone to the doctor and saying what can we do about this because obviously we work with our parents actually gonna be prepared ourselves absolutely I mean that's a great question because I think one of the things so going back to time manapause example with in pop culture even in with a medical culture people believe that like this perimenopause time is supposed to be like you know full of like hot flashes and mood disturbances and all this other and people have also gained this perspective that puberty should be the same thing and well these two periods of our life cycle are very similar very similar they should not be full of disturbances that negatively affect your life and that is a big thing is that even your menstrual cycle you should know that you're having a period it should not just come like oh look I'm ovulating yeah there should be subtle signs and it shouldn't like obviously if you're tracking your where are these things but it shouldn't be there like debilitating crippling hanging it should not be these mood disturbances that are causing it like you know break down relationships every time you have them these are a sign like I said that something else is happening we have to check out narrative and figure out so when it comes to young young individuals that are going through puberty there are certain things as parents that we can do to ensure that it might be like an we we can't say without a doubt but it should not be as crazy and tumultuous as it is for example we now know that like my period the reason why I was so irregular was a host of factors I had a ton of nutrient deficiencies I had a massive gut issues that were kind of being managed but not really I was under a lot of physical stress I was under a lot of psychological stress as well because I did that I mean I already had my eating disorder at this point in time and there's also some genetic predisposing factors going on here and so the these factors all work together and like when we still I like we did talk about this a lot because she felt a lot of guilt for taking me straight to the doctor and you know getting me on birth control but realistically she still waited three months and she still did a lot more than some parents out there do and so I think things like making sure our kids are having a healthy environment with their with their bodies both inside and out helping with nutrient deficiencies making sure that they're getting the food and substance that they need making sure they've got positive relationships all of those different things we can make sure that somebody doesn't have this crazy irregular cycle because we don't want that mek like so if you think about a symphony there's this undertone beat it's like the metronome that goes like tick tick tick and it's what everybody stays to to create that tone we don't want that in tone to get negatively throwing off when they're developing it so it's like everybody is just starting to learn how to play together and that is what's happening with in puberty and all of a sudden you throw this curveball and then say I take away the drummer and I this example like I when I first realized this I was actually with my mummy years ago I mean we talked about the fact that it was literally like I took away the drummer because I shut down my hypothalamus pituitary ovarian access and a critical growth period of my life then you know my orchestras playing and I'm 17 years old now and my drummer now gets put back in and they're going like what the hell I don't know how to play anymore I can't keep up with these people they're all do they're all good you know they're playing this song I don't even know how to hold my drumsticks yeah and that was really what my my reproductive system was doing it was going like I don't know how to work anymore and you're not giving me what I need to learn how to do this again you're still restricting my food you're still having high degrees of stress and so it's foolish to think that we it's foolish to think that in 2019 our bodies are just gonna know what to do personally I think with the amount of environmental toxins what the issues are on food you know even with something like social media causing really negative environments for our bodies for in terms of social-emotional things we have to be able to give them the tools to succeed and this doesn't matter if it's at you know forty five years old thirty year fifteen years old ten years old even younger we have to as individuals give our bodies what they need to be able to play that Orchestra throughout her life course without dropping a beat the exact same thing with my experience through the doctor was I was bulimic at the time athlete so same thing as usually I got my career really like I was 16 because I wasn't exercising genetically Kim December 12 so that's why she was a bit shocked and then she literally showed me on the kill because I had a regular cycle so don't he'd get laid every three months you know and it was yeah all those signs are saying that you've got a you know pretty weak online production if anything I wasn't getting any signs bacteria to get a life bleed and that would be in an on with my day and hey I was having acne because I had an eating disorder because I was strikes tightness just don't even look at any of that and I remember that conversation the doctor being so just like you go off you go you peel like run along which is just we crazy like so what I want right now is birth control other forms of birth control the Implanon is really popular in Australia I mean big one and women don't seem to be as scared about that for some reason it's the pill they seem to think that it's better quote-unquote which kind of yes me a little bit but I guess talking about the different methods so the main ones are probably here the input on the one that you get the shot in your arm which lost three mother deep oh yeah yeah and then also the pure so mainly I guess explaining the differences between that's right and then the repercussions of them I guess yeah so I think one of the first places to start with this is to understand why women are going on any of those men sure like covering up or trying to treat big air quotes menstrual dysfunction is not the same as reproductive planning and I am all for personal choice I'm not going to take that choice away from women I think that we need to talk about the potential side effects and effects that will happen from these things in order to actually be educated because if not it's not choice you are you do not have a choice for what you're taking you're literally just following on blindly what as we know it has what led to tons of different health issues over time for women so first our contraceptives have been defined as a lifestyle drug within the last gosh since they were actually really invented and so they are used for things like cosmetic reasons acne they're used for things like convenience my period is like you know I don't like having it so I'm just gonna make it go away those are scary for me those are not the same as I am wanting to have a safe sex because I am say having more than one partner now is that the only way for reproductive planning no there are other options for reproductive planning but knowing the motives as to why somebody is on or wants to go on will be able to help navigate which are say that I hate the word better but better or worse for somebody and so there are both hormonal contraceptives and then there are non hormonal contraceptives the word contraceptive though it's funny because in my research I had to try to define what I was talking about and my boss is like well why can't you just call it birth control I'm like because people don't take them just to control birth that would actually be something that in my world is not is not actually ethical because I'm misleading with my language and so there are many methods so you've mentioned some I mean so there's the IUD and the IUD enter unit uterine device there's two main types of this there's a copper one and then there is also what we call like a hormonal IUD and these actually have a localized hormonal occurrence that even the word local is wrong because hormones just don't happen in our older ovaries or uterus or you know our reproductive kind of pelvic region and then that's it what happens there is going to affect the rest of our bodies maybe not in terms of actually putting hormones and other types of receptors but it will have a larger consequence on our bodies there are things like implants so there's a hormonal ring a vaginal ring there's also something called a nuvaring so the NuvaRing it's got both estrogen and progesterone in it there's a patch there's an injection and then within our birth control itself so within the pill so I use the word birth control to talk about the way that it is within culture for just sake of ease but these are like our pills and there are many types of pills so there is a progesterone only pill and then there's a combined pill that has both estrogen and progesterone in it and if you notice if you listen carefully I'm not saying progesterone I'm saying for gesturing and the reason for that is that the synthetic form of progesterone is not molecularly similar to the to the degree that we can actually call it the same thing that should be a red flag right away or no matter what type of hormonal contraceptive you're on that you're not putting something into your body that's going to cause the same effects as your normal natural hormonal production estrogen is the same thing it's actually called ethyl estrogen is the main one there's a couple other types of estrogen and there are different types of progesterone within different forms of contraceptive agents so literally like I mean I remember I like a lecture and in schools and I remember one of the times in one of the lectures I was giving for undergraduates they're like well we want to learn all about contraceptives on Michael what tight because if I really get into the stuff I can talk about you know IUDs that some are combined hormones some are estrogen some are progesterone and then there are different types of progesterone within each different type but to keep it easy for our purposes for pills there's a couple different types there are combined pills so estrogen progesterone and then within those those break down into what we call monophasic which means that you have a steady dose of hormones throughout and those are both with estrogen and progesterone you have biphasic which you have usually two different sets of pills with two different sets of strengths you have tri basic which is three and then there are is actually quad basic now and also what we call extended cycle pills which means that you are taking a continuous dose hormones or cyclical dose of hormones and only having a bleed one or four times a year now the thing about the bleed that is absolutely important for individuals who are on hormonal birth control to understand it is not a period it is breakthrough bleeding it is withdrawal your body is just sensing that it's not getting the same hormones anymore so it's going hey I got a shed I got to get my lining taken care of and but you don't ovulate the whole point of being on some type of contraceptive agent is to stop ovulation from occurring because if you stop all asian you are now I mean you're castrating yourself you're infertile exactly in terms of progesterone pills there's what you call the mini pill which is a continuous dose of progesterone without estrogen and then you get there's no inactive pills which means you take it for four weeks usually and it's just the steady dose and then there's also the pill there's also the shot which is also a progesterone based and then there's also Plan B which is which is for what they call emergency contraceptive which in my opinion is probably one of the most critically under research topics within medicine and that is the use of a high high dose progesterone that will cause your body to essentially have a mini miscarriage to be able to eradicate any chance of pregnancy after you have sex um and these are at least in Canada I believe in most areas in the US as well and within parts of Europe you can get these without a prescription you can just get them at the drugstore um so we don't know the types of side effects that women something like that when they're doing it ongoing yeah exactly yeah exactly and so yeah and so with these I'm even with something like let's say like a what they call a combined contraceptive agent these are often used to treat different types of hormonal and reproductive dysfunctions and so there are other agents that also get added into these and so one of the the drugs that's commonly used for big air quotes again polycystic ovarian syndrome it's an anti-androgen and so it is a type of steroidal agent that is going to not like just essentially stop the body from producing or from having as many angiogenic effects and so these are sometimes like a bastardized form of pedestrian but there are different compounds that are being used in this as well and so there are just a gauntlet of different types of agents that women might go on I mean then there are things like condoms your baby right tracking your basal temperature tracking your basal temperature is one of the most easy and often accurate ways to be able to control for your fertility changes now it's not like it's an absolute method I'm not going to say that for any of these though all of these have potential for Reproductive purposes margins of error and the ones that are reported actually are misreported so that's another thing for people to understand if they go like well I'm gonna take this because it's a 99% you know way that i can stop have being i stopped you know fertility from happening those research findings we now know are completely flawed and so i think in terms of agents themselves like if i'm not gonna go into things like hormonal planning or the calendar method or condoms or there's something this what we call like a spermicide which is like foam there's female diaphragm i'm there's a female condom there are lots of non hormonal types but if we're just just more to like a hormonal type the copper IUD well it does come with some pretty big side-effects it is non hormonal and so you can manipulate your hormones around it to be able to be sure that you're still having an auditory period when you're on a hormonal are sorry a copper IUD research has talked about how some women will still have an auditory cycle that again it's totally a misunderstanding it's not likely a woman is going to have a continuous obvious or recycle because there is something implanted within her body that is essentially stopping her from having any type of fertility and so the things that kind of can can come with this is non auditory cycles which I have talked to colleagues with of mine before about utilizing something like a cyclical progesterone so natural progesterone to help women to make sure that they are ovulating at least a couple times a year and then also for controlling for the other effects of that copper IUD nutrient deficiencies are a big one you've got copper inside your body if you have copper inside your body you are going to throw off your your body's environment and so like copper and zinc work together copper magnesium work together within our bodies and so it's for having an abundance of copper all of a sudden we need to control for those other things zinc is crucial for our thyroid and so if we're having a ton of copper we're not getting enough zinc that's not only going to affect our like our sex hormone production but it's also would affect something like our thyroid as well and then if your thyroid becomes dysfunctional now you're really not gonna have an auditory cycle inflammation also gets really I mean that's how the IUD works so you need to be able to control for something like inflammation and there are many different methods somebody can do to do that but it's just something to be careful and to watch out for because the misunderstanding is is that the copper IUD is a non hormonal it still has hormonal effects on the body it might not be administering hormones but it is still going to affect your body's ability to make create metabolize hormones and so that is one that is if somebody is doing this for say reproductive planning that they can use they would still need to track their menstrual cycle they would still need to track if they're ovulating and they still do need to obviate and so if they are not ovulating there are different measures that they can do and to help themselves to ovulate absolutely and that's often to because of placement because of other types of inflammatory issues and everybody's body is there to be different I mean I can talk to experience I had a copper IUD and at one point like it was I mean it was it was painful my body rejected it almost right away because I also had a biome like I had a vaginal biome I had this environment that was already under a lot of inflammation because of my hormonal imbalances and so somebody might have more issues with how they respond to it because of something else going on or it could just be their environment in their biome I would opt for non hormonal to be honest and I would use more than one method I think tracking is going to be your kind of gold star and then if you're using that in conjunction with another method yeah condom a spermicide or even you know more than one method pulling out an abstinence I think are two things that we can't rely on but so many women do that big thing too is just remembering the reasons why women go on birth control – and that just there's a difference between reproductive planning and you know covering up just because they say oh it doesn't really have a thing well if it's something you're getting pregnant something's going on so like just and there and there are ways to utilize a hormonal contraceptive agents say like a combined birth control pill in a manner that will potentially and these are big kind of words I'm using like potentially and will and could and should help you work around the effects of it is this going to work for everybody no our women taught to do this when they go off on it no is there a lot of awareness about it no and I mean this relates hand and hand with peds as well and and with androgen use and that is the issue of any drug when you take a drug you weren't eliciting a factor to happy in your body that is going to cause a cascade of other things to happen one of the things very simple is that when you take the most I'm you know most drugs I can say this actually to there is going to be some type of nutrient interaction that occurs which means that you're going to have certain nutrients that your body needs to function that might either come in excess or not actually come at all or they get leached meaning that you might be eating them or taking pills but that drug needs them to be able to metabolize so they're gonna be at a lower level that is something that is so simple for somebody to to help in to work with to potentially help them work around the negative effects if somebody is taking say birth control or an anabolic androgenic steroid if they're taking a steroid they are going to be more likely to do something like leech B vitamins which are you need B vitamins to be able to metabolize these hormones and other hormones within your body you're gonna be more likely to leech zinc so by kind of covering up and working with these nutrient deficiencies you really can help you in many ways keep your body in a healthier environment even when you're on a certain drug and it is like in my professional opinion something that is completely ignored by most dominant kind of medical understanding and this doesn't just happen from steroids this happens from something like I mean aspirin or or an anti-inflammatory or something like a blood pressure medication antidepressant exactly and so by working with these nutrient deficiencies and being specific not just throwing at a wall and expecting it to stick because if you too much of something it's also not gonna create a healthy environment but birth control steroids whether we're talking about like I said birth control or our androgens B vitamins vitamin C vitamin E magnesium selenium zinc these are all things that are going to be just leached there what it needs to be able to metabolize but you also need these in your body to create a healthy environment to keep other systems in check um and most importantly to keep your liver and check because when you are taking a drug your liver is going to be working overtime and especially something like a hormonal drug you are also going to be creating and needing to break down hormones at a different level which these nutrients are needed for you cannot have a healthy hormonal metabolism process without things like B vitamins so you it's it's really like it's a double-edged sword you're gonna take something it's gonna leach and then what you need to actually break down those hormones are those nutrients at the same time and that's I feel why people do get into really big big messes with their bodies because especially now if this is long term and you've been say be deficient for ten years or more that puts your body in a really scary place absolutely especially women that stuff I'm just saying anecdotally with clients doing that money until any issues yeah yeah absolutely and something like iron I mean there is a 4-man anemia that is related to B vitamin deficiencies or your body's inability to to break down certain types of peopie that's right we now know that there's genetic variants but within something like folic acid so women that are pregnant probably know the gauntlet of research on folate but that there is different types of genetic predispositions that will change or alter your body's ability to metabolize let's say folic acid versus folate vs. fully onic acid there are many different forms of this but it is still a crucial crucial crucial part of a healthy body so you have to find out which which is what your body needs yeah that's one of the things why I don't like giving really kind of clear-cut guidelines like take these supplements to get your period back because it is going to be different for people is not really there's some general things that these are kind of like that um you know sleep eat clean exercise like the very basic things but when we start getting into something like supplementation it does need to be as personalized for you and for your environment as possible yeah and I will say like what foods you actually enjoy don't enjoy what you aren't consuming so that mean you're a vegan kado you're going to be getting into very different nutrients so then again tailoring that so yeah so many so I feel like we can talk about this topic more days as this podcast is going for over two hours we've decided to split it into two episodes we really appreciate you tuning in and hope you've got so much respect on this podcast with Victoria and if you want to hear more tune in to the next episode we will be discussing PDUs and anabolics in more detail with the amazing Victoria thanks so much for tuning in this father body's barbells and bagels and we will see you in the next half of this series

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