Menstrual Cycle Myths With Victoria Felkar |

menstral myths i laugh cuz there's so many of them so i know for some people watching this this is probably really uncomfortable and like TMI but it's essential that we started talking about it because all too often the the male coaches that I have worked with which there's actually quite a few of them now they're like ostriches and they just put their head in the fucking sand and they kick everything up and instead of actually asking women about their menstrual cycle they just pretend like it doesn't exist as a researcher I work with doctors but I own not a doctor I am simply a researcher so this is purely educational purposes only my name is Victoria Felker and I'm a researcher at the University of British Columbia so when it comes to the strength community physical culture world we're it's so fucking dumb when it comes to women's health issues there is like even and even in the last I would say like three months I'm seeing more and more myths getting dispelled through social media like infographics have probably been both the worst and the best thing that has happened to women's health issues because in one hand they get people talking which I love that better than on the other hand it's like they're talking about bullshit so without further ado I'm just gonna try to address some minstrel myths one of the biggest ones the I see in our industry is the kind of the fallacy or I'm just like whether or not you have your period or not so there's this idea that when you don't have your period it's normal because you're an athlete or you're competing and when you do have your period it means that you're healthy not sure it's the individual so a mini Rhea is when you are typically speaking associated with a lack of menses if you don't have menses you don't have the bleed it doesn't mean it's good or bad some people just don't have a regular menstrual cycle and what I mean by that is that within kind of the medical community up until about the early nineties really still today there's this perception that we have to have like this perfect 28-day period it's gotta be 28 days every single month if it's not that you're not healthy which is which is a myth there's been a lot of different like studies that have been done on this doctor Geralyn Pryor I'm very very fortunate that I've been able to talk to her about this she was the one in the early 90s that really kind of came out there and said like look like women don't have this perfect cycle and she did this massive massive survey of women and and was able to say see like look they range from like in the teens to in the 40s in terms of days and that's some women it's more than that some women it's a cycle every three months and if that's them hey that's them we don't need to try to give them drugs we don't need to try to pathologize them that's just them with athletes there's often this this notion that if you don't have your period it's because you're too mean again it's a myth energy balance is one component of amenorrhea but it's not everything amenorrhea is multifactorial so I mean are you on a drug that's going to inhibit menstruation because that might be the reason why you don't have a period sounds pretty simple but there's a lot of people out there that go on a certain compound and then say like oh my god I don't have my period I'm like what did you expect that's what that drug does yes you might also gain some size but that's what that drug does there's also I mean around just like stress like why would you're from a very evolutionary perspective why would your body be in a state to make babies when you're not eating or sleeping your stress levels are ridiculously high you're not able to you're not in a physiological state to be able to actually handle that so yeah when you go into contest prep and you're in a hypo caloric State your training hours and hours and hours a day on top of everything else that's going on in your life you might not have a period that doesn't say that you should expect not to have it but I mean that's part and personal it's called functional amenorrhea or functional hypothalamic amenorrhea and essentially it's it's stress it's stress induced but it's not just what traditionally is thought of as being like a nutrient balance it's stress like your body is just too fucking stressed to be okay with being fertile that's something that for some individuals lingers after after they're done competing or after they've done a show and that also too is like I think right now I actually get a lot of women that that email me a message me going like you know what I competed three months ago I solvent got my period back but everything else is okay I'm sleeping I'm doing X Y & Z and I go like well yeah it's not just like a light switch gets turned on and all of a sudden you're back to where you work it takes time just like postpartum if there's not a set time that you're gonna expect to get your period back after you've had kids or when you go off birth control it's not like there's a set time that's good or bad or normal that you're gonna get your period back at the end of the day there's other things that are happening that we also have to look out for so this is another big myth that I see is that people perceive that having flow having the bleed is the only part of you know your cycle and that's that's just not the case there so a oscillatory androgen excess aka what people call PCOS or polycystic ovarian syndrome so when your androgen levels in some individuals get really really high you might not have menses but you might have everything else and how you're able to kind of distinguish or track this is literally get a date book and just write down certain things that you are feeling in terms of like your digestion your moods your energy but also your basal temperature so that's just taking your temperature first thing in the morning if you do that over the course of say three months you might and more often than not I've seen this people start to be able to see a trajectory happen in that they have you know good energy good strength in the gym everything's going great and then all of a sudden their body temperature starts to go up they stop being able to you know have regular bowel movements every day their training turns to shit and then all of a sudden magically it goes away and that happens three months around the same period of time so they're essentially still ovulating they're just not having administration they're not having the flow through utilizing our own kind of AI methods around our bodies and what we know when we were say having a period being able to compare that to like where we are when we don't have one you can learn a lot about the body because blood work isn't the only thing and that's again that's another myth is that women who have even post comp I want to get my blood work done I want to see how my hormones are and I go okay but are you having a period are you sleeping at night how is your energy has removed so on and so forth what's that going to tell you that that information is not going to sure it's great it's great data but a lot of times because when you like I said men and women we have fluctuations in our hormones so when you go and you try to get blood work done who are they comparing it to is that your normal for say estrogen or is that you being compared to a norm and you might be somebody that's got low estrogen so there's a lot of discrepancy with blood work I actually really find with blood work if people really want to go into that realm you've got to kind of do it a couple months in a row take a look at all your other factors as well where your nutrition is where your training is where your sleep is so on and so forth and then you'll be able to create like your own baseline that then you have because with especially with the athletic population we just don't have those norms yet we don't have and there really isn't norms typically speaking female athletes have a higher androgen level which then is going to also affect like their estrogen levels you want e to as well as their progesterone as well as their cortisol as well as their thyroid and really all their endocrine or moans so as a female athlete when you go into the doctor and you ask for that blood test and you get it what is that actually saying to you especially if your doctor says like hey look everything looks great I know you haven't had a period in like nine months but everything looks great not that they would say that they probably on birth control which is probably the last thing you want to do but it's really contextual it's really individual another big myth is that when you go on certain drugs your period should stop again individual when you take certain drugs you shouldn't get a period also individual so that's where the whole anti estrogen the kind of myth I think one of the big ones around that is is that people perceive that when they compete and when they use these certain drugs like tamoxifen so an anti estrogen that there's no way they should have their period tamoxifen is actually uses a fertility drug so if you're taking tamoxifen and you're on a fairly high dose even if you don't have a period don't have flow it doesn't mean that you still can't get pregnant one of the first actual like if I'm working with a practitioner one of the first things I actually ask them is hey did you make sure that your patient isn't pregnant because just because she hasn't had a period doesn't mean that she's not healthy she's probably really really fertile being that she's been on like tamoxifen for as long as she has been so you got to check that first you go check 8cg first I mean if she's taking androgens as well there's no way that if she pees on like a dipstick it's gonna be a accurate reading of whether or not she's pregnant yes you can't get pregnant when prepping for a show again maybe that's another myth as well where else can we go with this one there's just there's a whole lot that we don't know we don't talk about I mean how like if you've got high levels of inflammation in your body through stress cause from competing eating a certain way you might have heavier cycles when estrogen and progesterone become an imbalance it's good to change the way that your cycle is so you might have breakthrough bleed you might have a really heavy flow if you have a really heavy flow that means usually that your inflammation is higher so you're probably gonna have really bad constipation before and then you're gonna have diarrhea the day of and leading out of your period as well that's through prostaglandins which are essentially like think of it as like lubricant they're inflammatory markers so I know for some people watching this this is probably really uncomfortable and like TMI but it's essential that we started talking about it because all too often the the male coaches that I have worked with which there's actually quite a few of them now they're like ostriches and they just put their head in the fucking sand and they kick everything up and instead of actually asking women about their menstrual cycle they just pretend like it doesn't exist

4 Replies to “Menstrual Cycle Myths With Victoria Felkar |”

  1. I think a more important question should be if loosing ones period is necessary to get stronger rather than if it's normal or not?

  2. Keep up the negative comments guys. It’s a fast way to make sure all comments get blocked and some people who have actual questions won’t get heard.

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