How my Health Changed in 2017
I trained in Women’s Health under Hugh Gilbert last May. While I’ve been practicing the techniques and mobilisations on clients and myself . . . I’ve been processing and getting over some health issues of my own. Which I’m now ready to share.
I decided to come off my contraception in August 2016. This decision was due to the contraception expiring and becoming more conscious of what I put in and on my body. It was not a decision based on being ready to start a family. We knew coming off contraception there was a risk as we decided not to use any alternative contraception but the main reason was that I didn’t want anything chemical or synthetic in my body.
Since my surgery I’ve been changing my life, my diet, my lifestyle, my job . . . if it doesn't make me happy or make me feel good then I change it. Lucky for Kev he continues to make me laugh so I’ll keep him around for a bit longer!
But seriously, contraception doesn't make sense to me anymore and the more research I came across the more I realised how mucked up women’s hormones have become. are. For us it WAS NOT a case of let’s come off contraception and start trying for a family. It was more like, I need to get this ‘robot chip’ out of my body, let my body and cycle return to something more natural.
I didn’t have a period for 6 years, during the contraceptive implant, I knew this was ‘normal’ and what was supposed to happen. I had been to see my GP as I was concerned I wasn’t getting a period and I was told that it was working perfectly. Being a perfectionist I gave myself brownie points!! I weighed up all my options at the time of choosing the contraceptive implant, I was in a temporary contract at school, Kevin and I hadn’t long moved in together we were not yet married so children were not on the agenda. I was told that once the contractive implant was removed my periods and fertility would return to normal straight away.
It ticked all the boxes
✔ I didn’t need to remember to take a pill
✔ You can have it removed at any time, and your natural fertility will return very quickly.
✔ I didn’t have a period (see side effects below)
✔ The implant is more than 99% effective
✔ It would reduce heavy and painful periods
✔A common side effect is that your periods stop (amenorrhoea). It's not harmful, but you may want to consider this before deciding to have an implant
*Above info is taken from the NHS website
When the implant was removed, unfortunately things didn't quite return to ‘normal’ in a way that I was lead to believe. I know this to be true for many other women out there.
I choose this method of contraception as I expected my periods and fertility would return to normal straight away. This was NOT the case.
Each month I waited and waited for my period to appear and it did not come. Each month I began to worry which I knew wouldn’t help matters but I was lead to believe the implant worked perfectly for me so I expected my periods to return quickly. Months went by with nothing so I decided to do some research and visit a Dr who was recommended by Hugh and Jane.
I’ve not taken any medication since approx June 2014 when I was taking Ibuprofen and Paracetamol when recovering from surgery. I don’t even have a lemsip or cough medicine if I have cold or flu. I believe there are other options which are more effective. I also believe in prevention. Since practicing yoga on a regular basis, I very rarely get cold or flu. I didn’t go to my GP to discuss the absence of periods, although I wish I had, purely out of curiosity as to what they would offer. According to NHS website to treat irregular periods they may offer you a different type of contraception or do some further investigations. Whatever they might have done I knew it would likely end in taking medication which I didn’t want to take. Naturally when something is not right, I investigate and solve a problem on my own or taking advice from people I know and trust, I’m creative and determined so I knew I would find a solution.
I began to meditate, doing a specific meditation for the pituitary gland and adapted my yoga practice doing more restorative postures and sequences to help regulate my periods. When a few months later nothing changed and other symptoms were showing up, bloating, dry scalp and my hair was falling out. I was worried, my job was at the height of it’s stress I began to panic. I contacted Hugh and Jane for advice and they recommended I visit Dr Rodger Melhuish. I called and made an appointment that day. When I arrived he told me lots of weird and wonderful things about my body, he seemed to know so much about me and I didn’t say a word and had some recommendations for my diet as well as some tinctures of herbs to take.
That was the day and reason I gave up chocolate!
When I go and visit someone for treatment or advice I follow their advice to the letter. They are the experts, I’m paying them for their advice, they’ve made suggestions so why wouldn’t I take on board what they advice . . . even if it does mean I need to give up chocolate . . . forever!
You heard, I was told to give up chocolate!!! I used to have really bad menstrual cramps, I was told that chocolate was the cause as well as having an effect on my pancreas and ligaments around my hip joint. So I gave up chocolate, a small price to pay for my health. This was November 2016 just a month before Christmas so you can imagine how hard that was. For a whole year I didn’t have any chocolate, not one piece. Now I’ll have the occasional homemade brownie or chocolate dessert but I won’t eat any bars of chocolate, heros, celebrations, anything like that I don’t touch it and I don’t even like it now!
Anyway, I carried on following advice, saw a naturopath, changing my diet, reducing stress and hoping my periods would return.
Then comes the Women’s Health course in May 2017. Created by Hugh Gilbert and Jane Wardlaw designed specifically for the all the imbalances experienced by women. We worked on mobilization around the pelvis and breasts as well as some other techniques. I had some huge shifts and releases.
The next month, my period started. I know I had done a lot of preparation work but I don’t think it’s a coincidence that after treatment around the pelvis area that it helped to release something. Whether it be physical or emotional, it worked. As the months went on, my period returned like clockwork.
However, they were not what I would call normal, they were regular but I wasn’t experiencing a flow and didn’t really need to use tampons or pads. That’s one of the reasons I turned to Ayurveda. I started studying in May 2017 and started seeing my Ayurvedic Dr and taking my herbal medications since October 2017, there has been an improvement in my period and other symptoms each month.
Women’s health is important no matter what stage you are in your life. Learning how to understand our cycle and reduce cramps, headaches, help sleep . . . since my period have returned and I gave up chocolate I have little to no cramps during menstruation.
As I said my reason for coming off contraction was NOT to plan for a family, however if it was and I had been told my periods and fertility would return straight away. I may have been feeling like an emotional wreck, worrying there was something wrong with me, maybe exploring things like fertility treatment and IVF. It’s now 16 months later and I would now say my periods are ‘normal’. I know there are others out there who have been through something similar.
I was confident that I would work something out and willing to make changes. I now feel amazing and who know what the future holds. I think as women it’s important to understand our bodies, our cycles and emotions and be able to manage these naturally without the use of medication.
There are many natural methods out there to help your body create balance, and allow the female body to function as it should. To go through the different cycles of our life whether it be starting out period, managing out period, creating a family, going through menopause, there are ways to manage this so that it doesn’t have to be difficult to live with.
Since studying Ayurveda and learning about digestion and the process of the body gaining nourishment. We have 7 layers of tissues, the last layer is our seminal fluid, our reproduction. So if we have toxins in our body then the nutritional doesn’t get to the last layer. Our diet and lifestyle are so important and yet overlooked.
I’ve spent 16 months of trial and error to find what works for me, to never give up hope that my body will take time to balance and maybe at some point in the future I may be be ready and able to carry a baby. But for the moment I’m embracing being a woman and learning how to deal with the cycles and rhythms of nature.