What is the Fertility Awareness Method?

If you're trying to conceive, or even if you're not but you don't use contraceptives such as birth control, it's super helpful to understand when you're most fertile and when you aren't. The goal of the Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) is just that, to track your cycle and ovulation to best predict how fertile you are on any given day.

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Hormonal Headaches: why you get them and how to not

Headaches and migraines can pop up at different phases of the menstrual cycle or during other hormonal shifts, such as pregnancy or menopause. They can cause a mild annoyance or ruin your whole damn day. It makes sense that hormonal changes can cause uterine pain and sore breasts, but how can hormones make your head hurt?

Hormones are signaling molecules released by the endocrine system, they travel through the blood stream and they can effect tissues all over the body, some more than others. Not only can deviations in hormones cause pain, they can also cause changes to mood, mental focus, skin, and digestion.

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7 All-too-common Myths About Pap Smears

I talk to a lot of women about some not-so-talked-about subjects. We talk about their bodies, doctor's appointments, procedures, hormones, diagnoses, sex, pregnancy, birth, parenting. There's no topic off limits.

So it's probably no surprise that, "when was your last pap smear?" is one of the first questions I ask my patients. Unfortunately, I find there's a ton of confusion among women about pap smears and why they are so important.

This breaks my heart because I see it as part of a larger epidemic of misinformation about women's health, an epidemic which we must eradicate by decimating proper health education.

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Hormones getting you down? How to eat to restore balance

Guest post by Miriam Jacobson, MS, RD, CNS, CDN of everybodybliss.com

Brain fog, bloating, PMS and erratic mood swings are signs that you might be struggling with a hormonal imbalance. Despite what your doctor said, these symptoms are not ‘normal’ and there are ways that you can eat to help balance your hormones naturally.

Western medicine often focuses on how to eliminate symptoms, which is why you might walk out of your doctors’ office with a birth control prescription after complaining about your lady problems. Although every body is different, birth control tends to mask many hormonal problems without addressing the root cause.

As a functional nutritionist, I seek out the underlying causes of these symptoms and work with foods and nutrients to help restore optimal health.

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Why we need to talk about Miscarriage & Infant Loss

I treat women through all phases of their reproductive cycles. While I work with many women who have chosen to not have children, the majority of my patients are actively trying to conceive, are pregnant, or in the postpartum period. I celebrate with my patients when they get a positive pregnancy test or give birth to their child, and I grieve with them when they lose a child to miscarriage, stillbirth, or SIDS.

The process of losing a child during pregnancy or infancy can be incredibly painful, both physically and emotionally. It may involve surgery, weeks of bleeding, medication or even laboring a lost child. This is in addition to the deep grief that comes with losing a son or daughter all too soon.

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What is Cupping?

Cupping is all the buzz because of the Olympics. Red and purple spots speckling the shoulders and backs of the athletes are making everyone wonder what they are doing, and why?

To anyone familiar with acupuncture and Chinese medicine, however, cupping is old news. Ancient news, in fact.

It's a massage technique that uses suction to achieve a much deeper release of the tissue. I use cupping in conjunction with acupuncture to release muscle tension, draw out toxins, and speed up recovery time. It works immediately to start improving pain and range of motion. 

Suction is usually created inside of a glass cup with a small flame, which burns off oxygen (about 20% of the air) before it is placed on the skin. Plastic cups with a hand pump are also widely used, but the former is more traditional and my personal preference.

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You don't have to be in pain

Many women are taught to accept their menstrual pain, or ovulation pain, or even pain during sex, as an inevitability. Many are taught not to complain about it because it’s just part of the curse of being a woman.

I know because I was one of them.

Nonetheless, feeling like you're being stabbed, keeling over or fainting from cramps, or having to lock yourself away from the world for a day or two each month is enough to drive any strong, sane woman crazy.

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