How cycle tracking helped me uncover a hormonal imbalance (before doctors could diagnose it)
Have you ever wondered why you’re still getting acne breakouts in your 30s? Or maybe why you’re period is surprisingly heavy or painful?
I used to ask myself these same questions. I was about to turn 30, my skin was breaking out in cystic acne every month, and the first two days of my period had gotten so heavy that I had ruined my brand new bed. Worse yet, I had no idea why any of this was happening.
Every time I went to doctors to see what the heck was going on I would always hear the same things…
The birth control pill or IUD can solve all of this for you. Well, except the acne. Here’s a steroid cream for that.
Because of a nightmare-ish experience on the birth control pill in my early twenties, I would always refuse to go on hormonal birth control. Well, there really isn’t anything else we can do for you, the doctors would say. And, I’d go home alone, frustrated, and with ZERO information about what was going on in my body.
I was so frustrated that doctors couldn’t help me and left me to deal with painful acne cysts and crazy heavy periods all on my own. After many late-nights of research and ruined bed sheets later, I discovered that the cycle tracking method of natural birth control I was using could hold the answer to my struggles.
That’s right - I already had the answer, I just didn’t know it!
After analyzing the past several months of my fertility awareness and cycle tracking charts, I discovered that I was struggling from low progesterone and excess estrogen in the second half (luteal phase) of my menstrual cycle - a hormonal imbalance that is notorious for causing acne and heavy flows.
So how did I do it?
By tracking my cervical mucus and basal body temperature, two of the three fertility awareness markers (LINK TO FERTILITY AWARENESS MARKERS POST), I was able to understand that my body was producing enough estrogen to promote ovulation during the first half of my cycle, confirm that I was ovulating monthly, and uncover that my temperatures were not high enough in the second half of my cycle to indicate sufficient levels of progesterone*. From there I was able to bring my charts to a doctor and SHOW them that I was having a problem in the luteal phase of my cycle. After a simple blood test, they were able to confirm that I did indeed have too much estrogen in the second half of my cycle which was likely causing my painful acne and heavy periods.
This is something that the birth control pill or IUD would have NEVER been able to uncover because hormonal birth control does not support or balance your menstrual cycle - it stops it completely. That’s right - While taking birth control pills (and for many women on the IUD), you do not ovulate which means that the period you get is not a real period. It is a chemically-induced withdrawl bleed. The birth control pill overrides your natural hormones. It does not balance them.**
By taking the pill I would have simply stopped my natural hormone production, while pumping my body with more estrogen and zero progesterone - which, as I uncovered, was the exact cause of my problems.
The pill was never the answer. Cycle Tracking was.
Once I knew what was going on with my hormones I could work with my naturopath to make simple food, lifestyle, and supplement shifts that promote the detoxification of estrogen to better balance out my progesterone levels. Within just a few weeks my acne was remarkably improved and my heavy periods a thing of the past.
Are you struggling with acne and period problems and frustrated with doctors telling you that birth control hormones are the only answer? Are you interested in learning how cycle tracking can help you dig deeper into your own hormonal struggles and empower you to have informed discussions with your doctors and finally get the healing you deserve?
If so, I would love to invite you to schedule a 1-on-1 IGNITE Coaching Call with me to explore how cycle tracking can work for you and help you get the results you’ve been searching for so that you can finally feel confident, free, and empowered in your body. CLICK HERE to schedule your free call.
*Sourced from Taking Charge Of Your Fertility, by Toni Weschler
** Sourced from The Period Repair Manual, by Dr. Lara Briden
Disclaimer: Brandy Oswald is not a medical provider and cannot give medical advice or provide any information concerning the diagnosis or treatment of any health condition. The information provided by Brandy Oswald and Do It Naturally is of a general nature and is intended only for educational purposes to help with your personal health improvement goals and should not be relied on as medical advice. Always consult a physician with any health concerns and prior to changing your diet, lifestyle, supplements, or prescription medicine routine. Should you choose to use the information provided by Brandy Oswald it is of your own volition and you recognize that neither Brandy nor Do It Naturally is not held liable for any intended or unintended outcomes.