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Period!! This word has recently been made popular by the City Girls (SN: I love ratchet music). A simple word that we all know, that is used often and now has multiple meanings. For women period holds a lot of weight. It’s something we may not look forward to but we ultimately get used to it. For a young girl it is the first sign of puberty and ultimately crowns us a “woman”. I remember my mother telling me when I started my period at 11 that this means you can have a baby. PAUSE lol All I knew at that time is that I was in pain and I never wanted it to come back because I couldn’t play outside. Periods are so important to fertility and they can tell you a lot about the status of your gynecological health. In order to ovulate we must have a period and the more regular and consistent your period becomes the higher your chance to get pregnant increases. On average women have a 28-day cycle which lasts for about 5 days. If you’re lucky your period may be shorter and your bleeding may be lighter. All women are different so you have to figure out what “normal” is for your body.
Normally not normal….
I suffered with irregular and painful periods for years. I mostly thought it was because of my past experience with having my appendix removed and the result of scar tissue constricting my ovaries (Ill discuss at a later date). Lady flow was a piece of work to me I regularly suffered with painful menstrual cramps and they would often times leave me tired, irritable and moody. In order for me to even be able to function like a normal human being I would have to pop ibuprofen the big pills like candy around the clock. Not only were my periods painful they came so often that I felt that I did not have a break to recover from the what was supposed to be monthly nightmare. I would have my period like every 3 weeks which is on the short end of a “normal” cycle for women. I never tracked my period at that time because it was so unpredictable and I was unaware of its importance when TTC. My period would just come out of nowhere and I felt that I was bleeding nonstop and in reality, I was which caused me to be border line anemic. I was fed up with my unpredictable, painful periods I talked to my OBGYN and she suggested more birth control. Go figure! The last birth control I was on was the Implanon which is now called the Nexplanon. It is a small rod that is inserted in your arm under your skin that produces hormones to prevent you from getting pregnant. This birth control caused me to have a very short period cycle. I would bleed like every two weeks at some point. I kept the implanon for only a year before calling it quits to birth control altogether forever. I was done I had experienced hair loss in the past from the pill, yeast infections from the Nuvaring and now this. I was completely turned off from any form of birth controls at this point.
Finding the new normal…
Since my OB did not give me any other options besides birth control to help regulate my period I decided to listen to my mother and of try an herb called Vitex. Vitex also known as Chasteberry is a natural herb that helps balance a female’s hormones. Vitex has many other benefits such as reducing symptoms related to PMS (premenstrual syndrome) and PCOS and it increases progesterone. At this time, I was only interested in regulating my period and I was weary that herbs actually worked. I grew up listening to whatever my doctor said so since this was not recommended by my doctor I just assumed it would not work. So I bought my Vitex from GNC in a pill form and I took it as directed on the bottle, 1 capsule three times daily for twelve weeks. After twelve weeks I took it once a day regularly. I was surprised when I noticed a change in my period after a month of taking. My cramps had begun to weaken and they were not as painful as before. After three months of taking them consistently and I mean I did not miss a day, my period began to regulate. I had a 28-day cycle give or take a day, which was still short but it was my “normal”. I continued to take Vitex for two years then I stopped once I became pregnant in 2016. Even after having my child my cycle is regulated for me and I continue to use my period tracker which comes in handy when planning trips and vacations lol.
What are some of your experiences with periods? What natural remedies did you find helpful to regulate your period? I recommend trying Vitex for women who are having issues with irregular and or painful periods. I encourage you to do your own research to make sure it’s the best choice for you.