Having hormone imbalance symptoms like extreme PMS, clots in your period and scanty cervical mucus may be impeding your fertility. Your hormones are the building blocks of your fertility and they must be functioning optimally for your cycles to be regular, good quality follicles to be produced and for conception to occur. Don't shortchange the need to understand your own building blocks.
Here's an excerpt from my first course in my brand new In a Nutshell Series, where we focus on the 3 main hormone imbalances that account for 90% of fertility challenges in women. The course is called, The Hormone Triad.
As we saw in the video above, your primary reproductive hormones are active throughout the menstrual cycle. It's the dance of these 4 hormones that control the development of the uterine lining, the maturation of a dominant follicle, the main event of ovulation and the quality of the luteal phase.
Our 4 dancers include estrogen, FSH, LH and progesterone. To learn more about these primary hormones, as well as the roles of DHEA and testosterone, be sure to check out my brand new class course, The Hormone Triad. We will be covering the hormones involved in reproduction and then diving deep into the 3 major hormone imbalance symptoms that account for 90% of fertility challenges.
These 4 hormones have a complicated relationship. When each of them is healthy and they are all communicating well with each other, you have a healthy menstrual cycle. The problem is you only need to have a problem with 1 hormone and it affects the entire group. That's when hormone imbalance symptoms may alert us that there is a problem with one or more of these hormones.
I consider estrogen to be the queen of the reproductive hormones. Estrogen is the dominant hormone of the female body, just as testosterone is the dominant hormone of the male body. For women, we need estrogen to be in balance. We don't want too little and we don't want too much. Just like Goldilocks, we need estrogen to be just right.
Estrogen is secreted by the ovaries during the follicular phase of the cycle. In a healthy menstrual cycle, we'd see estrogen go up during the follicular phase, as follicles are maturing. This increase in estrogen is what is responsible for the uterine lining getting thicker. Remember estrogen makes things grow.
We want a queen that rules her kingdom well, but leaves the other kingdoms alone. The same is true when we have Queen Estrogen. We want her to rule the follicular phase, but leave the luteal phase alone.
When Queen Estrogen gets out of control and starts trying to rule the luteal phase, we see estrogen dominance symptoms. This is when there is too much estrogen in the luteal phase and it's dominating the second half of the cycle.
With estrogen dominance, we see many hormone imbalance symptoms including breast tenderness, bloating, headaches, mood swings, cravings for salty or sweet and sleep issues. Some women go straight into estrogen dominance right after ovulation, which means that they'll have these hormone imbalance symptoms for 2 weeks. Oh my!
Maintaining hormone balance throughout our lives is the key to both healthy pregnancies and overall good health. Hormonal health is foundational to women feeling good. That's why we hear so much about hormonal supplementation and manipulation in the media today.
However, I don't believe that taking hormones is the answer to hormonal imbalances. I truly believe that we can find natural hormone balance for women and when we do, natural conception is highly likely to occur. This will be our focus in The Hormone Triad.
Don't let your FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) scare you into making a hasty decision. A Day 3 FSH test should be viewed for what it is. It's just a one day blood test of one hormone in your body. Does it make sense to let this one little test sum up your total fertility?
Learn more about your follicle stimulating hormone and how it participates in the reproductive dance of hormones.
Your FSH is a very important part of natural hormone balance for women, who are TTC, but I'll tell you that just looking at your levels on Day 3 doesn't tell us the whole story. We really want to see what your FSH is doing throughout your entire menstrual cycle, so that we understand the entire event.
That's why I like testing the hormones throughout the cycle. We can clearly see how FSH is pulsing throughout the cycle, not just what it is doing on Day 3. If you want to see the power of this testing, I have a great bonus in my upcoming course, The Hormone Triad. One of our participants has done a full salivary panel and we'll be going over her results in class. You'll learn how to specifically evaluate FSH levels and spot the 3 major hormone imbalances that account for 90% of fertility challenges.
How important is LH (luteinizing hormone) when you're trying to get pregnant? Well, it's pretty crucial that it's firing at a good time or else there may not be an egg for that good looking sperm to break into.
Month after month, you may be peeing on sticks in an effort to time your baby dancing. Sometimes you see a strong positive. Other months, there's nothing! Frustrating, isn't it?
Learn more about the importance of your luteinizing hormone and how it tells us much more than just when to baby dance.
I call LH the middle child of hormones. No one really pays much attention to luteinizing hormone in terms of high level testing. It's often the hormone that gets neglected when in fact, it has a very important job in the reproductive process and in maintaining natural hormone balance for women. We'll be looking at LH in The Hormone Triad.
If LH is low, then a strong ovulation unlikely to occur, which sets the body up for estrogen dominance and the associated hormone imbalance symptoms during the luteal phase.
I'm sure that you're already mindful of low progesterone symptoms and you might even be suspecting that low progesterone is your problem. If so, you have lots of company.
Many women are blaming their fertility problems and menstrual issues on low progesterone. That's why you see an entire section of the health food store devoted to progesterone products. I see progesterone touted as the panacea for promoting natural hormone balance for women and I don't buy the hype.
I want to pull you off of the progesterone cream band wagon and encourage you to understand the choreography of the dance of hormones in your body. While it might seem logical to try to fill the tank of a hormone that appears to be depleted, I don't think that it's a good idea to take progesterone exogenously.
Learn more about low progesterone symptoms and the global implications of low progesterone in The Hormone Triad.
We put a lot of pressure on progesterone and expect it to perform to our expectations. However, there are many factors that contribute to progesterone and understanding these factors will help us better understand progesterone. We will then be able to make more informed decisions when our doctors prescribe progesterone or we're standing in the supplement aisle of Whole Foods.
Women have been birthing offspring for millennia. That's means that natural hormone balance for women was the norm for a long time. Our hormones were balanced enough for us to ovulate dominant follicles and carry a pregnancy to term. So, do we need a lot of intervention for us to get pregnant now?
I don't think so. I really believe that we can naturally balance our hormones, regulate our cycles, recruit healthy follicles and get pregnant naturally. I believe that the abundance of hormone imbalance symptoms that we see are messages from our body that we need to get in balance.
I'm not saying that it's a piece of cake. By the way, you don't want to eat cake as part of your fertility program. No sugar : )
Anyway, if your hormones are out of balance, it will take time and work to get them back in balance. However, once you do, you'll feel amazing, your cycles will be a breeze and you'll have a much better chance of having a healthy pregnancy.
If you found this article on hormone imbalance symptoms interesting and you want to delve into your hormones in depth, I strongly recommend that you join my upcoming course, The Hormone Triad. Many women, like Lourdes and Michelle have written to me and told me that everything in their fertility struggles finally made sense after taking my course.
If you want to understand your hormones in a nutshell, please join me in my upcoming course, The Hormone Triad. We will get to the bottom of what's going on with your hormones. The course starts February 1, 2015, so be sure to sign up today.