It’s a popular punchline in movies and TV sitcoms when a woman is acting irrational — “It’s her hormones.” As it turns out, there’s more than a kernel of truth in this stereotype. While wonky hormone levels can’t be blamed for every strange thing a woman says or does, they can be the culprit in a variety of areas. Shape Magazine’s talking about the 20 most important hormones for our health (yes, 20!). We’re looking at the ones most key for women.
3 Important Hormones for Women’s General Health
This household-name hormone is produced in the ovaries and helps control sexual development (puberty, menstrual cycle, pregnancy) and also maintain bone strength. When levels are too high, it can cause increased risk of breast cancer, dementia and even uterine cancer.
As the uterus prepares for fertilization, these levels rise after ovulation, maintaining the uterine lining in preparation for implantation and throughout gestation. If pregnancy doesn’t occur, levels drop, causing menstruation to start. (more…)
This weekend, on Cinco de Mayo (this Saturday, May 5), the moon will not only be full, it will appear to be larger than any other full moon this year. Aptly named the ‘supermoon,’ Saturday’s full moon will be about 16 percent brighter than average. Due to its position in orbit, the moon is in its perigee stage, which means it is closest to the Earth. Because the moon’s orbit is not perfectly circular, it has moments when it is closer, and moments when it is further away. To have a full moon coincide with the moon’s perigee is incredibly super, hence the nickname it was given.
Whether you are planning on taking a stroll in the moonlight, or taking a drive out into the countryside to see the moon rise from behind the trees, it should be a marvelous sight. An evening yoga session even sounds like a blissful endeavor during the supermoon, but according to the ancient yogi sages, there are some precautions to consider. Since this moon is bigger, brighter, and a bit more special than any other full moon, it is worth examining some myths and truths for practicing yoga during a full moon. (more…)
Women who partake in activities that involve repeated jarring or bouncing such as running, tennis, or high-impact aerobics may be putting themselves at risk for worsened symptoms of pre menstrual syndrome, or even infertility. When a woman’s body experiences whiplash or sudden jerking, the uterus can swing out of alignment. While often unnoticed or overlooked, this misalignment may just be the cause of female woes and discomforts. Thankfully, there is a technique that offers a natural and holistic remedy to assist in a variety of gynecological issues in women.
In the early 1990s, Brazilian native Dr. Rosita Arvigo developed the Arvigo Technique of Maya Abdominal Therapy. After ten years of apprenticing with Don Elijio Panti, an internationally acclaimed Mayan healer and shaman, Arvigo created her unique style of healing massage to readjust the position of the uterus and relax other abdominal organs.
Arvigo’s late mentor and teacher used to say, “If a woman’s uterus is out of balance, so is she.” Arvigo took these words of wisdom and added them to her decades of training in holistic modalities, and founded a system that has helped women all over the world. (more…)
President Obama recently asked all employers, other than houses of worship, to pay for free contraception for all their female employees. There was much opposition from religious institutions like hospitals that follow Roman Catholic beliefs and are pro-choice. I don’t want to get into a pro-choice/pro-life debate here. What I’d like these institutions to understand is that there are numerous uses for birth control other than preventing pregnancy.
Birth control can help to stabilize someone’s hormones that are out of whack. It can help make a woman more “regular” for those who have irregular or no periods due to stress, low body weight and excessive exercise. In some cases, birth control can treat endometriosis, a condition that causes severe cramps or pelvic pain. Most of these women take birth controls continuously to avoid having their periods, which has not been shown to negatively effect a woman’s health, or have a period four times a year when using contraceptions like Seasonale.
Birth control also helps to lighten heavy periods by reducing the amount of bleeding and length of time the period sticks around. Another added benefit is that women who have lighter or less frequent periods are less likely to experience anemia, or low red blood cell count. Red blood cells carry oxygen to the rest of the body.
All women dread that certain time of the month. Many women feel like crawling into bed and not speaking to anyone for a week, let alone do any kind of physical activity. So how do female athletes play under the pain and suffering of their cycles and does it affect their performance at all?
A New York Times article discusses how or if the menstrual cycle affects the athleticism of female athletes. Because women have not been participating in athletic events for very long, the research on female athletics is still in its infancy.
A study researching female rowers in Europe found that they measured the same in strength, endurance, and overall fitness in every point of their cycles. Some of the women were on birth control, which affects the production of estrogen, and some were not. Some of the women were professional athletes and others were not. Each woman could perform the same whether she was ovulating, menstruating or somewhere in between.