I'M NOT BLEEDING...IS THAT A PROB? ASK C+S

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Dear @cyclesandsex,

It’s been about 140 days since my last cycle. I went to my Dr. and Gyno and they both dismissed me like it was no big deal; “Just gain some weight. Eat a cheeseburger.” (I’m vegan.)

I’m starting to get concerned. Am I even fertile? Does this mean my uterus is building up tissue? Any help, advice, or information would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

#myperiodiswhack

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Dear #myperiodiswhack

You have every right to be concerned about your body right now, and I also find it frustrating that both your Dr. and Gyno dismissed your health concerns in this way. This is just not OK- find a Dr. who will work with you- After all, you're hiring them! 

I often see women on a vegan diet who stop ovulating and lose their periods completely. 

I’m not saying this is the case for everyone, but it is the reality for every single person I've encountered in my practice. 

We require certain nutrients to produce our sex hormones, to ovulate consistently, and to have a regular period. Irregular and missing periods are linked to a number of nutrient deficiencies. Here are a few...

1.) Complete protein (A building block for steroid sex hormones)-⠀You need to consume sufficient protein to make enough hormones. There are 8 essential amino acids that the body cannot synthesize, so we need to get these from our diets. Eating animal protein is like a one-stop shop for these essential eight, so if you’re a vegan, you’ll need to work harder to get all eight.

A low protein diet (less than 15% of total calories – or about 50 grams per day) decreases levels of prolactin, growth hormone, estrogen, thyroid hormones, and insulin. This is enough evidence to suggest that adequate protein is required for regular periods. 

2️.) Omega 3 fatty acids (Healthy fats are also a building block for sex hormones)- While there are veg. sources of omega-3 fatty acids, they are not well absorbed by the body. As a result, vegans tend to be deficient in DHA and EPA (found only in fish), which can lead to higher inflammation and lower ovarian function. 

So while I 100% disagree with how both of your doctors treated you, there is something to be said for having more of the right protein and fat in your diet. Additionally, we all need to have the right amount of body fat in order to ovulate regularly, so if you are potentially underweight, you should look into that as well.

Hope this is helpful!

Sincerely,

Nicole Jardim

Women’s health and functional nutrition coach, also known as “The Period Girl” for her work to help women reclaim their hormonal health and feminine vitality naturally.

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