Ovulation Is the Main Event of the Menstrual Cycle

Anovulatory cycles and pill bleeds.A menstrual cycle is, by definition, an ovulatory cycle in which ovulation is the main event and progesterone is made.

Any other kind of bleed is either an anovulatory bleed or a pill-bleed — neither of which are real menstrual cycles. Ovulatory cycles are the only way to make progesterone which is important for general health, not just for making a baby.  

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The Dos and Don’ts of Vitex for Period Problems

Vitex or chastetree for period problems.Vitex (also called chaste tree or chasteberry) is a herbal medicine prepared from the berries of the Mediterranean tree Vitex agnus-castus. In ancient times, it was used to suppress the libido of monks, hence the name. Fortunately, it does not have that effect on women.

Vitex is effective medicine for breast pain, irregular periods, premenstrual mood symptoms, and some types of acne.

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The Downside to Contraceptive Injections and Implants

woman with contraceptive implant

The progestins of contraceptive injections and implants can cause depression, weight gain, and irregular menstrual bleeding. 

Side effects occur because: 1) progestins are not progesterone, and 2) progestins at that dose can suppress ovulation and cause anovulatory bleeding.  Keep reading to learn the difference between a real period, an anovulatory bleed, and a pill-bleed.

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Why Perimenopause Is Not About Aging

Perimenopause or “second puberty” is the two to ten years before the final period. It’s different from menopause, which is the life phase that begins one year after the final period. Symptoms, if they occur at all, occur mostly during perimenopause and are temporary.

The normal age for the final period is anywhere from 45 to 55 so the normal age for perimenopause is up to ten years before that—as young as 35. In other words, if you were born before 1984, you could be in perimenopause and yet still be relatively young. That’s why perimenopause is not about aging but is instead about an important (and unavoidable) recalibration of your hormonal system.

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