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Know your cycle

How Fertility Awareness and Gentle Nutrition can Assist in Eating Disorder Recovery—and Maybe Infertility, Too

Cassie Moriarty by Cassie Moriarty

infertility, fertility, eating disorder, PCOS, hormonal disorder, anorexia, bulimia, amenorrhea, fertility awareness, fertility awareness method, FAMs, NFP, natural family planning, FABMs, fertility awareness based method, gently nutrition, healing from infertility, healing from an eating disorder, eating disorder treatment

Many girls are taught in their middle- or high-school health education classes that eating disorders look one of two ways: Either someone depriving themselves almost entirely of food (anorexia), or someone bingeing and purging (bulimia nervosa). While these two disorders are real and present, diet culture has muddied the waters between “healthy eating,” and “unhealthy […]

Reasons Women Need Periods: The Role of the Menstrual Cycle in the Immune System

Cassie Moriarty by Cassie Moriarty

Natural Womanhood, Fertility Awareness Based Methods, Natural Family Planning, NFP, FABM, FAM, birth control side effects, womens health, reproductive health, fertility awareness, taking charge of your fertility, know more about your body, understanding fertility, understanding fertility health, improving fertility health, improving women's health, natural birth control, immune system, immunity, need a period, need to cycle, menstrual cycle and immunity, need periods, need to have a period, ovulate, menstruate, naturally

When it comes to periods, misinformation abounds. Periods and period research have long been stigmatized, so it’s no surprise that so little is known about periods, or why women have them. Purveyors of hormonal contraception like to tell women that there’s no need for them to have a period, but more and more, researchers are […]

Cycle mindfulness: What happens when you teach fertility awareness to teen girls

Anna Migeon by Anna Migeon

fertility awareness cycle charting teenstar teen girls learning menstrual cycle depression leslie botha hormone health abstinence sex education sexual agency reproductive health

In the 1980s, Leslie Carol Botha taught basic fertility charting to 13-17 year-olds at eight different restorative care homes for at-risk girls. A typical girl in the program had been a victim of sexual assault, ran away from home, used drugs and alcohol and ended up in jail. In working with these girls, Ms. Botha made an amazing discovery: teens who […]

Endometriosis and Autoimmune Disease: What’s the Connection?

Melissa Buchan by Melissa Buchan

endometriosis and autoimmune disease, endo and autoimmune, endo, autoimmunity, autoimmune disorders, crohns, multiple sclerosis, irritable bowel disorder

Do you remember the game Which one doesn’t belong? You know the one I’m referring to – the classification game we all played in our elementary school days. You’re presented with four objects or scenarios and the task to determine which item or situation doesn’t belong. Let’s play. Which one doesn’t belong? Celiac Disease Lupus […]

What to Do When Your Doctor Won’t Listen to You

Maria Brown by Maria Brown

doctor isn't listening, doctor won't listen, doctor will not listen to me, polycystic ovary syndrome, PCOS, endometriosis, endo, birth control, the Pill, contraception

Prior to being diagnosed with PCOS, I experienced an interesting variety of responses from the medical community to the various symptoms of my disorder. I encountered everything from a standoff with an endocrinologist who insisted she could do nothing but put me on birth control, to a primary care physician who thought I was a […]

The emotional effects of PCOS: The lies it tells me, and how I battle them

Rebekah Firestine by Rebekah Firestine

emotional effects of PCOS, psychological effects of PCOS, emotional toll of PCOS, polycystic ovary syndrome, PCOS, hirsutism, body hair, weight gain, treatment for PCOS, diet for PCOS, PCOS nutrition

On a good day, my battle with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a burden I must carry, making me stronger, more intentional, and more merciful towards myself and others. Every other day, it’s an intense emotional battle–the bane of my existence, and an ugly reminder that I am chronically ill. Although the emotional effects of […]

“Why do I get pre-period bloat?” and other PMS questions, answered: A Natural Womanhood PMS FAQ

Natural Womanhood by Natural Womanhood

premenstrual syndrome, PMS, PMS symptoms, Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, PMDD, severe PMS, bloating before period, PMS treatment, breast pain before period, PMS moodswings, moodiness before period

Premenstrual syndrome, better known as PMS, has long been accepted as a fact of life by many women. After all, if you’re a woman of reproductive age, chances are good that at some point you’ve experienced an uncomfortable combination of telltale symptoms warning you about “Aunt Flo’s” upcoming visit–from symptoms like headaches, to mood swings, […]

How to Get an Endometriosis Diagnosis and Find Truly Restorative Treatment

Melissa Buchan by Melissa Buchan

endometriosis diagnosis, autoimmune disease endometriosis, crohn's, lupus, irritable bowel syndrome ibs, endometriosis, endometriosis birth control

Like many women I know, I was put on hormonal birth control at a young age to manage menstrual pain. Desperate and confused, I complied with what medical professionals prescribed. What followed were years of struggle and unwanted side effects. When I finally received my endometriosis diagnosis and real treatment for this disorder, my entire […]

“What causes irregular periods, and can you fix them without birth control?” and other questions: A Natural Womanhood Irregular Periods FAQ

Natural Womanhood by Natural Womanhood

Natural Womanhood, Fertility Awareness Based Methods, Natural Family Planning, NFP, FABM, FAM, birth control side effects, womens health, reproductive health, fertility awareness, taking charge of your fertility, know more about your body, understanding fertility, understanding fertility health, improving fertility health, improving women's health, natural birth control, irregular period, irregular menstrual cycle, irregular periods ovulation, irregular periods fertility, irregular periods infertility, irregular periods pregnancy

Before diving into our first question about irregular periods, let’s first establish what a “regular” period looks like. The “average” cycle length for most women is 28 days, with ovulation (when an egg is released from the ovary) occurring roughly in the middle, around day 14. However, it is perfectly normal to have a cycle […]

Reasons Women Need Periods: The Role of the Menstrual Cycle in Heart Health

Cassie Moriarty by Cassie Moriarty

Natural Womanhood, Fertility Awareness Based Methods, Natural Family Planning, NFP, FABM, FAM, birth control side effects, womens health, reproductive health, fertility awareness, taking charge of your fertility, know more about your body, understanding fertility, understanding fertility health, improving fertility health, improving women's health, natural birth control, heart health, reasons women need periods, women need menstrual cycles, women need periods, heart health and menstrual cycle, periods and heart health, ovulation and heart health, fertility and heart health, estrogen and heart disease, progesterone and heart disease, hormones and heart disease

Welcome back for our third installment of “Reasons Women Need Periods,” a series dedicated to taking a deep dive into some of the reasons women actually need their cycles for optimal health. This week we examine periods and heart health. The two primary female reproductive hormones are estrogen and progesterone. When estrogen zigs, progesterone zags. […]