Holy Hormones Honey! Thank you Cathy for writing this timely article. I have been voicing the same concerns for years. Our focus on ‘sex’ education is a social/political hot box because the focus is on ‘sex.’ Women have been sold short in not being taught about ‘gyn’ ed – or what I call Menstrual/Hormonal Health Education – which encompasses ‘sex’ ed – but in relation to empowering information about how the endocrine system functions. Adolescent and teen girls need to learn that they have ‘more value than what lies between their legs.’ Unfortunately that is the only message they are getting. LCB
Ladies Need GYN Education More Than SEX Education
Cathy Margolin, L.Ac. Dipl. OM
Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist, founder of Pacific Herbs, Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine in potent, stay fresh packets.
October 3, 2012
Rarely have I encountered a female patient who does not present with some sort of hormonal imbalance. Young women complain of PMS signs such as menstrual cramps, mood swings or breast tenderness. Middle-aged women complain of foggy brain, sluggishness, depression and weight gain around the middle. Fortunately, the majority of my patients are wonderfully observant regarding their symptoms, yet all seem to lack a basic gynecological/hormone education. I include myself in this observation, at least when I was a teenager.
I was given that standard 7th Grade talk and short film but beyond that, I was on my own. There was no owner’s manual on what my body or hormones were up to each month. Whatever was going on we didn’t talk about, but honestly my mother didn’t have a clue, either. It didn’t help that I was the lone daughter in my family. But we’ve come a long way since the ’70s, haven’t we? I’m not so sure about that.
From what I see in my Alternative Medicine practice, not much has changed in 40 years. Teens and many of my female friends bemoan their monthly cycle month after month because they lack an education on hormone health. Their standard answer for their monthly menstrual pain is the same bottle of pain killers that I once used or the birth control pill. I know too many women who are menopausal, suffering with hot flashes and have reached adulthood with sex education under their belts, but without a firm grasp on their our own gynecological and hormone health.
Although every woman knows about birth control pills, they don’t seem to have a concept of how these artificial hormones upset their natural hormonal balance. We have been raised ignorant and left with limited resources to solve our female issues. Most women do not know what to do for their difficulties except mask them with some form of a pill or a heating pad. Effective as these means are, I believe it is high time we treat the root and not just the symptoms. To do so we will need to change some bad habits and give our daughters (and ourselves) some 21st century sex education. Not on sex, but on all that occurs between our reproductive cycles.
What I share and emphasize with my own clients is hormones are messengers in the body and when they are not in balance, messages get confused. The confusion begins with ingesting toxins, sugar and yes, artificial hormones which are found everywhere these days.
What follows is a condition I have found most women are almost completely ignorant of, called Estrogen Dominance. We are beginning to see the effects of chemicals in our environment causing estrogen dominance in both men and women. The late Dr. John Lee coined the term “Estrogen Dominance” and he described it as having deficient, normal or excessive estrogen in relation to progesterone. This means even if you have just a small amount of estrogen throughout your monthly cycle, but you have little to no progesterone, you can still be estrogen dominant. You may also hear this term referred to as unopposed estrogen. Today, nearly every patient I see has signs of estrogen dominance and I believe this a factor of the environment in which we are living.