Women’s Wellness – Menstruation, Fertility, Menopause and Beyond

As well as ‘sharing’ the same acute and chronic health problems with the rest of the population, women, especially from puberty, have their own unique health complaints – physical and emotional.

These are often (but not always) linked to the ebb and flow of their hormones, but both the menstrual cycle and menstruation itself are easily affected by diet, lifestyle and stress. Your hormonal health is often a reflection of your overall health.

Mood swings, food cravings, anxiety, headaches, lethargy, fluid retention, digestive disorders, insomnia and high stress levels are common complaints and all reflect levels of imbalance.

Menstrual Mayhem – this includes

  • PMS – physical, mental and emotional symptoms
  • Irregular, painful or heavy periods
  • Endometriosis
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Hormones can be balanced and symptoms alleviated with natural therapies including nutritional programmes, herbal and mineral remedies.

Fertility – If you are having difficulties in conceiving a child, you may be feeling emotional, anxious and worried. You are not alone – for a variety of reasons, many young couples today are having difficulties in conceiving a child for no apparent reason.

Natural therapies can help if you are one such couple, or if you are seeking conception through IUI or IVF.

Although it may sound very simplistic, cleansing, nutritional and lifestyle programmes can and do help restore enough balance to the body to enable conception to occur – not every time, but many times. Any underlying emotional issues are also dealt with, as it is important that both parents-to-be are in the best of health physically, mentally and emotionally –before conception.

Jennifer likes to use the analogy of gardening to the conception of a child, likening the woman’s role to that of a garden plot. In order to yield a healthy crop, it is important to dig the ground over, weed it, then put the good nutrients back in before planting the seeds. As for the seeds – we want the best quality.

There’s not much point in having well prepared and nourished soil, if the seeds come from a faded old packet that’s past its sell-by date and has been stuck at the back of the garden shed for years! So dads; your own health, including that of your sperm is vital, and best results are obtained when couples work together to improve their health.

Once pregnant, the mum-to-be of course goes under the care of her obstetrician, but continues with Jennifer for her individual nutritional and lifestyle programme and safe supplementation. This keeps her fit and well physically, mentally and emotionally – throughout the pregnancy and after baby is born.

‘Naturopathic’ babies are often commented upon for their alertness, intelligence, beautiful eyes and skin and contented dispositions. And when it’s time for weaning, good nutritional programmes for the little ones are available, so that the healthy foundation that has been laid from day one is built upon to ensure their continued good health and wellbeing.

Pre-menopause and menopause

This part of your life can be a challenging, but it’s another of those ‘chrysalis-to-butterly’ times for women as you transition through to the ‘Wise Woman’ years  – which Jennifer will tell you are pretty good! How you will feel, how long it will last and to what degree you will experience the symptoms can never be predicted – it will be your own subjective, personal journey.

Jennifer’s approach is not about interfering with or replacing diminishing hormones, but to provide you and your body with support on every level with herbs, supplements, counselling and nutritional programmes.

The degree to which women experience problems during this time vary from nil to severe, but you well may be in the pre-menopausal years if you’re experiencing any of the following:

  • Night sweats.
  • Sleeping difficulties – either with the onset, depth or waking during the night, often as a result of the sweats.
  • Anxiety and feelings of not being ‘grounded’.
  • Change in your bleeding pattern – either more frequent, longer periods, or missing periods.
  • A change in the menstrual flow – lighter periods of a watery appearance.
  • Mood swings – feeling more irritable, and maybe restless and dissatisfied with your life.
  • Forgetfulness and difficulty in concentrating
  • Headaches or migraines especially before your periods.
  • Vaginal dryness and atrophy which makes sexual intercourse difficult or painful.
  • Reduced sex drive.
  • Urinary stress incontinence.

Beyond menopause – aging with grace, good health, humour and a ‘devil-may-care’ attitude

The key to aging well is living well – and this includes the right nutrition, the right lifestyle and the right attitude. With good nutrition, supplements, movement, good grooming, a sense of humour, an open mind and a generosity of heart and spirit, moving into the later years need not be thought of as a negative experience.

In fact, this time of life can be extremely freeing as it is no longer important to try and meet others expectations or to ‘fit in’.

Jennifer has had the privilege of knowing some truly phenomenal older women who embodied the very best of femininity, wisdom, spirituality and heart – and yes, some of them did decide to wear purple!

It is a fact that people are living longer now, but unfortunately for the majority, these last years are taken up with visits to the doctor, dealing with chronic, often debilitating illness and days spent fretting about their bowels and wondering if they’ve taken their pills.

Naturopathic programmes can contribute positively to your wellness and how you look and feel, while the Human Design sessions can help you to rediscover and redefine yourself.