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Abnormal Menstrual Cycles_Final

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>> Hey, it's great to see you again. In the last lecture, we talked all about what a normal period should look like. Today, we'll be talking about some of the most common period abnormalities, how to spot them, and how you can help your clients address them. This can be extremely helpful to your clients because many women are uncertain about what normal versus abnormal looks like when it comes to periods. And it's helpful for you as a coach because this information can help you identify potential hormonal imbalances that can be addressed through health coaching. Okay, let's jump into the signs and symptoms of an abnormal cycle. Unfortunately, these are becoming more and more common. Here are five signs to watch out for that may signify hormonal imbalances. Changes in menstrual fluid, irregular or skipped periods, spotting, PMS symptoms severe enough to disrupt a woman's life, and abnormally short or long cycles due to the length of the luteal or follicular phase going outside the normal range. Let's start with the appearance of menstrual blood, which can be an important sign of abnormalities. If the blood is dark, heavy, has clots or looks clumpy, kind of like frozen crushed up blueberries, this can be a sign that estrogen levels are too high in relation to progesterone. Estrogen is a stimulating hormone, and high estrogen can overstimulate the uterine lining. Progesterone counteracts the job of estrogen by slowing down uterine lining growth. So if estrogen is high in relation to progesterone, you can see how it might cause the symptoms just described. Other signs of high estrogen levels include breast tenderness, migraines, bloating, and emotional PMS symptoms like anxiety. If, on the other hand, the blood appears thinned out and lighter in color, more pink than red, or if there is simply too little, this can indicate that estrogen levels are low. Symptoms of low estrogen can also include vaginal dryness, lack of lubrication, low libido, and increased UTIs. Moving on to number two, your clients might also be experiencing irregular periods or no periods if their estrogen is too low. Over time, mood swings, hot flashes, night sweats, and decreased bone density may develop as well. Do these symptoms sound familiar? And if you're thinking that this sounds a lot like perimenopause and menopause, you're right. But that's only one cause of low estrogen, other causes include long-term hormonal birth control use, coming off hormonal birth control, surgical removal of the ovaries, radiation treatments, anorexia or low-nutrient intake, genetic diseases, thyroid problems, and inadequate body fat. These causes can happen to women of any age. Next, spotting or bleeding between periods may indicate an abnormality. Spotting in the luteal phase is most often caused by progesterone levels dropping prematurely before the actual period. Progesterone should remain high during the luteal phase and then drop sharply at the end of the luteal phase right before a woman's period begins. Before we get into the other causes of abnormal spotting, it's important to highlight that spotting during ovulation is actually considered normal and even a sign of fertility. Keep this in mind if you have a client who experiences spotting in conjunction with fertile quality, cervical fluid around the time she ovulates each month. Other causes of abnormal spotting between periods include uterine fibroids, endometriosis, cervical polyps, and other abnormal growths in the uterus or cervix. Ongoing stress which dampens the production of progesterone, changes in medication, miscarriage, vaginal dryness, hormone imbalance, and cervical cancer. Let's examine each of these in more detail. Uterine fibroids, endometriosis, cervical polyps, and other abnormal growths in the uterus or cervix can cause spotting or bleeding between periods. Usually benign, these can be a sign of hormonal imbalance. Fibroids and endometriosis are particularly associated with estrogen dominance. Stress can cause low progesterone due to the stress hormones depleting the precursor to progesterone, pregnenolone. With low progesterone, there can be breakthrough bleeding. Changes in medications can cause spotting between periods. There are many medications that can cause bleeding, including blood thinners, birth control pills, fertility medications, antidepressants, and herbal supplements like ginkgo and ginseng. Miscarriage, threatened pregnancy, and ectopic pregnancy can also cause spotting between periods, often before a woman even knows she's pregnant. Vaginal dryness which can cause the vaginal and vulvar tissues to become thin and fragile can result in torn tissue and the subsequent abnormal spotting at any time of the month. An imbalance between estrogen and progesterone can cause breakthrough bleeding. Again, this is usually related to estrogen dominance, either overproduction of estrogen or underproduction of progesterone. This can often happen when your client stops using birth control pills but usually resolves within three to six months after stopping birth control. Cancer of the cervix can cause spotting. In fact, irregular vaginal bleeding may be the first sign your clients will see of cervical cancer. If you have a client who is experiencing prolonged spotting at times other than right before her period, encourage her to see her doctor for a Pap smear. A medical practitioner should evaluate persistent breakthrough bleeding in order to be certain that it is not health-threatening. Next, there should not be any signs of physical or emotional PMS. Now I know you might be thinking, "Hold on, isn't that what's supposed to happen?" Actually, it's not normal to feel crazed and awful the week before your period. The severe symptoms that many women experience are statistically normal but not biologically normal. When the body is in balance, periods should come in rather gently and any symptoms women do experience should be mild enough that they're not disruptive to their lives in any way. Some women experience severe PMS symptoms such as depression, anxiety, breast tenderness or pain, cramping, headaches, acne, and fluid retention about 5 to 10 days before their period. These usually disappear as soon as bleeding begins. These symptoms can be a sign of an underlying hormonal imbalance, typically either high estrogen or insufficient progesterone or low thyroid function. By helping your clients pay close attention to their symptoms during the week leading up to their periods, you can work together to create relief through diet and lifestyle changes. Lastly, there are two possible reasons for abnormally short or abnormally long cycles. As I mentioned, either the luteal phase or the follicular phase can be out of range causing an abnormal cycle length. Cycles that are 24 days or less, might indicate a condition called luteal phase defects or LPD. A luteal phase that is less than 10 days may be a sign of LPD. This means that the luteal phase is too short to either get pregnant or stay pregnant. This is because it takes about 10 days for a fertilized egg to travel from the fallopian tube and implant in the uterus. To rule this out, your clients can track their cycles to help determine the length of the luteal phase. The most common cause of luteal phase defect is low progesterone. Again, the causes for low progesterone include ongoing stress, low thyroid function, and lack of ovulation. On the flipside, if the luteal phase is more than 16 days long or a menstrual cycle is more than 35 days long, then there's probably another issue at play. This can include PCOS, excess estrogen, perimenopause, or premature ovarian failure. Now let's talk about the follicular phase which begins on the first day of the period and ends the day before ovulation. If your clients are experiencing a short follicular phase, it could mean they aren't producing enough estrogen to do the job in the first half of the cycle. Clients can also track the length of this phase based on the changes in consistency of their cervical fluid. Once the cervical fluid dries up, they've probably ovulated. If a woman experiences a long follicular phase, it means that ovulation has been delayed for some reason. Possible reasons for this include too much luteinizing hormone or LH, which is often the case in women with PCOS. This can make the follicular phase too long and delay ovulation. To recap what we just covered, the five major menstrual cycle abnormalities are changes in menstrual fluid, irregular or skipped periods, spotting, severe PMS symptoms, and abnormally short or long cycles. Many of the annoying period problems that we've just described are actually due to estrogen dominance, which is a very common female sex hormone imbalance. Recall that estrogen dominance means that the estrogen is too high when compared with progesterone levels. Usually, this is due to too much estrogen, but it can also be the result of normal estrogen levels in conjunction with very low progesterone levels. The symptoms associated with estrogen dominance include breast tenderness, bloating, constipation, decreased sex drive, fatigue, memory issues, weight gain, and insomnia. Estrogen dominance or excess estrogen compared to progesterone can result from long-term stress, leaky gut syndrome, or gut dysbiosis, excess weight, exposure to endocrine disruptors such as BPA and phthalates, and a diet that's high in conventional meat and dairy. We've come to the end of today's lecture on abnormal menstrual cycles. You now know the five main irregularities that indicate menstrual cycle abnormalities and their most common underlying causes. With this knowledge, it should be evident that most changes in the menstrual pattern are tied to issues in other systems such as the endocrine and gastrointestinal systems. Estrogen dominance is commonly at play when it comes to menstrual issues. This hormone imbalance can impact every part of the menstrual cycle. Now we want to hear from you. Have you ever had a client experience any of the issues we described? Maybe you have a personal experience you want to share. If so, please feel free to stop by the Facebook group and chat with your fellow students about how they affected you and the steps you took to reclaim your menstrual health and allow your client to do the same. Next, be sure to review the handout and take the quiz for this module to test your knowledge on the topics we've covered. Thanks so much for watching. See you soon.

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Duration: 12 minutes and 1 second
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Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
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Views: 6
Posted by: ninaz on Apr 2, 2018

Abnormal Menstrual Cycles_Final

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