Are you suffering in silence with a cycle-related problem?

/Are you suffering in silence with a cycle-related problem?

Are you suffering in silence with a cycle-related problem?

stethoscopeI get a lot of emails from Hormonology readers. What surprises me is that many of these emails are from women asking me about how to “fix” a menstruation-related problem they’re having (like heavy bleeding, irregular bleeding or severe cramp pain), how they can confirm their suspicions that their hormones are out-of-balance and how a certain health issue impacts their cycle or how their cycle affects a certain health issue.

While I’m happy to provide information on studies about simple problems, in almost all cases, I refer the writer to their healthcare provider. After all, I’m just a health journalist–not an M.D.

My expertise is sharing how your hormones affect your behavior, moods, energy and simple health issues from day to day in your cycle based on scientific research and showing you how to apply it in practical ways in your own life.

But, all these emails about deeper cycle-related health issues got me to wondering why so many women were asking a virtual stranger for such important medical advice.

So, I was fascinated by a 2014 study published in the journal Canadian Family Physician that revealed it may actually be a common phenomenon for women to put off talking to a health care provider about cycle-related issues–sometimes for years–until the issue gets so bad, it interrupts their daily life.

Why? As the study author found, some women are afraid they’ll come off as whiners who are complaining about something that isn’t a real problem because they don’t know what constitutes a “normal” experience in a menstrual cycle or they’re simply uncomfortable bringing up the subject.

However, after the women in the study did finally approach their doctor about their cycle-related issue, most were not only happy they did, they wished they’d done it far sooner so they could have spared themselves fear and discomfort and nipped the problem in the bud at the first signs.

So, today I’d like to recommend that if you have a menstrual-related problem that you’re concerned about–no matter how small–or you have a question about your cycle, your hormones or a how a health issue may be tied to it–no matter how silly you may think it may sound–please call your health care provider and make an appointment to talk about it. You’ll likely be happy you did.

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By | 2017-04-22T08:52:53+00:00 January 9th, 2015|health, hormonology tip, Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4|2 Comments

About the Author:

Gabrielle Lichterman, founder of Hormonology® and a longtime women’s health journalist, pioneered the growing movement among women to live in sync with their menstrual cycles and know more about all the ways their hormones impact their moods, health and behavior. This movement was launched in 2005 with Gabrielle’s groundbreaking book, 28 Days: What Your Cycle Reveals about Your Love Life, Moods and Potential, and her creation of Hormonology®. She offers a variety of tools–including her popular free Hormone Horoscope® app, eBooks, infographics, videos and tips–to share vital information about hormones.

2 Comments

  1. Gabrielle Lichterman March 9, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    Amy, I can’t thank you enough for sharing your story publicly. It’s stories like yours that encourage other women — who are premenopausal, perimenopausal and, like your mom, post-menopausal — to see a health care professional when symptoms arise and to get regular check-ups. I’m so glad your mother was able to catch the cancer in its earliest, most treatable stage (so key!) and is now cancer-free. And how wonderful that you went to your doctor armed with all the info. I’m sure it made it a bit less anxiety-causing for you and easier for your GP. Thanks again for posting! 🙂

  2. Amy March 9, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    Hi Gabrielle!
    Thanks so much for this, and you, of course, are soooo right! If you don’t mind a story, please read on…
    It took me a long time to go to my Gyn earlier this year–it had been almost 2 years since I’d been, as I retired from the military and moved overseas, where I wasn’t terribly comfortable with a foreign system and language. The trouble was that I was having symptoms of peri-menopause. The migraines were bad enough, but when the heart palpitations started, I made an appointment. Your website was a great help when I prepared for my appointment–I had kept a journal of symptoms for 3 months and was able to show the doc my calendar. It made things a lot easier, so thank you! I am still dealing with the best ways to deal with those symptoms, but it’s better.
    A side note to the story–my mother and I made an agreement that if I went, she would go too. She is in her 80’s, and even though her GP told her to go, she really didn’t much see the point. Since I went, and did all the tests–no small feat in France–she went to see her doctor. She was sure that it was ridiculous, but we had made an agreement. Her doctors found cancer. It was in the earliest stages, and absolutely treatable/stoppable. The surgeon said it was a best-case scenario. She is still healing, but very happy to be cancer-free. It’s all because one of us went to see the doctor.
    Here’s hoping all of your readers take your advice!
    Thanks for all you do–Amy

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