Talking about Women's Health, Taking Care of our Bodies
I like to talk about success habits and tools, and in this post I'd like to go over our physical health as a part of our daily success practice. Our health and wellness, along with nutrition, whole foods, exercise and relaxation, are so important for our perception of our daily life.
Every day let's find something to celebrate in our own bodies and in our lives. One thing that I've found in my monthly cycle is I need to be aware of when I need extra care and stress reduction: while I don't like to think I'm at the mercy of my hormones, at certain points I definitely can feel the effects of being a woman of childbearing age.
IAs part of our life cycle, we go through multiple stages. As an infant, we are first born with some of the estrogen from our mothers passing through the placenta and into our circulatory system, making some baby girls have enlarged breasts. At puberty, our increased hormones develop our secondary sex characteristics, including a growth spurt. The hypothalamus (a part of the brain) starts to release pulses of hormone, which stimulates the pituitary gland into producing luteinising hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which signal the onset of menstruation.
As a mature female of child-bearing age, our main hormones are estrogen and progesterone, which cycle through our bodies to create egg maturation and release and, without fertilization, regular periods. WIth a fertilized egg, we have pregnancy, where the hormone HCG (human chorionic gonadotrophin, which you'll see at work in a pregnancy test) supports the pregnancy by creating higher amounts of estrogen and progesterone. After childbirth and breastfeeding, the body goes through a number of changes and slowly returns back to regular cycling.
Menopause starts at the end of the child-bearing years, with a decrease in the normal functioning of ovaries. Menstrual cycles can become erratic at this time, and the loss of estrogen can result in symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats, and potential risk for osteoporosis. Some women choose to take hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to prevent health problems.
Education is a key for all of us to learn from, understand, and cope with the changes in cycle that come from being female. As always, seek the advice of a qualified health care professional if you have health issues that give you concern. These links may be helpful:
Learn about women's health.