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Easter: Menstrual Health & Menopause

Updated: Mar 31

Where is the link? Maybe you have heard it before? Even if you have I encourage you to keep reading as it might just give you some other food for thought.

Many sources suggest Easter is linked to pre Christian Spring Equinox Festivals and indeed the date for Easter is chosen based on the first Sunday, after the full moon, after the Spring Equinox so it would seem there is a direct link.

Celebrating new life, hope and the many aspects of the Easter story are reflected in what we see happening around us in nature at this time of year and it is also believed that the name for Easter comes from the German goddess Eostre who was a Fertility goddess whose name gave rise to east (dawn) and yes, estrogen and she also had a hare as a pet companion another fertility symbol.

During a women's menstrual cycles ovulation occurs when the level of estrogen is sufficiently high to activate a series of events that cause the release of an egg.

Many women spend most of their lives knowing very little about estrogen (often the exception being anyone who has a fertility journey) and the important role it has in their overall health. Whilst oestrogen is essential for pregnancy it has many other roles, the majority of which aren't talked about until the perimenopause/menopause years.

Lara Briden a naturopathic doctor describes Ovulation as being "like a deposit in a bank account for our long-term health"

"After we ovulate, progesterone is secreted by the corpus luteum, the empty follicle that remains after your egg exits the follicle and makes its way down the fallopian tube. Progesterone is so much more than just your pregnancy hormone. It is a stress-protective, mood-stabilising super hormone that helps us sleep better(1) and can even be converted into other hormones as needed.

Research finds that progesterone reduces inflammation (2), protects against heart disease (3), is important for building muscle (4), and helps buffer the negative effects of our stress response. (5).  A 2020 study even found that progesterone noticeably changes the shape of our brains throughout our cycle! (6)

It is so crucial to understand that we only ovulate when we are cycling naturally. In the class, Lara Briden stated emphatically that, "progesterone is the hormone that is stolen from us by the Pill." For the most part, hormonal birth control shuts off our ovulation, which means we do not receive all of these protective benefits of progesterone if we are suppressing our hormones with hormonal birth control."

For more info and to access the references cited you can visit this link "

You can also check out this short video for more information

My questions are:

  • Why do we only talk about the health benefits of ovulation at a time when a women's body is coming to the end of its ovulatory cycle?

  • Is it possible that the challenges faced by women in their perimenopause/ menopause years are in part a result of missing out of the the health benefits ovulation in their teens, 20's 30's 40's?

  • If women knew the importance of ovulation would they make different choices?

I recently joined Michelle Major on her Embody Podcast where we talk some more about this and other aspects of women's menstrual health. If you would like to listen in you can do so on the link below.

There is as always more to say and to explore. These points are only one part of an extensive conversation. For many Hormonal Contraceptive may be the right choice for many it might not. Informed choice is always key. If you have any questions please get in touch.

Blog post written by Joanne Callan - Holistic Therapist, Well Being Coach and Founder of Changing Cycles Community Interest Company.

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