There is a trend among some young women nowadays to suppress their menstrual cycles in order to enjoy vacations. The natural event of a woman’s menstrual bleed can be viewed as a burden or worse yet a curse by some. Many are unaware of the systematic beauty a woman’s body holds. Did you know that women’s general health is linked to her reproductive cycles? Cassie Moriarty, a writer for Natural Womanhood’s Blog, identified several important factors affected by the female menstrual cycle including immunity, bone health, heart health, moods and libido.
Ms. Moriarty interviewed Dr. Jerilynn Prior, Director of the Centre for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research (CeMCOR), who stated “(Women) need ovulation, as well as normal cycles, for healthy bones.” “Women spend the first 25 years of their lives building bone mass. If they are ovulating normally, they should be able to keep that bone mass throughout their reproductive life and beyond.” The use of hormonal contraceptives stops the normal ovulatory function of the woman’s body. Vitally important to bone health are both sex hormones (oestrogen and progesterone). Fake progesterone (synthetic progestin) is not equivalent to the real one for bone health and development. Dr. Prior noted “Birth control use in adolescent girls has been shown to be significantly negative for spinal bone gain” “That’s something everyone needs to know.” Teenagers and young adult women need to know about their risks of osteoporosis (weak bones that can easily break). Also mental stress can offset women’s ovulation. Stress management is therefore important to reduce the risk of dysfunctional ovulation which will ultimately affect women’s bone health.
Moriarty also revealed that cervical mucus, which is central to the use of the Billings Ovulation Method® “is not just a sign of fertility—it is also another vital part of our immune system and is rich in immunoregulatory proteins.” This mucus at varying times of the woman’s cycle literally fights infection and filters sperm. The cervix (neck of the womb) does not fully develop until a woman is in her mid-twenties. Undergoing normal menstrual cycles is crucial for the proper development of this pathogen-fighting function of her body. Pathogens including some Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) strains can be fought naturally with a properly matured cervix. Hormonal contraception with its synthetic hormones affects the immune system and gut flora. There is thus a link to their use and becoming infected with bacterial and viral disease
Coronary Artery Calcification (CAC) that causes blood vessels to narrow which can lead to heart disease is prevented through the presence of adequate oestrogen levels. Progesterone also has positive effects on deterring heart problems. The chances of developing heart disease seem to increase when women have fewer total menstrual cycles. Synthetic hormones, as with bone health, also lack the beneficial effects on the heart. In fact hormonal contraceptive use has shown increased risk of cardiovascular events (stroke and heart attack). Other effects are high cholesterol, diabetes and high blood pressure.
When we teach the Billings Ovulation Method® (BOM) we highlight what is healthy to the woman’s cycle and what is not. Many women are currently being diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) or Polycystic Ovaries (PCO). Women with these diagnoses and in fact all women ought to know what is happening with their bodies. Learning the BOM empowers women with knowledge, in particular about ovulation (when their bodies release eggs from their ovaries). Ovulation can be “seen” through women’s observations of their cervical mucus patterns. This information comes free of charge every menstrual cycle. She simply has to pay attention to it and a wealth of information is available to both her and her doctor. Doctors are typically impressed when women know their bodies this well. Diagnoses and treatments can therefore be better assessed using her charted observations.
We invite every woman to “know thy self” and learn this Method. Men can finally understand women! We also invite doctors to understand this Method and the great deal of information proper use of it offers.