Welcome to Live Free Creative, the podcast that provides inspiration and ideas for living a creative, adventurous, and intentional lifestyle. I’m your host Miranda Anderson and I hope that each time you listen you feel a little bit more free to live your life exactly the way you want to live it.
Hey there friends. Welcome back to the podcast. You’re listening to Episode 86 of Live Free Creative, Flowing With Your Seasons. I’m super thrilled to be interviewing a guest this week on the podcast.
I called up my friend April Davis from The Vagina Blog on Zoom. Our new best friend, Zoom. Right everyone? Everyone who had never heard of Zoom is now intimately familiar with it.
I was able to ask April to share some ideas and thoughts that she had from a presentation that I heard her give last month at Alt Summit where she talked about capitalizing on our menstrual cycle in order to live our best lives.
I love the information and the empowerment that she shares through this topic and I can’t wait to share the interview with you later on in this episode before we get started on that. However, you know me, I love a segment, and today I wanted to share a quick segment that I like to call Pause For A Poem.
Pause For A Poem
Hope is the thing with feathers
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.
I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.
– Emily Dickinson
I thought it was a good idea to start off this week’s episode with a little poem about hope. If you need an extra dose, you can rewind and relisten to that a couple of times. Just the peace that can come from allowing that hope that’s out there floating around in the world to come perch on us and to live in our hearts even during uncertain times.
Main Topic: Flowing With Your Seasons
Now I am excited to dive into this interview with April Davis from The Vagina Blog. I met April a couple of years ago at a conference and was just blown away by her candidness, by her warmth and her thoughtfulness, and by the way that she approaches some sometimes unfortunately taboo topics like menstruation, women’s sexual health, intimacy and basically just all things women, all things vagina.
April approaches these topics with humor, with education, with authority and in a way that’s just so approachable. Today I’m going to be asking her specifically about this presentation that she shared last month at Alt Summit.
We were surprised and delighted to be able to share the same stage. She spoke first and I spoke and then there was a third incredible speaker that I hopefully will interview at some point for the podcast. All of our topics just really meshed well together.
April, in particular, I felt like the things that she shared about the seasons of a menstrual cycle, following this cycle throughout the month, felt like information that I knew somehow and I was just remembering it. And it has created this certain level of awareness that has already just in the last month, since I heard her talk, invited a new sense of empowerment into my life.
I hope that as you listen to our conversation that you have that same feeling of awareness and empowerment that I felt when I heard April talk about this topic last month. I do want to warn you that the audio is not the best in the whole world because this was a Zoom call. And so just be forgiving of the audio, turn it up a little bit if you need to, tune in and just listen.
I think that you will discover some new things that you might not have known before that might help you feel an added measure of peace and intention in your life.
Interview with April Davis
Miranda: Okie dokie. April, I’m so happy to have you here. How are you?
April: I am doing good.
Miranda: Great. It’s good to see your face. I know my listeners can’t see your face. I’ll put a picture of you in the show notes, so they can see your sweet face. Why don’t you jump in and share a little bit about yourself, about The Vagina Blog and how you’ve gotten to this place where you are.
April: I have always kind of been drawn naturally to being completely fascinated with female body health and by like bodies and all of this. I’ve always loved everything that goes on with sexual health and all of that.
I did emergency medicine in college. I was an EMT and then I went on in my life I had my kids and studied so much about childbirth and breastfeeding.
I became a doula after the birth of my second child and I also became a birth assistant to a nurse midwife[, named Cindy]. So it was almost like I was a doula, but also serving in a medical capacity with her. And I worked with her doing home birth specifically, and also she owned a birth center.
I loved working with her because she was a nurse midwife. And so I was really getting both sides of a lot of the art of midwifery along with some of the medical knowledge and care.
Something else that was amazing working with Cindy is that she was our nurse practitioner at the time for our Planned Parenthood. And so not only was she doing birth, but she was doing a lot of gynecological care.
And so I was able to just kind of like constantly ask her all these questions about what she was doing and why she was doing that and what was working and what studies they were doing at the time. And so we were constantly talking about absolutely everything that kind of goes along with us.
So after I had my third baby, I kind of had to retire from birth work. I also was working in photo and video at the time, and I was working for a couple of their blogs as kind of a consultant for women’s health. And so I already had a little bit of experience in this type of realm.
Coming out of birth work, I was just really sad. I missed the time that I had all this knowledge and I was like, what am I going to do with all this information that I have? And so that’s kind of how The Vagina Blog was born.
I thought, “Why not start a platform and an Instagram and a blog to share all this information and help save all the vaginas.”
Miranda: Love it. I didn’t realize what a background do you have in this, like from the medical to the doula, and it makes sense with your audio, video, and blog. What are like perfect marriage of the different things that you had done that you love and putting these together.
April: I look at my background, I’m like, this doesn’t make any sense cause like my college was emergency medicine and digital motion picture production.
Miranda: So interesting. I love that. But it’s such a good example of just following your curiosity and your passion and seeing how those can lead you directly into what feels like the perfect combination. Super unexpected but perfect combination of things that matter.
Miranda: And I love this idea of saving all the vaginas. On my show, I have shared a few different episode series specific to mothers and motherhood and they’ve been so popular because I think that it’s such an under-talked about idea.
One of my episodes called Wholeness In Motherhood talked about remaining a whole person even after you have your babies. And then I did a whole series last spring about Mothering The Mothers, that really was born out of this experience that I had with my diastisis recti, like five years after my daughter, my final baby was born.
I went in because of back pain and found out that I had this super severe injury that had never been treated and never been talked about and never been healed. And I went on to do like six months of physical therapy with a women’s health specialist, and still now do twice weekly chiropractic visits because we’re still trying to correct this problem that happened six years ago.
This is just so overlooked because as women we are the strong ones. We don’t complain about things that are going on, all the injury and all of the difficulty that accompanies menstruation and birth. Everyone talks about it as if it’s just totally normal that you are in pain. It’s totally normal that you’re super tired. It’s totally normal that you’re torn apart and bleeding all the time.
I love the super candid and fun and approachable way that you approach all of these really important topics because, at the end of the day, they are vital for women’s health and wellbeing, but they can also be a little bit overwhelming or embarrassing for people.
I love that you bring this element of fun and “it’s cool, let’s talk about it, it’s going to be great,” so that it can feel a little bit more approachable for people.
April: Thank you so much. Cause that really is my goal. I think I feel very protective of women and I just, I don’t know, I’ve seen so many things happen and have had things happen to myself, personally. I hear stories about things like diastasis recti all the time. I hear stories just like yours all the time about, “I just didn’t know. I just didn’t know. No one told me. No one told me. I just didn’t know.” And so I was like, someone needs to tell everyone. So I guess I guess that’s my job now.
Miranda: Yeah, I love that. And specifically I am so excited to talk to you today about the seasons of our menstrual cycle, the seasons of the month. So we all are familiar with the idea of the seasons of the year and luckily we’re heading into Spring, which is one of [inaudible] my favorite seasons, just like the rebirth and the renewal and all of that kind of fun energy.
Even though things are weird in the world right now, I think when I could go out on a daily walk with my kids, I’m like, gosh but the earth is rejoicing. Like the earth is loving springtime and all the blossoms and everything. It feels so good.
And I think generally people have kind of a vague understanding of, you feel like hibernating in the winter and you feel like going out to the beach in the summer and you know, sort of the different energies of the season, of the different seasons of the year.
But when I heard you present last month at Alt Summit about the different seasons of the month as a woman that follow your menstrual cycle, I was like, I have got to have her on to share about this because this is something that we all go through every single month, the four seasons of our cycle.
And like you were saying a second ago, I want share all the things. Women need to know all the things. I feel like this is so important for women to hear and understand that there are reasons why you feel differently during different phases of the month.
I want to just share that last Monday. Oh my gosh. So last Monday I woke up. Of course everything’s different right now in the pandemic, right? Because we all feel like every day you have no idea like what emotions you’re going to wake up with.
But I woke up and around like eight or nine and I was so tired and I thought like, should I get out of bed? Like my, my head’s telling me I should get up, I should get going, I should have breakfast, I should take my kids on a walk. Like let’s follow our schedule.
And then I realized that I was going to start my period pretty soon, like in the next couple of days just because I had been tracking it–and I have to say that I haven’t tracked my period my whole life. There were years and years that I didn’t even have any idea. But particularly the last six months, I’ve been really pretty clear about it because I’ve been doing this mood tracker as well.
I was like, Oh, I think that I’m about to start my period. And because I connected the dots of like that’s coming, I allowed myself to say I’m super tired and my body needs to rest. So I went back to sleep. I stayed in bed until like 11 and I got up and I had some food with my kids and then I sat on the back porch and read while they played.
I didn’t make them do any school. I couldn’t handle the school work. I was like, no one’s doing anything. We’re just chilling. And I allowed myself to be okay with that and I took a nap in the afternoon. We pulled together something for dinner.
I think I sent my husband out to get takeout because I was like, I’m not cooking today, you know? And the whole day was like so low energy, but I didn’t feel bad about it. I felt good about it. I realized that this is what my body needs because of what you had taught me that this is was happening.
And I just thought, gosh, if people, if women could understand that there are reasons why our bodies feel the way that we feel during different times of the month. And you know, because I connected the dots, I allowed myself just like this and this day to feel the way that I felt and to like have the extra rest and have the extra food and have the extra, you know, calm.
And a couple of days later I woke up feeling ready to take on the world again and just like that understanding. So I’m going to turn the time over to you to just break down the idea and share about each of the seasons and I’ll pop in with questions here and there, but just like break it down for us.
April: Well, the thing I want to emphasize, and I talked about this in my presentation as well, even before we dive into the seasons, we are being raised in a very masculine energy society. It’s very patriarchal. And the thing that’s frustrating, it’s not that patriarchy or the a patriarchal society or that, that masculine energy is bad.
It’s just that that’s not who we are. We’re feminine, right? We carry with us feminine energy. Feminine energy is cyclical and we’re on a cycle. We live on a cycle. I love like the seasons, like you just talked about, if you go outside during the day and you look up at the sun, the sun is that same big yellow ball every single day. It goes across the sky, it rises in the East, it sets in the West.
The sun is very predictable. It can be on that same schedule every single day and that’s that. The sun represents masculine energy. Male bodies complete their hormone cycle in 24 hours and they do that every single day. Male bodies are really very attuned to be on the exact same schedule every single day.
They’re made to workout the same every day. They’re made to eat the same every day. They do a great job with things like fasting, like that is all fully great for a male body.
And so, you know, we’re being raised and have been raised to believe that this is the superior way to do things or this is the way things should be done. Female bodies, if you go out at night and you look at the moon, Where is she? What is she doing? What shape is she? Is she even there?
The moon is the feminine energy. And I, I love being able to use these, these examples from nature to really help us understand we’re just the feminine energy, that that’s who we are. It’s okay for us to live our lives on a cycle–instead of on this 24 hour cycle–on a 28 day cycle, a 32 day cycle, a 24 day cycle.
It’s different. And I think initially for me, I bristled at this initially when I started talking about this. I immediately was like, well, I’m just as tough as a guy. I’m just starting with a guy because that’s the society we’ve been raised in, because we can keep up with men. We can do just as good as men.
The reality is we are trying to win this game that was never, it’s not meant for us. That’s not our day. It just isn’t, you know…we can do better. And so I love that you mentioned embracing where you’re at in your cycle.
Something that I really want to do is be able to remove the shame that comes with that. And also paint this as empowering. You are tapping into your superpowers instead of constantly fighting against them because fighting your cycle, fighting these feelings that you have, fighting this tiredness or this hyper energy or the things that you go through as you cycle–it’s exhausting. It’s exhausting and will wear you out.
Trying to live as if you had a male body is also exhausting. I think we’d beat ourselves up because we don’t have enough self discipline or we don’t have enough drive. We don’t have enough. No, that’s not, that’s not feminine energy. It’s not self-discipline. It’s working with your cycle.
So if we’re going to dive into the seasons of the cycle, we start with winter. Winter is when we’re menstruating. This is hibernating time. That is where intuition is so strong. For me, menstruating is a time for me to rest, take good care of myself, eat warm, nourishing foods.
It’s a time to start to think through what my next steps are because I know for me, Spring looks like frantic energy. It’s like you said, you wake up a morning, you’re like, I’m ready to go. Let’s do all the things. We organize and clean the house. That’s Spring for me and Summer.
So I know that that season’s coming. So winter is my time to start to kind of think through how do I want Spring to look because I know that my energy is going to return. I am so happy to sit back and relax and rest knowing my energy will return.
It’s the same with my appetite and I talk about this a lot as well. I am starving for two weeks out of the month and I’m not hungry the other two weeks out of the month.
So on those two weeks, I’m starving, I eat, I eat, and I eat my body and I feel great about it because I know that in two weeks I’m not going to be hungry for two weeks and I’m not going to want to eat like this because I know that it’s just, there’s so much peace that comes with embracing your cycle and realizing you do have superpowers throughout.
So Winter is when you’re menstruating, Spring is your follicular phase. Spring is when you now have that energy. For me it does look frantic sometimes where I’m just like, I’m ready to completely pull the whole house apart and just start over. In fact, let’s burn it down. I’ll rebuild it right now. I have this beautiful Springtime energy in my follicular phase.
Miranda: I’m going through that right now personally, and I’m ready. I’m like, kids, we’re going to be on a schedule this week and we’re gonna do it so good. It’s gonna be so great. I woke up and I was like, I did all the dishes. I pulled all the sheets off. We’re doing all the laundry, like top to bottom, all the sheets, all the towels.
Like let’s just bring it on in because I got all the energy right now. Let’s just do it. The nice thing though, I love that you mentioned in Winter that you just, gosh, they’re such incredible peace that comes with the awareness that Winter is not forever. Like allow yourself to hibernate and allow yourself that peace in that rest in that season and believe that Spring is coming with all that energy.
I know a lot of people who feel like, Oh I’m, I’m so unmotivated right now. And they beat themselves up about it. Instead of recognizing that your motivation is going to return you. You’re not super motivated today, but that doesn’t mean you’re never going to be motivated again. And if you just allow yourself to believe that, and are at peace with where you are, then when your motivation does return, you can embrace it and you’re like right before. So that the amount of awareness is incredible.
April: Well and I love when you’re, like I said, when you’re menstruating, your intuition is strong, so it’s such a great time to start mapping. Okay, I know I’m going to get my energy back next week, so what do I want to do with that? What’s intuitively speaking to me right now, what’s important to me right now? What’s my heart’s saying to me right now?
Because it’s going to come back and it’s going to come back next week. There’s so much peace that comes with, “I don’t feel like it right now.” So instead of beating myself up or forcing myself through things and pushing hard right now, I’m just going to take it easy and next week I’m going to hit it hard and I know how I’m going to hit it hard because I am now taking this time to think about it.
In Spring, the follicular phase, we typically want lighter foods. We typically want to eat fresh, yummy, crunchy solids, fruit. That type of stuff is what I love in Spring.
Summer is an ovulating phase. Summer is when our sex drive is typically high. We usually have a great libido at that time. Our skin looks good. We feel amazing, everything’s glowing, we’re more attractive to other people, we are more attracted to ourselves.
This is when you would want to schedule to be on camera a lot. This is when you’d want to schedule doing presentations if you can. This is when you want to schedule–if you start to mold your life around this and take this into account as much as you can, which I realize it’s not always possible, but if it is possible, why not do these types of things when you feel your best too.
So spring and summer or when you want to be like on this schedule. Always on camera. All of my production.
Miranda: Yeah. Bringing forth projects like the launches, the new ideas. You know, if you just, if you don’t have a business or anything in your home, this is when you might want to tackle that. Redo the laundry room or wallpaper room or paint or whatever. Like when you have all of that energy and you’re feeling so good.
April: Yes. This is when you want to be lifting heavy. This is when you work hard at working out. Um, like I said before, I think some people go into it like, no, I can work out like I can do this every single day. Just like any other male body. Like I don’t need to do it differently.
The whole reasoning behind my presentation was, you know, in 2010 the US women’s soccer coach said, what if we started working with their cycles? Like what if they start tracking the soccer team cycles and then we started to work with our cycles. They won the World Cup, right?
And so I just, there’s proof in that. I think people initially are like, no, no, no, no. Cause we’ve really downplayed feminine energy. We’ve really downplayed. We’ve made this look like weakness or, you know, it just sounds like excuses to me.
I’m here to tell you this is not excuses. This will bring keys to your life to work with your body instead of trudging through.
So we go from our ovulation phase, our Summer, into Fall. Fall is when you have this huge hormone crash. So about midway through your week of Fall, your testosterone, your estrogen and your progesterone all crash at the exact same time because that’s what it takes for all your endometrial lining to the shed during menstruation.
That crash looks a lot like, why am I doing this with my life? Who even am I? Everyone in the world hates me. I don’t even know if I like myself. I’m angry at you. I’m very sad right now. Like all of that potential crisis, kind of the typical PMS, your premenstrual syndrome. This is Fall.
All of those feelings, the worst you’ve ever felt, that’s how you feel because all those hormones are crashing so hard and so fast. It’s a steep drop and it’s a rough drop. There are things like magnesium and zinc that can kind of help smooth this out just a little bit. Flatten the curve, if you will. A term we all know very well these days.
Miranda: That hormonal curve.
April: Yeah, and so there’s, there’s things you can do nutritionally kind of help with this. This is a really good time to focus on sleep. Make sure you’re, I mean you always should be trying to get enough sleep. This is a great time to focus on getting enough sleep.
This is also a great time to up your self care. This is when you want to be taking good care of yourself. You want to be eating well, sleeping well. This is when you switch it into doing more gentle workouts. This is a great time for yoga and strength training and not necessarily lifting hard and heavy as you prepare to menstruate.
This is a great time to make sure you start taking iron in preparation for menstruating. And then also once you’re back into Winter again, you want to up your iron and take a little bit. So, so that’s kind of what those seasons look like.
Miranda: So awesome. It’s so interesting to recognize like the, these seem like really fundamental principles that women should have been taught at some point, right? Like I remember hearing this at fifth grade maturation, we all learn about what it is to have a period.
If you remember even or if you have some medical training, like I am a nurse, I went to nursing school. And so I learned all about the deeper hormonal fluctuations and what exactly is happening physiologically and that kind of stuff.
But no one ever explained it in this really true cyclical fashion because it does happen over and over and over again. And I thought for the last, you know, 20 years, I thought the only reason you would ever track your period really specifically was if you wanted to get pregnant or not get pregnant, that was the only reason to know whether or not you were ovulating or when that was happening or what was happening with menstruation.
But like I mentioned, I picked up a mood journal in like September last year. But the basic idea that it has the phases of the moon, which I thought, I think I got it cause I was like, Ooh, I love the moon phases. I love that idea.
I love the feminine energy of the moon, you know, but I never thought of it the way that you describe it, that the sun is the masculine energy and he’s always the same, that big round solid ball shining brightly and the moon changes every day for the entire month. And that is the feminine energy.
And that’s what is happening in our cycle. And I, as part of this mood journaling, I started to circle my first day of my period. Now I am not having any more babies. There’s no reproductive reason that I need to be tracking my period like this.
But it was the first time I had done it in years because I had an IUD in between each of my babies. I didn’t even have periods for like 10 years. It has been so interesting. After a couple months I could look back and see because I wasn’t only tracking my period, I was tracking my period and my mood, my daily emotional phases.
There was this clear…the four days before my period started, that’s when I was sad. That’s when I was overwhelmed. One day when I was a little more stressed out and I would write in like a specific thing. It happened to make me feel like I would write in like, Oh, I got thrown off by this particular circumstance, but if that same thing can happen at any other time during the month, it wouldn’t have made me feel that way.
I started to actually like see for myself what my personal seasons and cycles are and then having you explain it even deeper. I was like, Oh my gosh, the amount of empowerment that I feel because of the awareness–because the truth is nothing has changed about my cycle itself, nothing is even changing about the emotions–I still feel all of those negative emotions in the days leading up to my period, but I’m aware of them. And that awareness creates this peace.
April: I have people ask me all the time, I’m not trying to get pregnant, do I need to track this stuff? And I’m like, yes. You don’t have to do you. Of course you don’t have to. But something else I talked about in, in my presentation and I talk about, you know, personally, last fall was really suffering from anxiety.
I was super depressed and I was just having the hardest time pulling out of it. I finally kind of hit a breaking point. I was working too much, I wasn’t getting enough sleep. I wasn’t, I have PCOS so I wasn’t taking good care of my body, which meant my PCOS was just flaring and being awful.
So I went to my therapist, and luckily I’ve met with him for 15 years. He listened to me and he said, you have something hormonally going on, which really surprised me. And I was like, what do you mean? And he’s like, this sounds like something’s off.
And I went back and kind of looked at stuff and I was having 35 and 36 day long cycles, which is way too long. When you don’t ovulate, you have this estrogen floating around in your blood stream with nothing to do but just wreak havoc. Like just totally mess it up menstraully, right?
And so I’m just going through serious estrogen dominance. I hadn’t ovulated in two months, so like totally was messed up. And it was a good wake up call for me to be like, I had not even really thought through like mentally.
And it wasn’t that I wanted to go commit suicide. I just was like, I could get in a car accident. That’s not a good place to be. Mentally. I was really, really a mess. And so I started doing all the things I started protecting my sleep. I started taking some of these supplements I needed to be taking, especially with PCOS and then I was able to ovulate again.
As soon as I started ovulating again, I immediately saw mental improvement and then I obviously continued to work with my therapist. But we don’t talk enough about how closely our menstrual cycle relates to our mental health and making sure that we’re cycling, because about 10% of people have PCOS and a lot of them don’t even realize that.
And so there’s so many great benefits to tracking your cycles because I think the whole reason I got diagnosed with PCOS is because I’ve been tracking. I was like, are you eating? I’m having these symptoms and this is going on and I’m seeing this happen. Oddly enough it was all happening on a cycle.
Miranda: That’s so interesting. It really is a good reminder just to like as a bare bones takeaway from this episode, like start making a little note in your, I mean there’s a million apps for this, but you could, I just circled the date in my, I use a paper planner and so I just circle the date, the first date of my period and my paper planner.
I love the idea of a little bit of mood tracking and so that’s been really nice for me to like write down how I’m feeling in addition to what’s going on. Just because that’s where you start to become aware, not only of how to have some more compassion with yourself and some more self care and really give yourself the things you need and understand why you need them at the different times of the month.
But also, like you said, because there may be bigger things at play.
When I had several years ago–this funny, I don’t think I’ve mentioned this on the podcast before–I had a rogue IUD. Have you heard of that? When they migrate throughout your uterus and just like disappear into your abdomen.
So I had an IUD in between each of my kids, and I didn’t ever have a period when I had my IUD before. But when Plum was about a year old and I started having a light period. But I was like, Oh, my body’s probably so used to this. It’s just like, this is just normal because I’m used to it.
So I happened to go in for like a regular exam and mentioned I’ve been having a couple of days in a period, but it’s like, no big deal. It’s not, you know, like it’s not bothering me. I think my body’s like adapted to the IUD.
And she said, I don’t know. I don’t see your strings. So we went and did an ultrasound. They couldn’t see it. I went and did an x-ray. Sure enough, it was by my left hip embedded in my intestines and I had to have it surgically removed and I can’t ever have an IUD again.
The only reason that we even looked for it was because I noticed a change, but I wasn’t even concerned about it because I hadn’t been tracking or paying attention and so I just am so, I mean it was like everything aligned for me to happen to be in the office, right? Then happened to mention that because I wasn’t really concerned about it, but I mean getting pregnant is one of the least bad things that could have happened.
They were able to find it soon enough that when they extracted it, they were able to keep, like my intestine stayed intact, but longer term it could have been become so embedded in my intestines that they would’ve needed to cut portions of my own organs out. You know, this thing because of paying attention.
So I think that more than anything, I hope that people just are able to start creating some awareness around their own menstrual cycle as a really beautiful, normal way to support yourself through all of the different things that you may feel during the month and all of the different things you may need during the month.
And like you mentioned, it’s a cycle of the entire month, not like the masculine energy of every single day. I mean, there are some things that we need every day, but our days do not have to look the same throughout the month extra.
April: Yeah. I would argue that the more that we cater to ourselves as much as we can and our peace, then obviously we’re going to eat food every single day and we’re going to sleep. There are things that should be done every day, but I think we should live our lives a be about 50/50 in terms of masculine and feminine energy, you know, because there’s power in both of those.
But we’re not doing a good job of embracing the feminine energy.
So one thing that I cover really quickly during my presentation that I talk about a ton on The Vagina Blog is birth control. If you are on hormonal birth control, you are not cycling, you are shutting all those systems down. The only two things that are aligned to a cycle is a copper IUD because they don’t work with hormones.
And then with the Marina IUD, you typically to still ovulate. Not always, but most people still ovulate. They just don’t always have a period because it causes you to not be able to create the endometrial lining. And anyway, all other birth control, that’s how they work is it shuts down ovulation. And we never talk about how, how good for you it is to ovulate.
Ovulating protects you from a lot of different diseases and cancers. They’re just starting to tap into how important so much of this hormone creation is for you yourself to do.
The steroids that are in hormonal birth control that shut that down and replace it. The term “regulating your hormones” is completely inaccurate. Any medical professional I sit down with and say, “Explain to me how it regulates, use the word regulate when you explain this to me.” And they typically can’t.
They will say, we’re going to regulate the hormones of your menstrual cycle. Okay, so what does regulating mean? Explain that to me. And what it really is doing is it shutting everything down and your body’s not ovulating. Your body’s not cycling. You are now on steroids that are suppressing everything.
And that bleed that you have on birth control is completely unnecessary. It’s just a withdrawal from the steroids.
So I tell people, if you are in a position where you need to be on birth control, don’t bother with a period. Do one of the methods where you don’t have to, there’s no reason for it. And then secondly, if you can get off of birth control, if you’re on it for reasons beyond preventing pregnancy, there are better options. Almost always there are better options to help manage whatever ailments. The exception being endometriosis.
I know obviously this is so personal and stuff, but it is fantastic to allow your body to cycle and if there’s any way you can, you always recommend that.
Miranda: Yeah, I love that. And you The Vagina Blog itself, is it TheVaginaBlog.com?
April: Yes. TheVaginaBlog.com.
Miranda: So many resources there for different tools and different helps and like different ways to menstruate. You talk about cups and about all the different tools and the period underwear and just like so many different things that I have loved learning about over the last couple of years and just really like opening my eyes to options that were created by women for women–instead of options that were created like in the 1950’s by men for women.
So if you’re listening, you’re like, okay, wait, what? What do I do? I’ve never heard of any of this. Or like, how do I get started? Dive into The Vagina Blog and April will teach you all the things that you need to know.
April: I love that. Thank you so much.
Miranda: April has a great handout, so I’m gonna why don’t you just briefly go over like as a quick like one sentence for each of the seasons to kind of remind us. And then this is what is on the handout. It actually talks through the different seasons of the cycle, during your monthly phases and kind of the different things that you can expect and also how to take care of yourself.
And that’s available as a download. If you head to the show notes at livefreecreative.co/podcast, you can download that and print it and have it on hand. So that will be helpful for you to be able to kind of just take something home, because I know this is a lot of probably new information. So give us just like a quick synopsis.
April: Absolutely. So we have, like I said, we start with Winter. That’s when we’re menstruating. That’s a time to hibernate. That’s a time to eat more nutrient dense foods. It’s not a time to work out hard. This is like a period of rest.
We move into Spring. That’s, it’s a high energy typically. This is a great time to workout hard. We want nice fresh, crispy foods. And I didn’t talk enough, I didn’t talk about seed cycling, but there’s seed cycling that you can do. There’s, there’s a lot of different things that you can do to help kind of support this.
And I do mention on the handout at the bottom, the different kinds of foods and there’s reasons why those foods are great too.
After Spring you move into Summer, and that is our ovulation phase. That’s where we’re operating. Our libido is typically higher. We look our best, we feel our best, we love being around people. It’s a fantastic time.
And then we moved from that into Fall. And Fall is where we’re preparing for Winter once again. Really warm, nutrient dense foods, preparing to hibernate and to go into this kind of intuitive state.
Miranda: Perfect. Thank you so much. I hope that this information has been really helpful for everyone. And if you have more questions, feel free to reach out either to myself or to April. If you reach out to me, I’ll probably just refer you to April.
I’m also happy to share information as well. Um, and just my own experience with this. I love the idea of about just being aware of our seasons because the more self aware we are, the more peaceful we can feel and the better decisions that we make for ourselves and in our own bodies. And that is just really empowering and really helpful and helpful. So I hope this has been helpful and thank you so much again for being here.
Okay. Where can everyone find you?
April: Yes. TheVaginaBlog.com and I pretty much live on Instagram. And I have a podcast as well, which is The Vagina Blog Podcast that it can be found anywhere. iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, SoundCloud, anywhere podcasts be found.
On Instagram it’s TheVBlog. Yeah. I still don’t know what to do with that platform, but I’m there. Come find me.
Miranda: I love it. Okay. Thank you so much.
Isn’t April great? Wasn’t that so fun to just get to listen to this new way to think about the month, to think about each of our own personal cycles and how becoming aware of the different season of our cycle that we may be in as the weeks of each month go by? To feel how we can make even better decisions regarding our own personal self care, the types of planning and scheduling that we do and the way that we allow ourselves to feel?
I want to remind you about the printable that is in the show notes. You can get notes that give you kind of an overview of this whole thing at livefreecreative.co/podcast, head there and you can download April’s handout.
The last thing that I just want to share as an announcement that the Seven Days, Seven Dinners minimal meal plan course is now available. I’ve been working on it for months, and this is another thing that you can use to create ease and peace in your life.
If you’ve been feeling stressed out about dinnertime right now, you may want to check out seven days, seven dinners. It is the most personalized and the most simple meal plan that I have ever seen, and I hope that, if you need it, you will head over and grab it.
Because I’m releasing it right now during this wild crisis, I’ve included a bonus lesson that is all about meal planning during crisis. You can find out everything you need to know about Seven Days, Seven Dinners in the show notes as well.
Thanks so much for being here. I’ll chat with you next week. Bye.