A week ago, I had to admit myself into the hospital for dehydration. It was the third day of my menstrual cycle and I was having the worst uterine contractions I've ever experienced. The pain led to extreme nausea and vomiting for two days straight and because I couldn't keep anything down I was in and out of consciousness. In the hospital bed with my family surrondining me and the doctor discussing Birth Control and a Myomectomy, I was upset with myself. It was my wake up call to pay more attention to my health. I have been having heavier bleeding and painful cramps every month for a year now and I have been ignoring it until my body forced me to pay attention. Over the last few years as a Doula I was learning and teaching my peers about Uterine Health and I was not walking the talk. I am lucky enough to have a large community of birth workers and healers around me but I am also aware of how inaccessible information about uterine health is. So listed below are the things that I am going to do to avoid birth control and major surgery on my reproductive organs. This list is centered on MY issues but are helpful for yours as well. Consult with your local midwife and/or herbalist for a care plan specific for YOU.
Also helpful for PCOS, Endometriosis*
Ginger, Turmeric, Lemon Tea
- 1½ cups of filtered drinking water.
- 1 teaspoon of fresh grated turmeric root (or ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder)
- 1 teaspoon of fresh grated ginger root (or ½ teaspoon of ginger powder)
- ½ a lemon (juiced with peel)
- 2 to 3 twists of fresh black pepper ( Necessary step)
- 1 tablespoon of raw honey or to desired taste.
Read about the benefits here
Medicinal herbs are my go to for healing my body (also used for fertility and labor). Pharmaceutical drugs can be stressful on your liver. I purchase my herbs from Karen Rose, owner of Sacred Vibes Apothecary based in Brooklyn,NY. I HIGHLY recommend hiring her for a consult if you are unfamiliar with the practice of medicinal herbs.
Zymactive is a proteolytic enzyme which helps to break down proteins that cause inflammation. Fibroids in their simplest form are a product of inflammation so as those proteins get broken down they also break down and release. Papaya is also full of these enzymes.
Evidence based information here
Nutrition and Hydration
During this time I am officially (and hopefully foreva) cutting out processed meats, refined sugars and dairy. Stay out of the bodega yall. I am also drinking at least 2 liters of filtered water a day. What you eat and what you don't eat is important.
Here's a video on healing for PCOS and Cysts
Castor Oil Pack
Castor oil packs are for reducing inflammation and increasing circulation. They are excellent for the lymphatic system and assist in improving circulation, stagnation and elimination of benign tumors in women, especially those who suffer from uterine fibroids and ovarian cysts. Using castor oil packs will also increase lymphocytes cells in the body which are used to fight disease and eliminate various wastes including the toxins that may be contributing to common side effects of having fibroid tumors.
Here's a video on how to use
Mental health is often the last thing we pay attention when transitioning to a healthier lifestyle. Stress, anxiety, depression play huge roles in our reproductive health. Along with exercising, I am taking more time in my life for moments of silence and breath. The breath is also medicine for the body and we don't take enough of it. If you want to get nerdy about it, The Science of Breath is a great resource.
- Sit on a chair with your legs parallel and your feet directly under your knees.
- Rest your hands on your thighs, or cradle your abdomen in your hands, or place your right hand over your heart—whatever feels right.
- Sit tall, finding length between your sits bone and the crown of your head. Relax your rib cage and your shoulders, find ease between your eyebrows.
- Start to notice your inhalations and exhalations. Notice if you are holding your breath anywhere and without judgment, see if you can relax there.
- Think about one thing that you need in this moment and one thing that you need to release.
- When you are ready, lengthen your inhale and breathe in what you need.
- Exhale slowly, gently and fully through an open mouth releasing that which does not serve you in this moment.
- Repeat 5 more times, slowly. Do not rush this because it can increase cortisol.
- Come back to an easy, natural breath focusing for a minute or so on what you need in this moment before returning to your activities
Essential Oils and Tinctures
Herb Pharms reproductive health tincture has several herbs that support a healthy function of your reproductive organ.
Clary Sage helps balance your hormones and great for pain management. I'll be using it massage my lower abdomen. Don't forget to dilute it with a carrier oil.
More resources on managing and preventing Fibroids here