uterine health

Uterine Health: Ovarian Cyst and Fibroids

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

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  • 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

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.

Supplements

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

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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

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.

Breathing Exercise

  • 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

It’s Cervical Fluid, Not Discharge

This episode explains the function of the cervix in the role of fertility, why we chart its changes in the fertility awareness method, the historic & cultural understanding of the role of cervical fluid, and information about long term impacts on the cervix when using contraceptive devices.

 

Nicole  created a podcast to teach more people how to use the fertility awareness method after her experiences using clinical birth control methods. She also uses the hashtag #FAMTaughtMe to discuss fertility charting & menstrual health

Nicole created a podcast to teach more people how to use the fertility awareness method after her experiences using clinical birth control methods. She also uses the hashtag #FAMTaughtMe to discuss fertility charting & menstrual health

A Midwife’s Herb Garden: Six Plants Women Used To Help Other Women

By Rachel Goldsmith

A midwife’s job is to nurture both mother and child during labor. Doulas who attend women throughout their experience of pregnancy share similar responsibilities. Nurturing women’s well-being. Pruning away their fears. It seems natural that such practitioners would develop a lot of skills in common with gardeners.

The green witch is the traditional midwife, and it fell to her to provide remedies for everything from cramps to hot flashes. If you have an interest in the medicinal side of plants, you will find that an understanding of the herbs of women’s healing is essential. Here are six plants with long histories that are still grown and used today.

Raspberry leaf (Rubus idaeus)

 

This leaf is an indispensable herb for the expectant mother. It is believed to help strengthen the muscles of the uterus, and is therefore recommended for the last trimester to prepare the womb for its marathon of life giving agony. Many doulas give it as a tea during the early stages of labor. It is considered safe for use by most women, as it only strengthens and tones the muscles, rather than inducing them to contract.

Black cohosh (Actaea racemosa)

 

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Indigenous to America, this plant has been used for unknown ages by Native American women. It is useful for a wide range of women’s complaints. It’s both estrogenic and a suppressor of the luteinizing hormone, and so it can help with hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause. It stimulates the uterus to contract, so it can bring on a sluggish period, and some say even shorten its length. Because of this quality, it is contraindicated in pregnancy.

Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium)

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Pennyroyal is a member of the familiar and populous mint family. It is another emmenagogue, meaning that it can bring on delayed menses by causing the uterus to expel its contents. It thins the uterine lining, and so makes a woman’s period a less painful, smoother process. Because of its ability to cause the womb to contract, it is also classified as an abortifacient. It should not be used during a wanted pregnancy, and its use to terminate an unwanted one should be attended by an experienced herbalist. It can be lethal in doses high enough to be effective for abortion.

Read more Here