Beliefs are certain ideas that we hold onto that we believe. Ha! Imagine that. Many of our beliefs are created when we are so little we do not have a filter for what is harmful and what is helpful. This includes the beliefs we have around our menstrual cycles.

We hold on to these as we grow. Things like ‘You have to work hard to make money and to be a good member of society’, ‘Travelling on your own as a woman is dangerous’, maybe a distrust of your body because you’ve watched all the women in your family suffer through their cycles, dogs are good and cats are bad, this is right and that is wrong…

The list is huge and if they are not actively making you a truly happy and healthy person, they are harmful or, at the very least, useless.

We all have beliefs about the way the world works and the way life is. I’m sure you have heard that saying before.

Something bad happens and then ‘Welp, that’s just the way life is.’ And maybe you have even said it – I know I have.

Until we start to question the things we think day in and day out, our lives are kind of lived on autopilot: There is a stimulus, some comment made or a situation occurs and the automatic response is something we have been thinking and responding with for years.

There is no thought, no time to question the validity of this belief.

A silly example I can think of from my own life has to do with cameras. When I was younger, I liked to travel. I had a camera that shot on film, and I loved it.

As digital cameras became more popular, I resisted. I believed that film was better and it never occurred to me to even think twice about it.

I must add that I knew nothing about cameras, and still don’t honestly. One day I was in a camera shop asking about taking a film developing class. The guy behind the counter kind of laughed and said, ‘We do not do that any more and in all honesty, it is super hard to even find the chemicals and other equipment to do that on your own. Why do you want to?’

Automatic response time – I got way too upset for what was happening. I went home and fumed for a while.

“The world is too technology driven, nothing is sacred anymore, kids these days.” Your basic run-of-the-mill-can’t-deal-with-change moment!

And then for some reason, my mind saw it differently. This wasn’t my fight. Why did I want to develop film? I couldn’t think of a better reason than it looks cool on TV, so I went back into that shop and bought a sweet used digital camera that I still use to this day.

While this story has nothing to do with menstrual health, I thought it was a good one to share to really illustrate these beliefs we have and the automatic responses that follow.

Once I questioned the validity of my belief in film cameras, I relaxed and moved on with my life.

I know that getting rid of our harmful, useless beliefs is not an easy task, and is something we can continually work on, but I do want to mention a few that I have heard before and that I have believed myself. This time actually related to menstrual cycles!

These are ideas that have been passed down from woman to woman or that we have just come up with on our own, and I would love to see this misinformation stop!

Let’s get into the myths:

1. I just have to make it to menopause and I’ll feel better.

 

This one is suggesting that when we hit menopause we have no need for our sex hormones anymore. “Sex hormones be damned! I’m in menopause now. See ya later, estrogen. Good riddance, progesterone. You two, and your friends, were kind of bitches anyway.”

It’s like saying all of your problems will disappear once you move 5000km away from your ex. Both are equally untrue and silly.

The truth is that we need our sex hormones throughout all of our life and all of our life stages.

If you are having terrible PMS symptoms, menopause will likely have you searching for your portable fan for hot flashes, scaring people away with mood swings reminiscent of the good old puberty years, and the feeling of a desert where there used to be luscious rainforest. Not better really.

The point is, work on hormone balance now before menopause, or there could be a rude awakening.

Another myth inside this myth is that the list of symptoms I just gave you is normal for menopause – that all women go through that.

This is simply not true. It may take a bit of work, but menopause doesn’t have to look like that, just as our menstrual cycles do not need to mean suffering.

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2. All the women in my family suffered through terrible menstrual symptoms, so I am stuck with it – it’s genetic.

 

This one isn’t a myth in the typical sense. This one is true for a lot of women.

The reason I mention this one is because it is not helpful. It’s a great example of creating what you have been taught to believe.

I will note here that I am no geneticist. I’m just really interested in this stuff.

While it may seem that the pain your mother, grandmother, aunts, go through is passed on to you through your shared genes, let me have a little fun with your brain here!

So all the women in a family suffer through the same symptoms every menstrual cycle. It seems like it is genetic and therefore impossible to change.

Now think about this: What do families have in common? They usually eat the same food, live in the same environment, have similar lifestyles, and share the same stories and beliefs.

And all these points have a huge impact on our health and wellbeing, either good or bad.

So is it our genes or is it the food we eat, the area we live, the amount of steps we take per day, and the thoughts we repeat to ourselves over and over again?

I lean strongly toward the latter because we can see major changes in health and hormonal balance by altering any of these.

There are great studies showing the change in health that occurs when people move from a country with a healthy diet to one that isn’t, like anywhere in North America. Rates of heart disease, obesity, diabetes… increase when people alter their traditional diet to that of the standard American diet (SAD).

The great thing is that we can change the food we eat and the number of steps we take.  We can change our environment if it is harmful to us. We have our own power back, and that is never a bad thing!

3. The contraceptive I am on right now has cured my menstrual problems.

 

Sure, it sounds good. Especially when you hear it from the person giving you the prescription.

But here is the test: stop taking those pills, or the shot, or take out the IUD…

What happens? The same symptoms come right back, and sometimes they are even worse.

It’s like saying you own your home and then being late on a few mortgage payments. Pretty soon you’ll know that it is the bank that really owns it.

If you can/when you can, it is best to deal with the root cause of the issue. This will lead to lasting change.

You do not need to do anything you do not feel comfortable with or that doesn’t fit your life right now. But know that when you do come off that prescription, there is support for you.

5 Foods for Happy Periods - Click Here for Your FREE Guide to Better Menstrual Cycles

Final Thoughts

These are just three myths I could think of off the top of my head. There are many more. But I hope they have helped you see this small section of life in a new way. And maybe now you can start thinking of more that have been holding you back.

There is a time and a place for everything, and only you know what is right for you. So be true to who you are and what you want. You deserve only the best!

Our thoughts are powerful creators of our life and our health, so get them on your side!

P.S. If you are interested in this topic, I highly suggest looking up Bruce Lipton – especially his book The Biology of Belief. It is life changing!

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