Sooo here we are, 1 year and 3 months after going off the pill.
If you haven't been keeping up. I've had 5 periods since that time. 3 of them being in the past 4 months. All of which have lasted between 12 and 24 hours. If you're keeping tabs on the situation, no it's not normal. But the good news is it's not, not normal either.
What I didn't know (call me crazy maybe I missed this somewhere along the line, or I've just been so brainwashed by the 28-day pill cycle), is that a normal cycle can be up to 35 days long. That's not considered abnormal. Crazy right? It feels abnormal to me. What I'm not sure is if this "normal" scale of 21-35 days is normal on the western scale and the functional scale, or just the western scale? Does it work like nutrient levels and blood level markers that way? If you don't know what I'm talking about the western scale uses a range that allows us to function (basically be alive), while the functional range allows us to run at an optimal level (how we all want to feel!). Are you still with me? Hope so. I'm going to talk to my functional medicine doctor next visit and circle back with more info.
Any how, I have to say, what bothered me most about the appointment was that one of the first questions the doctor asked was if I was on the pill. The good part was, she didn't look horrified. The bad part? She immediately assumed I was trying to get pregnant. When I told no, I wasn't, and no, I also wasn't interested in talking about an IUD, things took a turn for the lovely. To be honest, that was not what I expected. I think it helped that I immediately jumped in and told her my background, the world of wellness that I live in, the issues that I had with the pill, the success in reduced bloat I saw after coming off the pill, and my goal not be reliant on hormones that aren't mine or a copper device. This openness of communication is a two way street. Once the floodgates opened on my end, I wasn't some crazy necklace 25 year old who doesn't want to listen to what she or the dollars behind her have to say. I became a person she wanted to learn from and I'm sure your doctor feels the same way about you. This happened with both gastroenterologists I've seen as well.
It's so funny, growing up I immediately though it someone was a grown up - a.k.a. over 20, that they knew everything. Well we all know that isn't true. But until recently, I had the same thought about doctors. I thought that just because they were a doctor that had to have known not only what was going on, but what to do about it. Wrong.
We have to understand ourselves. Know what feels right and what feels wrong. A few years ago, I would have said yes to IUD options, because the doctor said it's convenient, effective, and has no side effects. Not to say that is a bad choice for someone who doesn't have a severely sensitive body, who isn't up for using or learning about other birth control options, who hasn't been through an intense healing journey, etc. But for me, right now, that's not the right choice.
This lady's hormone update // what I think you've been waiting for here:
I had my blood test done on the third day of my cycle before last. My functional medicine doctor gave me the list of tests she thought we should look at, I asked my GP to approve them for me (so I wouldn't have to do it out of pocket at quest of labcorp), and then I had my gynecologist take a look at them during my visit with her for due diligence. Low and behold, everything looked normal! Even my estrogen - which we thought would be low because of my ultralight menstruation. So what does this all mean? Factors like stress, exercise, not being on a routine, eating different foods (this literally came out of my gynecologists mouth I was pretty pleasantly surprised!), etc. can cause our periods to come and go, along with more serious things like thyroid and autoimmune issues. In my case, it's the little tweaking bits that just need to come together. Funny enough, the things she was speaking to aligned with Ayurvedic schools of thought and the principles that my Ayurvedic counselor referred to in our talk together. It always blows my mind when things come together like that. And now that you're wondering more about that Ayurvedic stuff. Not to worry, a post is coming.