• body / lifestyle / thingsimlovinglately

    Let’s Talk About Hormones, Adaptogens + My Story

    lets talk female hormones
    Photography by Vanessa Joy

    HORMONES. Let’s do this, friends.

    For the past 26 years of my life, no one has been talking about hormones. Why is this?

    Up until a few months ago, talking about hormones was basically like talking about bowel movements to most people. I personally am an open book (perhaps even too open). But there is really no such thing as TMI in my world. When we as a community don’t speak openly about things, it just makes us bottle even more things inside. And that doesn’t do anyone any good. I want to talk about things no one else is talking about and I want to talk about them with YOU.

    So here it goes friends. Let’s chat a bit about hormones and a bit about my story with my hormones.

    You learned from my body image story that I definitely have fluctuated with weight in my life. I have weighed a bit more than I do now and I have also weighed a bit less. But for the past 5 years or so I have been around this size (give or take a few lbs ya know). And for the first time in my entire life, I am finally comfortable and to be honest, loving my body.

    I love my body for its oddly proportioned limbs to torso. I love my little nose and the freckles I get when I have had too much sun. I love that my legs are basically the same length as Jord’s. I have learned to love the flipping weird shaped feet I have and how my fingers are naturally crooked. I have learned to love and embrace the good, the bad and the weird.

    But with all of this body love and positivity I am spreading and embracing, there is one thing that isn’t right.

    I do not have my menstrual cycle. After going off birth control last April (yes, 13 months ago), I have not had a period. I was on and off the pill for pretty much 8 years of my life. It is one of those things I wish I could go back in time and listen to my mom and NOT go on it but I can’t sit here and blame myself, or even blame my doctor who claimed it would make all my horrible menstrual cramps and other symptoms go away.

    Today there is much more awareness and information about being on the pill and its negative impacts it can have on our bodies. I am not going to get into that here because I believe it is a personal choice and I obviously am by no means a doctor. But I am very happy that more and more people are switching off the pill to regulate their cycles naturally.

    When I went off the pill, I didn’t really notice I didn’t get a period until about June. Then I began going to acupuncture thinking that would do the trick, but after 3 months of going 1x a week I wasn’t seeing any results. No hormonal symptoms or anything.

    It sounds silly but from September until about January I just kind of went along with the whole no period things. Didn’t really think about it much and just hoped it would come on its own. Then by the end of January I started to get pretty nervous and upset about my lack of menstrual cycle and started to do some research on it to see what I can do and who else is dealing with similar issues.

    First up, start eating meat (which you can read more about here). Even though my blood work and levels were where they needed to be not eating meat, I felt I needed more nutrients from eating meat and animal protein. In fact when I got blood work last summer my estrogen and all the typical hormone levels we tested for were where they should be. But I strongly felt and still feel that eating meat is positively impacting my own body and hopefully helping in some way (I only eat hormone free, grass-fed, etc.)

    Then I began reading more about herbs and different adaptogens that can help regulate hormones. I read Alisa Vitti’s book, Woman Code, and absorbed that info like a sponge. It took a few reads to understand but I highly recommend it. I quickly became infatuated with the female body and how different our hormones are than men. I still read that book and reference it weekly and talk about hormones with anyone that will listen. I went to Alisa’s event here in NYC and basically cried when I met her because of how much that book changed my life and perspective on my body. It taught me that a) I am not alone b) I knew nothing about my body c) I will find a way to regulate my hormones again and there is light at the end of the tunnel.

    After dabbling with a few adaptogens and super-herbs, there are a few I incorporate into my life daily.

    Maca

    Maca root was the first adaptogen I started to take. I bought the capsules, powder and also discovered REBBL around the same time. REBBL is a brand you are likely familiar with now from the blog but they make a handful of super-herb elixirs and proteins with different adaptogens and more. I love their Dark Chocolate Protein, which has a blend of maca, ashwagandha and reishi mushrooms in it. Maca is used to enhance vitality, stamina and energy. It also helps to support a healthy libido and balance hormones. REBBL also has Maca Mocha and Maca Cold-Brew that have maca root in it too. They also source their maca root through a direct relationship with the growers. I have noticed a difference in energy levels for sure since incorporating maca into my diet and also have noticed hormonal symptoms and differences (at least for me). I use both the capsule and powder.

    Ashwagandha

    I have learned that high coristol levels can also negatively impact our hormones. AKA having high stress levels, which is something that I am SO guilty of. I have been a stress ball for as long as I can remember. In high school I used to get stress pains in my stomach and was stressed about getting into college. Then in college I was stressed about finding the perfect internship and job. Once I had a job I was stressed about making more money then I was fired from my job and the stress levels went through the roof. It wasn’t until about 6 months ago I really felt stress free for the first time in likely ten years. Needless to say, stress has definitely had an impact on my hormones. I turned to Ashwagandha (I use supplements) because it is a powerhouse of an adaptogen. It helps balance stress levels and enhance relaxation. It is important for enhancing vitality for all ages too. REBBL includes it in a variety of their beverages like Vanilla Spice Protein and Ashwagandha Chai.

    Vitex/Chaste Berry

    Vitex is the most recent addition to my adapotegen/super-herb line up. I read about this in Alisa Vittis’ book and also when I was reading about low progesterone levels (mine was on lower side). Vitex has been used to support hormone production and balance. It does need to be taken consistently for at least six months some say to really see benefits. I am on month three so time will tell. I take the capsule form but they have drops too you can add to water.

    These are the top three I focus on daily, but I am continuing to do research and learn more about what else I can do to help. Obviously don’t want to overload my body!

    Finding products like REBBL that are made with the ingredients and super-herbs to support my body needs is a dream come true. It is amazing to see that companies out there want us to fuel our bodies with ingredients and adaptogens and they make it easier and more delicious for us. When I am traveling or know I won’t remember to take a supplement, being able to grab an Ashwagandha Chai or Reishi Chocolate from REBBL is a game changer. When I want the extra boost of turmeric, I drink their Golden Milk or Lemon Tart. All the flavors are flipping delicious, they taste indulgent and we are getting a nutritional boost.

    lets talk female hormones
    Photography by Vanessa Joy
    lets talk female hormones
    Photography by Vanessa Joy

    I have been consistently taking Maca, Ashwagandha and Vitex since about February and while I still have not seen my period come back, I have had more hormonal symptoms than I have in the last 10 months prior. Think cramps, breast tenderness, PMS, migraines, etc. Granted those are not fun symptoms but it is telling me that something is brewing in there.

    I also started going back to acupuncture in early April and was able to dive into my story a bit more with my acupuncturist (a different one than who I was seeing in the summer). It was really reassuring to hear that she did not feel I was too thin or needed to gain weight to get my period back, even though I have gained a healthy few pounds recently. I learned I was taking care of my body better than I ever had before by incorporating meat into my diet, taking my herb daily, stabilizing my blood sugar levels (Alisa Vitti talks about this), drinking bone broth and also taking my stress levels down and managing my cortisol levels. That is the most challenging for me, I know my cortisol levels are likely still high but running a business solo can obviously be stressful despite how amazing it is.

    I have learned my pulse and color of my tongue (sounds funny, I know) is strong and the fact that I have had recent headaches, cramping, PMS-ing and other hormonal symptoms is a good sign. Next up I am trying to tell my body how it is a safe haven for my menstrual cycle and reciting positive affirmations daily about loving my body. I am priding myself for taking necessary steps towards feeling like a woman again.

    It is scary to think about how many females out there do not have a period or a regular cycle and don’t worry about it. I have been there and now I shake my head looking back at how nieve I was thinking that being on the pill and having a period was actually real. Meanwhile having a period when on birth control is fake and not your actual period. I wish this was something that doctors spoke of when prescribing birth control to patients as a “solution”. I have still been offered various drugs to try and fix my lack of period and have been told it is “nothing to worry about”. Meanwhile I am over here having a straight up panic attack. At least the ashwagandha is calming me, ha!

    There is a grey area between having PCOS and AH and I am in that area. My blood work comes back as okay and just progesterone is low. My ultrasounds show no sign of present cysts. Next time would be looking at my thyroid a bit deeper.

    I am hopeful that I can figure out what is happening in my body and that I will regain my menstrual cycle back. I want to spread my story with each of you and learn from and lean on one another. I wish I had more solutions to share with you about what to do but I can at least share this and what I am doing now that will hopefully pay off in the end.

    I am by no means an expert in this field but I am grateful, scared and excited to share a bit of this journey with you guys. And please do not take what I say as medical advice, this is my story and I am only sharing what things have worked for ME and what I have done so far. Don’t go drinking REBBL or taking super-herbs as medicine without doing your own research.

    I’d love to hear if any of you have struggled with anything similar or if you have anything you recommend!

    xx, Rach

    Thank you REBBL for sponsoring this post. It means so much to me to work with brands that I love and who support rachLmansfield!

    Thank you Vanessa Joy for the amazing photos! I highly recommend her as a photographer to anyone!

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  • Reply Erin May 23, 2017 at 8:09 am

    Thank you for sharing your story! I went through the same thing this past year and hearing about others makes me feel less alone. I was on the pill for 10yrs and it took me 13months to finally get my period. I ignored it for the first 6months too. Then I panicked and exercised more because I thought that was “healthy” and was my way of dealing with anxiety. Obviously that didn’t help. Finally after a ton of research, I cut out all exercise other than yoga, added in meditation and acupuncture, and put on a few lbs by eating more healthy foods. I also added in maca, ashwagandha and started taking magnesium before bed. After 3months of the right changes, it happened! And I cried tears of joy in the bathroom at work. Keep doing what feels right for your body!

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    • Reply Rachel May 23, 2017 at 5:56 pm

      thank you so much for reading. you are not alone! i am so happy you are back in action!! xx

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  • Reply Katie May 23, 2017 at 9:03 am

    I’m so happy that you shared this! I’ve never been on birth control (thankfully) but have always struggled with regular periods. At one point in my life I was just too thin, but even after getting over that hurtle things have been inconsistent. Thankfully I was able to get pregnant with my first child fairly easily but the whole 15 months I breastfed him my period didn’t return. When I was ready to get pregnant with my next child I found that a mixture of acupuncture and adding more fat into my diet helped my period to come back and some-what regulate it. These things take time – often a lot more than what we want. When you think about being on birth control for 8 years then a year off of it to get back to “normal” really isn’t that much time. I think what you’re doing is great and I’m so glad you’re shedding light on this topic – which isn’t discussed enough! Wishing you the best of luck.

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    • Reply Rachel May 23, 2017 at 5:55 pm

      thank you for reading! yeah tons of fats are in my diet! i hope the acu helps me too. my ovaries are basically asleep still! they need to wake the beep up. xx

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      • Reply Lindsay January 29, 2018 at 12:39 pm

        Hi Rachel, On an insta story you mentioned licorice plus. I’m been trying to find which brand you use or if that’s something you still recommend? Thanks for sharing!
        Lindsay

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  • Reply Emily May 23, 2017 at 10:13 am

    Thankful that more and more of my blogger friends are sharing their struggles and how they are proactively working to get their period back; you are definitely not alone Rachel. I’m excited to go along with you and read more about your journey. <3

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  • Reply Silvia May 23, 2017 at 10:24 am

    Oh Rachel, maybe I shouldn’t have clicked the link in your email knowing that I’m at work because now I’m crying and I don’t even know if they are tears of relief or fear or a combination of about a hundred emotions, but I do want to say thank-you for writing this post and sharing your story. <3 I'm 35, have been vegetarian nearly half of my life and went vegan last year after being diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I LOVE my vegan life and it dramatically changed my relationship with food for the better (I suffered from anorexia when I was younger). I stopped taking the pill last December, after again, being on it for nearly half of my life, and I haven't gotten my period since. I went to my doctor and then a gynecologist, but I found neither consultation particularly comforting or helpful. I am freaking out inside because I would really like a baby (or two or three) and I am not getting any younger. I feel like something is really wrong with my body and I have not a clue what to do about it, which is both frustrating and frightening. I am going to start taking the adaptogens you discuss in this post…. maybe they will help. In any case, thank-you again Rachel. <3

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    • Reply Rachel May 23, 2017 at 5:54 pm

      awwwww! thank you for reading. i hope you find out wha works for you! xx

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    • Reply Jill Brunak June 6, 2017 at 8:52 pm

      If having children is important to you, you might want to look into the herbalist Susun Weed. She is a true scientist and has a radio program on blogtalkradio.com I always recommend her to people wanting a baby. Best of luck to you!

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  • Reply Dani May 23, 2017 at 10:27 am

    I am going through almost the exact same thing! I went off the pill last August and have yet to see my period since. I talked to a doctor who suggested I take a prescription to “force” my period back but I would much prefer it returns naturally. I’ve also given some of these supplements a go, including Maca, so hopefully things return to normal. Thanks for this post!

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    • Reply Jackie May 23, 2017 at 1:00 pm

      My doctor suggested the exact same thing! He gave me a progesterone pill to take for a week and when I stop, he said I should get a period. I really do not want to take hormone pills. I wish it would come back naturally! Hoping yours does as well. I’m glad I’m not the only one!

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      • Reply Rachel May 23, 2017 at 6:00 pm

        tried that too! ugh, sending good vibes! xx

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        • Reply Melina May 23, 2017 at 10:03 pm

          Just started natural progesterone cream, did the progesterone not work for you? Also what mg of each adaptogen are you using?

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          • Rachel May 25, 2017 at 5:56 pm

            i linked to the adaptogens i use in the post 🙂 i am trying the cream now but my acupuncturist said not to do it as it may impact the estrogen rising. but i think i need it.

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        • Reply Rachel July 12, 2017 at 8:13 pm

          I also had challenges with my period after using the pill (and wanted to get pregnant). I took Vitex for a while, but it didn’t seem to work like I had hoped. My doctor then prescribed Metformin (a drug typically used to help those with diabetes) and it worked after one month!

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    • Reply Rachel May 23, 2017 at 5:54 pm

      ugh the worst! i will keep you updated! xx

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  • Reply Ashley May 23, 2017 at 10:50 am

    I’m so happy to read this post today!!! I’ve been struggling for about 8 years with a ton of different autoimmune disorders – I’ve gone the regular medical way, integrative way, acupuncture…and I’m still a mess!

    HOWEVER – I stopped having a period for FOUR YEARS!! It never really was a big concern because of a lot of weight loss and having all the autoimmune disorders. I go for acupuncture weekly and at the beginning of April I told my acupuncturist that I keep feeling like I’m getting my period but never get it! So he opted to add a different treatment for the needles. He introduced me to the Homeopathic Body Restoration treatment with vials to identify and balance out any blocked hormones and endocrine disrupters. Every week it was different with some repeats, but after four weeks I started my period!! And the best part was it was as if it never stopped – completely normal and I felt great!!! It was definitely a bit bittersweet, but I felt so much better knowing that there wasn’t something else wrong with me!!

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    • Reply Rachel May 23, 2017 at 5:57 pm

      thank you so much for reading. i am SO looking into homeopathic body restoration. my acupuncturist hasn’t hurt of it but i’d love to learn more! xx

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  • Reply Fern May 23, 2017 at 11:22 am

    So interesting!! In the past i have struggled with an eating disorder and as a result am currently struggling with the same thing – in an effort to solve this i am trying to put on weight (which is difficult and scary for me!) and relieving stress around food and exercise. I have heard about maca a lot recently but not entirely sure how to incorporate into my daily diet
    Would love to hear more on this topic and how you get on!! X

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    • Reply Rachel May 23, 2017 at 5:59 pm

      definitely putting on a few (healthy) lbs as been told to help. i have gained weight too in effort to help but everyone i know who needed to regulate did need to gain weight. i recommend ordering the capsules i linked to in the post! xx

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  • Reply Jackie May 23, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    OMG I feel like I just read a story about my life! I’m having the exact same issues and taking a very similar approach to trying to fix them. I went off the pill back in December after being on it for almost 9 years. I had switched about a year before that to a new pill. I started having HORRIBLE side effects.. insomnia for an entire week every month with sever irritability/PMS followed by 3 weeks of a period off and on (while on the pill, so bizarre). I was also hearing/feeling my heart beat in my ears at night, which for me is not normal. My blood pressure and heart rate are completely normal. So I decided to stop taking the pill. I had a very heavy period right after and now nothing for almost 6 months. I went to the gynecologist a month ago and told him everything. He, of course, suggested going back on the pill. I told him no, that is not an option for me. I said I felt that there was a hormone imbalance and suggested tests. He basically laughed in my face saying it’s so hard to determine what’s normal and what’s not. I said I still wanted the tests done. Of course, they came back in the normal range. I forgot to mention, in the past year I’ve had the worst cystic acne on my chin, which I never had before. I know this can be a sign of hormone imbalance. I’ve cut out dairy, peanuts and now eggs trying to get to the bottom of my acne. I’ve been incorporating Maca and Ashwagandha into my diet, because like you, I am a ball of stress. I take zoloft for anxiety now, which I hope to get off of someday. It’s such a sigh of relief to know I’m not alone in this and other women are experiencing the same problems. Thank you so much for this post!!

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    • Reply Rachel May 23, 2017 at 5:59 pm

      UGH so sorry to hear this! definitely find a doctor that can work better for you, it is so important! xx

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  • Reply Kellie May 23, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    Thank you for writing this! I also haven’t had a period in months and have been seriously considering going off the pill as of late, and it is so refreshing to hear someone else speak about their hormone struggles. Would you mind recommending the acupuncturist you’ve been using? I live in NYC and have not had any luck with the acupuncturists I’ve met with thus far. Thank you!

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    • Reply Rachel May 23, 2017 at 6:00 pm

      thank you so much for reading! i am going to keep mine private for now just because i want to solve the issues at hand first but stay posted 🙂

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  • Reply Maria May 23, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    Thank you for this post! I have been off of birth control since October and have yet to get my period. I started taking vitex every day starting last month so we will see what happens. It is nice to know I am not the only one struggling with this. I will definitely be reading the Woman Code!

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    • Reply Rachel May 23, 2017 at 6:00 pm

      ugh! so sorry to hear, i am sending all the good vibes your way! xx

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  • Reply Megan shepherd May 23, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    This was such a great post! I went on and off birth control for a few years and now I’m off of it and battling some hormonal issues. I developed a bit of hormonal acne and my mental health was definitely affected. I too have started using maca! I love it, but haven’t been using it long enough to notice differences. I do wish I had never been on birthday control, I feel like it takes our bodies quite sometime to readjust to functioning correctly on their own!

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  • Reply Nerea May 23, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    Thank you so much for this Rachel!! I am going through a very similar problem after going off birth control last August. My period went back to normal on it’s own until this February where it just decided to disappear. I have also re-incorporated meat and some of the adaptogens above. I also got my hormones tested and everything was normal so I understand where you are coming from. It makes me feel so much better knowing that other people are going through a similar journey because it is inspiring!

    Keep up the real-ness!!
    Much love,

    Nerea

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  • Reply Blaire May 23, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    Thank you for sharing! I have been struggling with the same issue since March of 2015, the last time I had a “regular” period. I too took a long time to do anything about it, thinking it was just a fluke and that it would come back naturally. About a year later (last summer) I started gaining weight even though I was working out harder than ever before and eating clean. Long story short, through my own research that took quite some time (and still ongoing) I self-diagnosed myself with metabolic damage/adrenal fatigue. I learned that I was not giving myself enough rest and not eating enough to recover from my workouts. Around last Fall, I started taking Standard Process’ Adrenal Complex, which is a combination of Licorice Root and Rehmannia rhizome, as well as a Vitamin B complex. FINALLY in December, I got my period! The first time in over a year and a half. Since then it has not been normal…I got it a couple of months and the not again, and finally got it the other day again. I’ve also recently started taking Standard Process’ Cod Liver Oil and Chaste Tree. And lastly, I’ve cut way back on working out. Instead of 5-6 intense workouts a week, I now only do 2-3 and the other days I take my dog on a long walk and focus on my diet and calorie intake (so as not to gain weight). I’m still a work in progress, but I am pleased that things are happening! I have been so worried that I would not be able to conceive a child in the coming years and now I’m hopeful that I will! Look into adrenal fatigue and thus Standard Process products. You may find them helpful as well!
    -Blaire

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  • Reply Tayler May 23, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    I am so so glad I read this today. I haven’t had my period in almost 2 years, and I have done the same thing by just kind of going with it/ignoring it. I mean I’m not complaining about not having to deal with it ya know?! But I really have been secretly worrying that something may be wrong, but until reading this I had no idea there was stuff I could be doing myself to try and figure out my body. I am definitely going to take some of those adaptogens and other things to regulate my hormones. Thank you so much Rachel.

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  • Reply Nicole May 23, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    Hey Rachel! I’m just a little confused about the sequence of events. Not to get too personal, but did you start the pill to regulate your period because you didn’t have it and then when you went off of it your period disappeared? I started the pill about 2 years ago, and it has helped me to get my period on a regular schedule (at the same time each month). Now I’m a little worried because you said going off of the pill made it disappear. I didn’t realize that it does this?! Why did going off the pill make your period disappear? Should I be worried that mine will disappear as well? Sorry that’s a lot of questions-just want to do what’s best for my body.
    Thank you!!

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    • Reply Rachel May 23, 2017 at 6:09 pm

      hi nicole – the post doesn’t say i went on it to regulate my period at first. i went on it because i had cramps (definitely re-read that part for clarity). the pill gives us an artificial “fake” period, so when on pill it is not a real period. i recommend going to see your doctor to ask these questions and finding someone that works for you. xx

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  • Reply Kate May 23, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    Hey! I am almost 17 and still haven’t gotten my period back (from 14). I had an eating disorder but even before that my period wasn’t regular. I would love and welcome suggestions! I am completely weight restored and I am vegan for ethical reasons. I eat tons of healthy fats and adaptogens.

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    • Reply Rachel May 23, 2017 at 6:08 pm

      hi kate! definitely see a doctor about this. i do know that plant-based diet can negatively impact female hormones but i’d see an RD and doctor if you don’t get it soon! xx

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    • Reply shay May 25, 2017 at 11:08 pm

      Hey Kate,
      I’m around your age (18) and when I lost mine it was because I thought I was eating alot, but I really wasn’t. I also had to incorporate meat in my diet and take Iron Pills since I dont eat that much meat.

      View Comment
  • Reply LC May 23, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    Wow, Rachel, this made me take a HUGE sigh of relief. I have been struggling with hormone issues for almost 2.5 years. I went off birth control and never regained a normal period. It disappeared last July and I have been visiting doctors and getting labs run ever since with no results. Now they want to put me back on medications and hormones while I’m still hoping to return to a hormonal balance naturally. I also started taking Maca and Ashwaganda recently and am so so so glad to hear I am not in this alone. I’ve tried to do so much research for others in the same situation but everything is coming up either PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) or HA (hypothalmic amenorrhea) and neither one fully fits my situation.

    Thank you a million times over for sharing your story and opening up about your situation and what works for you. I hope you figure out the cause soon and you continue to feel better! xoxo

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    • Reply Rachel May 23, 2017 at 6:07 pm

      i am so happy to hear that. neither fits my situation too!! sending healing vibes your way!! xx

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  • Reply Katelyn May 23, 2017 at 2:37 pm

    I wish i listened to my mom, too. I wish I never went on it. I wish my body wasn’t addicted to the hormones. I’ve been on it for almost 10 years. I went off for a whole year, and it took 60 days to get my period. I finally did, and I was regular, but I was so emotional and borderline depressed without the hormones. Hoping I have zero issues when I go off for good once I start having kids.

    PS. Interesting note on eating more meat! I do crave a burger when I’m PMSing. I eat mostly fish and plant-based protein, so when I am craving meat I for sure listen to my body and eat it up.

    Thanks for sharing your story <3

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  • Reply Lauren May 23, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    Rachel, I felt like I was reading a person diary just now! I too read the Women Code, and have since been incorporating maca and vitex, these past few months while I have been working to regain my period. My question for you is this–how have you been following Women Code while not having a cycle? Based on my blood results, I have tried to guess which phase I would be in and eat/move/live accordingly, but I am just wondering if you had a better approach.

    I always love watching your stories, reading your posts, and finding out we are even more similar than it had seemed when I first began following you. Thanks again for being you!!

    Lauren

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    • Reply Barbara May 23, 2017 at 4:00 pm

      I would also love to know how you are following womancode without a cycle. I too have been off birth control for a while and haven’t gotten a period since. I am trying to cycle sync but am having a hard time because I have no real cycle to follow!
      While I loved Alissa’s book and message I felt like it left me with more questions than answers at times.
      Thank you for sharing your story! This is my second time going off birth control and my second experience with a missing period. As a mother of two I can say- always trust your body and do not let doctors push you into something you don’t feel comfortable with. With a little patience and trust your body will reset. Thanks!

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      • Reply Rachel May 23, 2017 at 6:01 pm

        definitely tune into her faceobok lives and stuff. alisa gives great info!! it is confusing but i usually learn something 🙂

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    • Reply Rachel May 23, 2017 at 5:53 pm

      thank you so much for reading! i started with the follicular phase and am just mapping it out based off the timeline alisa has. no idea if it’ll work but can’t hurt, right? 🙂

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  • Reply Emilie @ Emilie Eats May 23, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    Girl we got off of birth control at the same time! I had only been taking in for about 6 months though – and I cried almost every week because I felt horrible for what I knew I was doing to my body (I didn’t think there was any other option). After working with Robyn & Cody and eating more, I finally saw a period in December, then January…and since then, not that much activity. A little light spotting for one day or so. It’s a work in progress! Keep me updated with how you are doing. <3

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    • Reply Rachel May 23, 2017 at 5:54 pm

      ugh! yes so happy you are back in action though! sending you love!! xx

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  • Reply Megan May 23, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    I really appreciate you being so open and writing this post! I had the same the problem. I went off birth control about two and a half years ago because I didn’t want to keep injecting my body with unnatural hormones. I wanted my body to regulate itself naturally. I had been on birth control since I was 16 (I’m now 27). After I went off birth control I wasn’t getting my period. After about 3 months of no period I went to my OBGYN because I was really nervous. She said it was normal to not get your period after going off birth control because your body and hormones are trying to regulate on its own. She did some tests to check my hormone levels anyways and they ended up being completely normal which made no sense to me! She said to give it another few months and then let her know if I still wasn’t getting my period. Another few months went by with no period so I called her up and she said she wanted me to take progesterone to force my body to have a period. She said this was important because the lining was building up in the uterus and it is important to shed the lining with a period. After some debate about whether or not I wanted to take the progesterone, I decided to take it. And it didn’t work. I still didn’t get my period even after taking the medicine to force my body to have a period. I really started to freak out at this point. My OBGYN said the only way to solve the issue was to go back on birth control. I didn’t listen to her. I didn’t know about adaptogens or the WomenCode book. I didn’t think there was anything that I could do so I just tried as best as I could to not stress about it because I knew that the stress was only making it worse. Then one day about 15 months of no period, it just came! Completely unexpected. And it came the following month as well. It has been regular ever since! I didn’t do anything special to try to make my period come back. Mainly because I didn’t have the knowledge. Every woman and every body is different. My advice would be that your period will come – you just have to let your body do its thing and trust it. I had been manipulating my period for 10 years on birth control. So my body had to figure out how to have a period without those unnatural hormones. Unfortunately for me it took a long time for my body to regulate and figure that out. During the year and a half that I was struggling with these hormone issues I felt very alone. I would tell my friends about my issue and they always had a look of concern on their faces. I didn’t know anyone else that had the same issue that I did. It is so amazing for you to share your experience. I think it is important for every woman to know that other people are going through the same thing and that they are not alone in the process.

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    • Reply Rachel May 23, 2017 at 6:03 pm

      i was told the same thing! it is so scary. that likely means you didn’t have a uterus lining to shed or it was thin (mine isn’t thick so provera didn’t work for me either). so happy you got it back though!! xx

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  • Reply Shae-Lynn May 23, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    Haven’t had my period for over a year since my eating disorder and none of my doctors really seem to be that concerned even though I am back to a healthy weight… thank you so much for this post and I will be definitely be looking into some of these adaptogens!!

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    • Reply Rachel May 23, 2017 at 6:03 pm

      definitely look into acupuncture and find a doctor who is concerned, it is concerning!!

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  • Reply Kelsey Chenault May 23, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    Hi Rachel- have you done any research on hypothalamic amenorrhea? After a year with no period and thinking I could never get pregnant, I self diagnosed and self corrected by just gaining somewhere between 5-8 lbs and stopping exercise until I got my period back. I was a perfectly healthy BMI prior to this, mind you and no doctor ever told me to gain weight. They just wanted to put me on medication. Look into the book “No Period Now What?” GAME. CHANGER. Sometimes our bodies shut down when they think we’re over stressed…. even if we don’t “feel” stressed… our bodies may consider our caloric intake too low and our exercise too intense and stop producing the hormones that we need to keep our system going. It’s a fight or flight thing. If our bodies aren’t fully prepared to carry a baby, what’s the point in ovulating, right? Just right off the bat, some things I changed with my diet that ultimately led to my recovery were: full fat dairy, extra carbs (sweet potato, quinoa, whole grain bread), and lots and lots of healthy fats (avocados daily, nut butter like it was going out of style, coconut oil, all the good stuff.). You’re probably thinking, ‘I already eat all that?’ well then it could be that you need to stop exercising… at least until your cycle returns. I did strictly yoga and walking until I got my cycle back (about 3 months for me but everyone is different) and then started slowly incorporating some light impact workouts back into my routine. I’m now 7 months pregnant and am working out regularly every day as I was pre-HA diagnosis. It’s not the end of the world. You are not alone. You will recover… but you HAVE to listen to your body. Good luck!! And feel free to ask me any questions you might have! I’m happy to share more about my experience!

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    • Reply Rachel May 23, 2017 at 6:04 pm

      i have! but my blood work is “normal range” so no HA here. i will have to order that book because i am definitely stressed! thank you so much for sharing! so happy yo are feeling better!! xx

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  • Reply Jenn May 23, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    I haven’t had my period in over 20 months… at least. It feels good to hear your story and know I am not alone. I suffered an eating disorder, that I have since recovered from. My relationship with food is awesome, and I have gained weight back. However my period has yet to return. I’m at a complete stop in the road, I don’t know what more to do. My doctors brush it off like no big deal. I currently do use maca and ashwaghanda every morning in my coffee! If anyone has any tips PLEASE shoot some my way.

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    • Reply Rachel May 23, 2017 at 6:05 pm

      ugh so sorry to hear that! definitely add tons of healthy fats to your daily eats and make sure you are eating enough and are maintaining a healthy weight i have heard that is KEY!

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  • Reply Emily May 23, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    I have struggled with having a regular cycle since I went off birth control years ago. Although I exercise a lot, I’ve never been at an unhealthy weight. The one thing I attribute to having a regular cycle again is juicing. I hadn’t had my period in over a year and started juicing almost every day and my period came back. I notice when I get out of the habit of juicing then it becomes irregular again. I’ve done a lot of research and reading and found other women had success with juicing too – apparently celery can help to regulate your cycle (the juice I make daily is celery, cucumber, lemon and spinach/leafy greens)! Bonus: juicing made my hair and nails healthier than ever. Thanks for sharing your experience! I’ve recently been incorporating maca and ashwaghanda and hope that it will help keep everything in check. Good luck!!

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  • Reply Zahra May 23, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    Thank you for your post. I am 35 and started losing my periods about 1.5 years ago. I never had regular periods. In the past 10 years and probably 20 different doctors in two different countries, no one could figure out what was wrong with me….. until I decided I wanted to have a baby. I was finally sent for hormone testing and found out that I have high FSH and low AMH, meaning diminished ovarian reserve, one of the worst infertility diagnoses you can have. Keep taking the vitex…with it’s help I have gotten my periods back. Doing maca and a number of other herbs as well. Woman Code is such a great resource and so are the many instagram accounts these days🙏🏼. Just wish I had stumbled upon this information 10 years ago. I’m glad you are finding it out now and spreading the word! Good luck with everything!

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    • Reply Rachel May 23, 2017 at 5:52 pm

      thank you so much for reading. i am SO sorry to hear about the low AMH, i got tested for that as well. i hope you figure out what is happening! xx

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  • Reply Anonymous May 23, 2017 at 7:46 pm

    I had irregular periods starting at age 11 and went on birth control to regulate at age 15. After 10 years on different brands of Pills, I went off in hopes of my body regulating itself now that I was older. I was diagnosed with endometriosis as going off the Pill brought to light a series of other problems (chronic pain, unbearable periods, etc.). I’m getting my second surgery within a year this summer, and my periods are still irregular (65+ days without a period). I think it’s important that women discuss periods, hormones, etc. because this is HEALTH. It really is no different than talking about how we care for our bodies in other ways. Thank you for encouraging other women to speak up; I was always expected to keep quiet about my gynecological problems in my teens (even with family members) but it’s nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about. We need more research for women’s health issues and open dialogue is an easy yet effective start.

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    • Reply Rachel May 25, 2017 at 6:00 pm

      ugh so sorry to hear that!!! and do not be ashamed. it is so important to talk about this. xx

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  • Reply Lara May 23, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    I absolutely love you and this post, and am so proud of you for coming out about your story. Although I know we will have more period chats as time goes on I am praying for you just as much as me to start bleeding (you said tmi doesnt exist, right?) 😘

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  • Reply Loreal May 23, 2017 at 9:14 pm

    Thanks for sharing your story. I’ve been on birth control for 15 years with a small 7 month stint off, when two very large cysts grew on my ovaries that had to be removed, so i’m back on birth control tiIl i can figure out a way to manage PCOS better. I am glad to see you on this journey reminds me there is hope to do this in a natural way.

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  • Reply Allyson May 23, 2017 at 9:37 pm

    I didn’t have my period for 13 months after stopping BC. You will get it back and you will shout for joy when you do! You’re doing all the right things listening to your body and giving it what it needs. Thanks for sharing your story!

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  • Reply Kalle May 23, 2017 at 10:29 pm

    Thank you for sharing and it does feel so good to read how many women are going through something similar. I haven’t had a period in 2.5 years and just started seeing a naturopath and reading womancode a few months ago. (My body basically makes no progesterone or estrogen and I’m 32!) I’m on tge three things you mentioned, doing accupuncture and increasing healthy fats but one of the things that increased by cervical fluid most (sign of increasing estrogen) was beef liver supplements. I guess the bc pill can drain your b vitamins. So I’m hopeful too that I can rebalance naturally. Keep us updated!

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    • Reply Rachel May 25, 2017 at 5:56 pm

      ugh i am so sorry!!! def going to try beef liver supplements. and some more vitamin b! thank you so much. xx

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  • Reply Brittany May 23, 2017 at 10:47 pm

    HEY girl! Great post! Similar story here 🙋🏼 I was also on BC for years and I do have PCOS. So thankful for beautiful food and these amazing adaptations!!! Also started eating meat again 😜 Not my first choice but necessary for the health of my body. I have also been on vitex since December and my periods have returned (not as consistent as I would like) but hang in there!! Believing yours will also come back! Speaking of Maca, there is a product called Fermessencepro (something like that) is a SUPER concentrated form of Maca that my doctor recommended! (In case you are interested)
    AND that book is amazing!!! Changed my life!
    Again, thanks for talking about all the things that NEED to be talked about! #hormonesarelife well maybe not life but sure make Quality of life better when they are in balance 😂👌🏻

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    • Reply Rachel May 25, 2017 at 5:55 pm

      wow that is inspiration for me!!! thank you so much. did you do vitex pills or liquid?

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  • Reply Sarah May 23, 2017 at 11:34 pm

    Hi Rachel

    Thanks for sharing this. I was on the birth control pill for around 20 years, with two breaks to have two kids. Until last December when I stopped taking it. Haven’t had a period since then (just 6 months ago) but instead of what most people do, I gained about 8 lbs in 2 months and haven’t been able to get rid of it.

    I know the last few weeks I haven’t been eating that healthy, and I exercise at least 4 times a week. The doctor isn’t concerned about the weight gain or lack of period but it irks me at times.

    I might check out the Rebbl stuff and the other suggestions you have. I just want to be healthy and happy.

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    • Reply Rachel May 25, 2017 at 5:54 pm

      wow! ugh so sorry to hear that. definitely recommend woman code too!

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  • Reply Abby May 24, 2017 at 3:35 am

    For someone who literally cried tears of joy this morning after getting her period, this post hits home. I have been where you are at right now. I guarantee you, though all this stress and unknown, the day will come where everything will balance out.
    I was put on the pill after being diagnosed with endometriosis. I stayed on the pill for 5 years and once I reeeeaaallly started being particular with my health and what I put in my body, I chose to get off and let my body balance itself out. HA! Did my body have other plans..
    I went months with no period. Over the next year I was induced twice by progesterone and was told to get back on the pill. Like nooo, I’m not looking for a bandaid, I want answers as to why I’m not getting a period. Along with no periods, I had weight gain (30 pounds- some of which I credit emotional eating to) acne and a lack of energy to name the main ones. I wasn’t happy with my doctor and the way he was treating my situation. I was scared and felt like I was being brushed off. So I went to a hormone specialist and was diagnosed via ultrasound with PCOS. Absolute devastation. I started taking evening primrose around this time and flax oil. I was told to consult with a Fertility Specialist so I could be famaliar with one come the time I want to conceive and happen to have problems. She did her own lab work and diagnosed me with Type 2 Diabetes (a side effect of PCOS crazy enough) I’m now taking metformin to help regulate my blood sugar and now it’s regulating my period. Ultimately, I’d love to be off of all medication but for now, I’m sticking to my herbs and metformin.

    Rachl, my heart goes out to you because I’ve been in your position and it really does hurt. I can’t tell you how many times I would cry because I felt so out of control and crushed because I’m SO cautious of what I put in my body! Im sending you positive vibes and will continue to follow you and hope you get regulated soon.

    Thank you for sharing this. We are not alone.

    Xx

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    • Reply Rachel May 25, 2017 at 5:54 pm

      awwwww. wow that is insane. i have heard PCOS and diabetes being linked together before. so sore to hear that. but honestly if you are bleeding and can get pregnant on that medicine that is all the matters!!

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  • Reply Ariam May 24, 2017 at 8:36 am

    Yes to all of this! I started my period at 12 and then didn’t have it again for more than a year. After that it was always a surprise if I got a period. I have two children and having them has been nothing short of a miracle. This may sound silly but something that was recommended to me was myrrh. My family is from East Africa and it has often been used to help with blood flow through out the body. It worked! I was so scepticial. The only thing was it was something I needed constantly. I hope this helps someone. If you look it up I think it was the University of Italy that had done research on the health benefits of myrrh. Thank you for opening this conversation. ❤️

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    • Reply Rachel May 25, 2017 at 5:52 pm

      wow! okay will definitely look into that. is it a pill/supplement? what does your doctor say what never having a period?

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      • Reply Ariam Fesaha May 27, 2017 at 8:30 am

        I went to the best naturopath in the Pacific Northwest and she had no answers as to why. I found out about myrrh when I finally told my mom the problem I was having. Coming from a culture where you don’t discuss these things I waited years before telling her. I wish I had. So what I do is soak about 2 grams of myrrh in a shot glass size cup. I fill it with water. I let that sit for an hour, then drink just the water. The water quickly absorbs the myrrh. Please let me know if it works for you. You are starting a very important conversation. Thank you for sharing and replying.

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        • Reply Rachel May 29, 2017 at 4:32 pm

          did you get your thyroid check? i did read myrrh can help with hypothyroidism (i just got blood work for this, waiting for results!)

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          • Ariam Fesaha May 29, 2017 at 5:10 pm

            I have never had it checked. Although, I know hyperthyroidism is a problem for people from MENA(middle east and North Africa) I have never had it checked. Also, in my last pregnancy I had hyperemisis and supposedly it’s due to the hormone levels in your thyroid. I just moved to Dubai and looking for a new doctor if you have any recommendations. Looking forward to hearing about your results.

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  • Reply Kendra May 24, 2017 at 9:06 am

    Thank you SO much for sharing your story with us! I have had a very similar experience. I lost my period after I became way too into cardio when I was training for a half-marathon three years ago. My body fat was low, and I was clearly underweight. I was concerned because I didn’t have my period, and my doctor tried the progesterone challenge with me to see if it would come back; it did not. Then, she began me on the pill. My period came back, but it was heavier and longer than ever! After dealing with the pill for its sole purpose of creating my period, I was sick of it! Sick of the fake cycle it produced, the unnecessary cramps and discomfort I underwent, and the introduction of something unnatural into my body. I decided to stop the pill in December, and I have not had my period since then. I have gained weight and am much more healthy now than I was when I initially lost it, but I wonder how to get it back naturally. Thank you SO much for this post. I do not want to go back on the pill to create a period, and I am hoping to look into these adaptogens to get it back. THANK YOU for bringing light to the fact that there are other ways than the “easy way out” regarding doctors suggesting the pill right of the bat. Personally, I never knew there were alternatives until so many people recently have shed light on the topic. I took all of this information to heart, and it is comforting to know I am not alone. XOXO

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    • Reply Rachel May 25, 2017 at 5:52 pm

      i tried that challenge too! thank you so much for sharing. i will keep you updated with anything else i learn!!

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  • Reply Traci May 24, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your story! It is going to help and inspire so many women! I went off BC pills back in September and read Taking Charge of Your Fertility and WomanCode and have learned SO much from both of them! I highly recommend TCoYF as a supplementary resource if you haven’t already read it. And thanks for the super helpful info about adaptogens! Looking forward to hearing updates on your journey as your hormones continue to heal and balance! <3

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  • Reply Katrina May 24, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    Thank you for being so open and honest. This is something that I am currently struggling with. I have a history of anorexia so I lost my period back in 2009 and still don’t have it. I’ve been at a healthy weight for over 3 years and I started trying to incorporate meat (mostly turkey and chicken). It’s good to know about the different herbs that you’re trying out. Maybe I’ll try an get my hands on some to start incorporating. it’s really frustrating and scary not to have a menstrual cycle because I want to have kids eventually so having it is important, and just to be overall healthy as well. Obviously, it’s not fun having cramps and bloating, but I’d rather be healthy.

    Thank you again Rachel, you’re so brave and amazing!

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    • Reply Rachel May 25, 2017 at 5:50 pm

      wow i am so sorry to hear that. sending good vibes your way!! definitely get bloodworm checked out too and make sure all is ok!

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  • Reply Alex May 24, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story!

    I lost my period for a little over a year a few years back when I was eating unknowingly only eating about 900 calories a day and working out a lot in conjunction with trying a birth control pill. I had no idea that my hormones were so out of whack. I, like you, didn’t really think about it for a while since it was nice not to have to deal with a period but then got a little worried.

    My naturopath gave me Vitex as well which did the trick after a while. I think it took about another 4 months for it to come AT ALL (think symptoms and maybe some spotting) and then another month or two to have a true period.

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    • Reply Rachel May 25, 2017 at 5:49 pm

      wow okay so good to know!! i will keep taking vitex. i have thought about seeing a naturopath in nyc too. did you find it helpful?

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  • Reply Morgan May 24, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    I’m so happy you shared this! Although I didn’t lose my period after stopping birth control 2 years ago, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and STILL trying to get my hormones back in balance. It’s so comforting to know there is a safe space to discuss these things. I’m ordering Woman Code ASAP! Can’t wait to hear how this journey pans out for you.. I have a feeling you’re on the right track! xo!

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    • Reply Rachel May 25, 2017 at 5:48 pm

      ugh! so sorry to hear that. i am going to test my thyroid next. sending good vibes your way!

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  • Reply Emily May 24, 2017 at 9:06 pm

    Hey Rachel(; This post was much needed- I am vegan (not for health, for the animals) and haven’t had my period in so long. I saw a doctor and a GYNO and they said not to worry, I also did blood tests. But it has been years (I am a teen) and I am worried! Any advice?

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    • Reply Rachel May 25, 2017 at 5:48 pm

      hi emily – definitely see a doctor and find one that thinks this is an issue, it is!

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  • Reply Bekah May 25, 2017 at 9:59 am

    Rachl! Thanks so much for sharing about this. I have hormonal issues too and it can be so frustrating. I think it’s so important though, to remember that at the end of the day, we can only do our best and then have to surrender the rest. Which can be so. hard. Thanks for being vulnerable and sharing tho! Keep being you! xoxo

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  • Reply Kylie May 25, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story. It’s refreshing to read something so honest and meaningful about women’s health. I’ve recently started to get into adaptogens and have found them SO helpful in my own health journey. You are awesome and I absolutely loved everything about this post.

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  • Reply Lindsay May 25, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    Rachel, thanks for sharing! I personally haven’t faced hormonal issues but this reminded me of an episode of The Healthy Maven podcast I listened to recently. The girl talked about how eating more and giving up exercise really helped (probably the last thing you want to hear haha) and I found a blog post she wrote about it https://www.eatingbirdfood.com/healing-hypothalamic-amenorrhea/

    I’m sure you’ve done tons of research and received a ton of advice. I hope this helps and you get to the bottom of it ASAP 🙂

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  • Reply Erika May 25, 2017 at 11:58 pm

    You had me at hormones!!
    Ok, so I actually don’t read very many blogs. I found you on Instagram and happened to click on the photo in which you mention your hormone post. That peaked my interest because I have also been struggling with hormones (and also recently chalking it up to being on the pill for 10 years – oy don’t even get me started!) and have been diving head first into ALL KINDS of research about them. Holy moly. We are incredible hormonal creatures! My struggles are a bit different, but I can absolutely relate to wanting to cry when realizing I’m not the only one out there dealing with this. And also just wanting to HELP ALL THE LADIES IN THE WORLD and create a giant community of amazing women talking and connecting and healing. For me, I get my period pretty regularly, but what I deal with is HORRID PMS. Lots of pain, heavy heavy bleeding, and the mood swings. HOLY MOTHER OF ROLLER COASTER UNCONTROLLABLE INSANITY. I’m surprised (and so SO SO grateful) that my husband is so understanding and incredibly steadfast in his love. Thankfully, through research, I have discovered I’m NOT alone and I’m NOT crazy. I have an amazing Naturopath who is currently helping me navigate through all of this and get it all figured out. I recently got my hormones tested using the DUTCH test, and I’m just waiting for the results. As for books, for any women out there who suffer from these kinds of hormone struggles (severe PMS/PMDD), I recommend “Female Brain Gone Insane: An Emergency Guide for Women Who Feel Like They Are Falling Apart” by Mia Lundin. Lots of wonderful helpful info in there. So, THANK YOU Rachel for being on Team Hormone and helping to start these conversations, talking about the poo no one wants to talk about, and having this blog with lots and lots of followers who will read this and know they aren’t alone. Best. <3

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    • Reply Rachel May 26, 2017 at 9:26 pm

      awwww so happy you find me! this is such a powerful community. i will so look into that book. it is important we are talking about this! xx

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  • Reply Melanie May 26, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    I’m jut getting around to reading this but the moment I saw you wrote a post on the topic of hormones I knew this would be valuable to read. I am so thankful for Lee from America, and now you, who post about hormones. I lost my period in late summer 2015 after going wild with exercise and not fueling myself properly. I spent all of 2016 on birth control pills to “give me a period” but I knew I wanted to start 2017 off on a better foot.
    I’m a mostly plant-based eater so that might make it extra difficult for me to regain my period but I’ve read that others have done it so I’m trying!! I started using some essential oils in February and I feel like that has helped. I even got my period once but then I started exercising and now I haven’t seen my period come back :/ I think I’ll need to quit exercise again. I don’t understand how so many women can be athletes or do running and other strenuous exercises yet others don’t talk about losing their periods. Sidenote: I know you’re a fan of exercise classes so I’d love to know how you balance exercise on your mission to regain your period♥
    I’ve been trying to eat more to get back to the weight I was prior to losing my period. I just bought WomanCode and got my first container of maca! I’m excited to put them to use. Thanks so much for sharing what you’ve been going through. It means the world to me!

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  • Reply Michelle May 27, 2017 at 12:00 am

    Wow-so inspiring. I know how hard it is to be open about challenges your body faces. About 5 years ago I was diagnosed with an eating disorder and for about 2 years I didn’t get my period at all because of all the weight I lost. At that time I was totally ok with it because I had other things to focus on such as school studies so therefore I wasn’t worried about the long term effects. But when I thought about raising a family I knew I couldn’t do so without a period so I decided to use birth control pills to ignite my periods. Now I have a normal menstral cycle and don’t have to worry about “will I ever be able to be a mom to a son or daughter?” But your post got me thinking…I’m finally back at a normal healthy weight so now my thoughts are “should I stop taking birth control and see if I will get my period back”? (Totally not asking that as a direct question to you at all) but it just got me thinking like is it worth trying? I hate the fact that I’m on the pill just to be somewhat ‘normal’ and feel like a ‘woman’ and have a period. I just don’t know, I guess it wouldn’t hurt to try, I could always go back on it at a later time. Anyways sorry for rambling at you. Back to YOU…I’m happy to hear you are seeing some change in your body as far as some of the symptoms of having a menstral cycle are concerned.
    Take care

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  • Reply Leslie May 28, 2017 at 10:58 am

    I went off the pill November 2013 and never got my period (3 years). I used all the adapotgens, did acupuncture and still nothing. Only when I take Vitex (once a month) do I get my period. I have been tested for adrenal fatigue, mercury poisoning and thryoid disorder which all contribute to not having a period. Hopefully one day I will be able to get my period on its own naturally but for now I use Vitex to make sure I can still have a period. When I don’t take it, I still get bloating, cramps and discharge around that time of the month, but not my period.

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  • Reply Megan May 30, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    I love love love this post! I recently (about 5-6 weeks ago) found out I have Hypothalamus Amenorrhea, which my cycle has been missed for some time. It is hard to think that I have to gain weight and stop working out to bring my cycle back but realizing I am not alone is comforting. I am so happy to read about someone else taking a natural path to regain your cycle! I will be checking out that book as I remember you mentioning it on IG before.
    Anxious to read more about your story! Hope it comes back soon!

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  • Reply twist of lemons: FEMpowerment Fridays, episode 2 June 2, 2017 at 11:19 am

    […] honest, inspiring woman I am so lucky to call friend, I want to take a moment to direct you to her blog post about her own harrowing hormonal tale. In her post, she opens up about her fears, insecurities, […]

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  • Reply Caroline June 2, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    I’m in a very similar boat. I am 28, and was put on oral birth control due to a number of hormonal symptoms (inconsistent/absent periods, extreme constipation, fatigue) six years ago. My doctor, a new mother in her early 30s, very casually mentioned that if I wanted kids some day, I might want to stop taking it a year before trying to conceive, especially if I had a timeline I wanted to balance with a career. I didn’t think much about it at the time, but that message has always been in the back of my mind, and I am now so grateful for the offhand advice. 15 months ago I decided to quit, in part because after forgetting to take my birth control for a week, I realized how much better I felt, and in part because I will want to start a family in a few years, so my doctor’s advice became more relevant to my life. I thought I was being waaay over-cautious with the timing. At the time I was 27, and wanted to start trying for kids around 30. I had no idea about the tumultuous journey ahead of me. My first sign that my body was very far off kilter was when I began charting my basal metabolic temperature about a month after stopping the pill, and realized that my temperature was way way low (typically 96.8). After some research, I started making some lifestyle changes in hopes of getting my temperature back up- I stopped my intense workouts and opted for more gentle forms of exercise, focused on eating more healthy fats, and did my best to be better about sleeping- but nothing made much of a difference. I did finally get a period back after 10 months, but even then things were not normal. My cycles were long (45 days), with a very long follicular phase. If I ovulated, which was incredibly rare, it would occur very late and my luteal phase would only be 6/7 days, half of what it should be. I went to see my doctor, but she said all she could do was prescribe me birth control, and recommended I see a fertility specialist, which my insurance did not cover, and which also feels unnecessary because I am not trying to conceive right now. I asked if I could see an endocrinologist, but because blood tests showed that my thyroid hormones were normal (although lowest range of normal), my insurance would not cover that either. I was shocked that having a functioning reproductive system is not considered standard care. Upset and discouraged, I turned to literature with hopes that I could treat myself. Two months ago, I started taking Vitex (tincture in droplet form) twice daily and gelatinized maca every morning, and two weeks ago I began taking transdermal magnesium every night. Things are still not back to normal, but something is happening…. My follicular phase temp is up to consistently above 97, and I ovulated this past month- my luteal phase was 8 days, not ideal but a little bit longer. My last period was actually really scary- my entire post-puberty life, when I do have a period I bleed very lightly for 1-3 days, and very little associated symptoms. This time, however, I had extreme cramps that kept me in bed for three days, as well as bleeding so heavy at night I had to get up change my tampon every 30 minutes, and in total my period lasted about 5 days. While this was scary, I take it as a sign that something is happening. I plan to keep up with my supplements and continue tracking my temperature. As frustrating and upsetting as this is, I am so glad that I am dealing with this now, rather than when actively trying to conceive. Thank you for your story. Because there is really no physician support for the average woman who can’t afford to see “elective” specialists, it is so important that we share our experiences.

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    • Reply Maddy December 5, 2017 at 7:01 pm

      Hi Caroline! Your situation sounds identically to mine. Were your AMH levels tested? And did you develop any acne? Curious to know what your AMH levels were. Mine are 13.8 and I’m supposed to see a Fertility specialist next week (even though just like you, I only stopped the pill and want to regulate things naturally for when I do plan to have babies in 2-3 years). I stopped taking the pill May 1st and have not ovulated or had a natural period. So frustrating and scary!!

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      • Reply Caroline December 7, 2017 at 4:25 pm

        Hi Maddy,
        No I have not yet done AMH or any other fertility tests as my current grad student health insurance only covers pregnancy prevention/termination as far as reproductive care goes, ugh. However, it has now been close to two years since I stopped taking the pill, and my periods come every cycle and are mostly normal (sometimes a little long, but often close to a “normal” cycle). I also have been doing LH testing and that combined with a shift in basal temps seems to indicate that I am ovulating, although my follicular phase is still on the long side and my luteal phase is still pretty consistently 8 days rather than the ideal 10-12. I am no longer on Vitex, as I have read it is not great to take more than six months at a time, but I do think it helped regulate my cycle a bit, so it might be worth a shot. Good luck with the fertility specialist!

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      • Reply Caroline December 7, 2017 at 4:28 pm

        Regarding acne, I am fortunate to normally have completely clear skin, but when I stopped the pill the first year or so I did sometimes get a zit or three, which is unusual for me, so I do think this is just part of the quitting artificial hormones process…

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  • Reply Christina June 4, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    While I am currently blessed to not be having problems with my menstrual cycle, reading this post was extremely informative. As adaptogens are becoming more accessible, it was nice to get a rundown on various forms and methods of incorporation. My interest in adaptogens is mainly as a way to naturally help myself and body with various forms of stress. My life has undergone a transformation in the past year and while many of the changes are great, I find that I am having trouble sleeping, weight gain, acne, basically all the ways stress manifests itself in our bodies. Have you noticed any additional benefits of the adaptogens besides the hormonal symptoms?

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  • Reply Megan June 22, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    After my 2nd child I started a Paleo, and not even a low carb Paleo diet in my opinion, but I completely lost my period and as much as I didn’t want to believe it, my naturopath says these newer low carb diets are detrimental to some women in their childbearing years. So I added in even more carbs slowly and what do you know… baby #3 is on it’s way 🤷🏻‍♀️ My naturopath said that when your body is being malnourished in some way, shape, or form it is only going to perform absolutly essential processes so menstruating and having babies is put on hold. So carbs were my issue but it helped make me take a look at the bigger picture I guess! Good luck to you! 😘

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  • Reply Caroline Kuras October 28, 2017 at 9:05 am

    Hi Rachel! Thank you for sharing your story and recommending Alisa Vitti’s book, Woman Code. It really is a fantastic resource! I was wondering, have you tried her supplements? I’m in the same boat and am very nervous/concerned about my options. Let me know!

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  • Reply Haley October 31, 2017 at 8:11 pm

    Thank you for writing a post about this! I’ve gone off the pill for over a year and just have super irregular/weird periods. That part never really bothered me but this cystic acne and depression has! It’s so frustrating and stressful. I really don’t want to go back on birth control but I feel like I don’t know what else to do. I’m 24 and as of a couple months ago my chin has been covered with painful acne and my mood has been all over. I know this is all making me very stressed and it’s taking a toll on my body.

    Glad I read this post though, to know we aren’t the only ones going through these issues! Definitely going to be ordering some of the pills you’ve suggested.

    Thank you 🙂

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  • Reply A November 15, 2017 at 4:28 am

    Stress has certainly affected my hormones. At that point I should utilize ashwagandha that is on the grounds that it is a powerhouse of an adaptogen. Ashwagandha enables adjust to feelings of anxiety and upgrade unwinding.

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  • Reply Rachel November 19, 2017 at 12:15 am

    Ahhh! I have PCOS! Since it’s a syndrome, you only need to meet two qualifying factors. For me, lack of regular/non existent periods and tonssss of micro eggs in my ovaries! I’m excited to try these things!!!

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  • Reply Marjorie December 5, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    I’m so sorry you’re having to go through this! I went off the Pill after 5 years when I was 25, and didn’t have my period for about a year. My Gyn would put me on progesterone and I would have my period and then the next month I wouldn’t. He eventually sent me to fertility specialist, who told me I might have problems getting pregnant (which was NOT something I was trying to do at that time in my life), and put me on progesterone and estrogen to get me back on track. I can’t remember how long I had to do that, but my period did eventually come back and stay. He claimed I had a hypothalamus pituitary insufficiency, but I’m wondering if this was just a generic description of something they didn’t really understand. This was 25 years ago (yikes!) and I wish there had been more interest in and knowledge in functional medicine. My current primary doctor is definitely interested in more than just standard, Western medicine, and has me on Ashwagandha and Black Cohosh to help with hot flashes (yes, I’m on the other end of the spectrum, now. ) and they have. I was diagnosed w/hypothyroidism at 35, shortly before I became pregnant w/my first daughter. So reading your most recent post about your visit w/the functional doctor and your concern about your thyroid makes me wonder if that was tied to my lack of period as well. I’m so glad that you are trying to get to the bottom of this, listening to your gut and heart. Good luck!

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  • Reply Donelle April 7, 2018 at 8:12 am

    I have sort of the opposite problem where my periods are god awful and all the time. There is maybe a few days a month where I’m not on my period. My doctor said I have PCOS but my hormone levels are normal and I have no cysts. BUT I do have thyroid issues and high cortisol and I’m wondering if that has something to do with it.

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  • Reply Snappy April 23, 2018 at 5:09 pm

    You’re adorable! Thanks so much for the info, I had been trying to find info on whether I could take Vitex and Ashwaganda together and hadn’t been able to find much on the subject, so I’m relieved to know someone else has done so with no adverse effects. Hope things turned out well and you’re in good health. Best wishes!

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  • Reply High Cortisol Levels: My Story (hormone update!) - rachLmansfield June 4, 2018 at 5:11 pm

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  • Reply Jenny June 8, 2018 at 3:52 pm

    Have you heard of Leanne Vogel? She had amenrrhea for a long time. I think she was able to get her period back with increasing her intake of fat (she’s into keto). Though most people use keto for fat loss and you aren’t in need of that, focusing on animal fats (like steak gristle, breakfast sausage, bacon, etc) might help to regulate your hormones more so than avocados or nuts. Just a thought!
    PS. I just found your blog via IG and I’m already a big fan! Great energy, great message.

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    • Reply Rachel June 10, 2018 at 9:39 pm

      thanks for the insights. i actually eat grass-fed beef daily (for the past year). and TONS of healthy fats and proteins. everyones body is different. sometimes it is more than food related 🙂 hopefully will figure it out soon! xx

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  • Reply Emily July 19, 2018 at 9:37 am

    Thanks for sharing your story – it’s great for other people to read about.

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  • Reply monika July 20, 2018 at 2:26 am

    hi, I would like to try ASHWAGANDHA, EVENING PRIMROSE OIL, VITEX but not sure if its good to mix all together, seems like too many pills, but I found Gaia herb daily wellbeing for woman which consist mix of adaptogens but of course in smaller dose. What do you think is better?

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    • Reply Rachel July 20, 2018 at 4:18 pm

      hi monika – i recommend peeking with a functional medicine doctor or professional to see what is best for you! xx

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