T Nation

Hormones, Menopause, and Periods Thread


#1

Since it’s a contributing factor to lifting for women, and I know others as well as myself keep an eye on things of this nature, I figure to just make a thread where we can all come together and post any issues or thoughts on the female reproductive system. Or to just ya know…vent how pissed you are because it’s that time of the month. :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:

Medications, Menstruation, Menopause, tampons, pads, changes in Hormones, birth control, ovulation, cramping, how it effects training, PMS, home remedies, all shapes, all ages, etc.


T Replacement Info for Women?
#2

Thanks so much for this thread! It’s exactly what us strong women need.
I do have a question: I’m about to start birth control (Yasmin by Bayer). Does birth control come with the same hormonal impacts on training as a normal cycle?


#3

Yay , thanks for starting this @planetcybertron

I get severe pms and sometimes even issues around ovulation because any type of hormonal shifts seem to really affect me .
Lots of time my pms is so intense it changes my life ie:I’ll quit jobs or contemplate suicide etcetc. I can literally tell the exact minute my brain chemistry turns to normal it’s like oh, I feel happy again, ok good .

Right now, however, I’m more than 10 days late and it worries me only because I won’t be able to track my hormonal shifts as they won’t be on schedule (I’ve been using an app) .

I’ve been relying on this app and this consistency to help stay in control and plan more rest , cheat meals , etc…


#4

I’m not an expert so it may just depend on your individual hormones and makeup, but I would think it’d be easier to stay closer to what you have laid out for your training come time for the bleeding to start opposed to not taking birth control.

Birth control pills mimic the hormones found if you’re pregnant. Not all, but a good few of them do. So with that, Estrogen, HcG, and progesterone get upped up in your system. So maybe seeing what effect that might have if lifting and seeing if you notice any effects for yourself could be a good place to start.


#5

Glad you’re working towards trying to mitigate the uncomfortableness.

My PMS is me just being irritated. Viciously irritated. Lol.

Cramps are something sent straight from Satan himself. Ugh. Around day two, I’m okay to go back to the gym, that’s if fatigue doesn’t zap well over half of my strength though.

So I just deload and complain until I feel better.


#6

Kinda related but kinda not…do any of you get sensitive arches of your FEET when you are hormonal?Right before my period I do. Its bazar… but it makes one think twice about foot fetishes, seriously!


#7

I wish I even had a foot arch. I have insanely flat feet with zero arch.


#8

Holy shit I’ve been having random arch pain this past week I never knew it could be hormonal . I bought orthotics lol


#9

For me activity has a large impact. I have to stay away from desk job or it get dangerous.
4 months of no activity was very hard and every one around me and me.
The more active the lesser the PMS and my cycle get longer and lighter.
When I am stressed I get cyst and I can’t be on any pile has I have major reactions.

As for sore feet as hormones affect muscles in the gym they also affect your feet, most noticable if you don’t have proper footware. I live in hiking shoes or boots, never had sore feet even with a job where you can’t sit down.


#10

Flat feet? What does that feel like?? I know having flat feet means you can’t go in the army according to the old saying, but I’ve never known what that means for everything else!


#11

I think my arches on my feet and my female parts are connected in some way. really, whether its hormonal or reflexology I can’t say. It feels marginally obscene when I get a great foot message!


#12

I have an unbelievable amount of pronation (I get that mixed up with supination). And occasionally it irritates the inner parts of my knees. But I can just feel the entirety of the floor on my feet.

I just fake an arch by creating supination on the other side of my foot and using arch support shoes if I’m not squatting or deadlifting. Mainly for walking or standing. Just so I can get a feel for support.

Squatting is a breeze though so there’s that.


#13

@KAD, @littlelee, @ChickenLittle, @donnerschweer, @ouroboro_s, @jamie1888

I think we’re all close in age. I’m in my late 40s. I was going to ask if any of you have had symptoms of low Progesterone, or if you’ve tried creams, either bioidentical from a pharmacy, or over the counter?

I’ve been very, very fortunate. I didn’t have any PMS symptoms until just a few years ago, in my mid 40s. For me, it’s predictable that I’m going to want to cry about something or pick a fight about a week before my cycle. I’m still like a clock in that regard. Also, I will feel nauseated, just like I have morning sickness, either before or during my period. I would swear that I’m pregnant, so apparently I’m reverse aging! It’s like being 26 and pregnant again. Haha.

This might be helpful to some of you. Maybe. A couple of years ago I started taking a very low dose of Prozac (fluoxetine 10 mg) just 5 days out of the month. My cycle is very predictable, so I can just start on about day 21 and take it for the 5 days that are going to be the worst for wanting to cry about something. I was really, really reluctant to do this since I’ve never been prone to anxiety or depression and had never taken any medications like this before. I’m WAY cautious. For me, I have zero side effects, and can’t even tell I’m on it. I do not feel any different at all except it makes me less likely to cry or pick a fight. Something to consider if you’re having the same issue. @planetcybertron, I know you’ve had some wicked PMS.

For reference, I’ve found Chrsitine Northrup MD’s website pretty helpful for all things hormone-related.

From her site. I’m not experiencing weight gain or water retention, but I have all the other low P symptoms she lists. Also, I’m not prone to headaches at all, but it’s very predictable that I’m going to need to take Ibuprofen for headache a few times during my period. I know this is minor compared to what a lot of people deal with all the time, but it’s new for me to have hormone-related headaches.

I assume I’m headed into this, or am in the middle of it. I’ve always had this incredibly healthy body that works like clockwork. I feel great all the time, so I’m taking this a little bit hard. Am NOT looking forward to it. Thankfully, I don’t have the low T symptoms. So far I have a few of the Low E ones, and for sure Low P.

I’ve been trying Progesterone cream but I’m not sure if it’s doing anything.


#14

I gotta tell you, so far my period is the same as always, no changes for me. The day before I get it, I am an evil bitch, and then no cramps or anything. This is useful info though that I will be keeping in my back pocket!
To all you ladies who suffer monthly, my thoughts and prayers are with you.


#15

That’s fabulous, Lee. I’d never had any problems. Very light, short cycle with no cramps, and no PMS. I thought I was going to escape all the bad things. When I was younger I thought PMS was mostly just an excuse to be really mean. Nope. It’s a real thing. I’ve taken my health for granted. This aging thing is a little bit upsetting.


#16

Gosh, I don’t even know where to start on this. My situation was awful. It has never been regular even on BC pills. It just got worse and worse. Especially after I had Jed. My gyno decided that a VBAC was our best option. Well, not so much. He was 8lbs. Ooops! This has left me with an enlarged uterus. I would seriously go thru 2 bixes pf super plus tampns and the big packages of maxi’s in 7 days. Then it started every two weeks…ugh! Always carried extras clothes to work because I never knew if I was going to have an accident. Puppy pads on the bed at night. Night sweats to where I had to get up and change the sheets. My breast would hurt so bad you could barely touch them. A bra was painful.

Finally it just stopped. Don’t know if it’s because of my weightloss or if was just time. Don’t care! Just glad it’s over!!!

About a week before it would happen I would either want to kill you or drown you in tears. Or possibly both!


#17

Aging sucks soooo bad. I might not have issues with my period, but the rest of me is falling apart!


#18

Lol… I have no idea that I am almost 50 years old.


#19

Ho crap my cycle is so influence by my life stress. My cycle was perfect untill college, that is when I started to lift. It got long (60-90 days) and no PMS.

Then after university, I got an office job. I gained a bit of weight and was less active. My cycle went nuts. Massive depression, ovarian cyst every month for 2 years! I tryed the pill but had side effects, tryed the ring thing. Well that was bad. My gynico at the time suggested having a child. But that would need medical assistance and what do I do with the said baby after…

I changed job, it got much better withing a few months. Just some being irritable the week before. Life got wild again. (my father dementia, my mom breast cancer, my brother heart failure then my father past) that was 5 years of crazy stress and my jog was getting tough. I needed to make some big changes.

Mt cycle went bad again the last year or so. Crazy PMS, I could have killed someone or melted in a crying puddle at the drop if a hat.

Life decided for me what to do next. I broke my leg. Got a low stress jog, still active and my cycle is getting back to normal. Sex drive, no yest infection, no sore breast, or dryness but I maybe irritable the week before bur no one will die.


#20

I bet. That’s a nightmare! You can see why women start wanting a hysterectomy if this kind of thing is going on. Thank goodness life got better for you without surgery.

Amen. I’m trying to accept it, but I feel a little bit sad about it. Mostly because my body has always been able to do everything I wanted it to do, and now I feel like a mutiny is going on.

Wow. Yeah, your hormones seem to really respond to life changes. I’ve heard that ovarian cysts can be incredibly painful. I took a college roommate to the ER with one one time and I thought it might be her appendix. She was in agony.

The part of this that bothers me the most? I pictured that as we age we’re supposed to have ourselves sorted out, be more patient. I was hoping to be more mellow, calm, with a much longer fuse. Progressively get better, more self-restraint, not sweat the small stuff. Wisdom. At least that would be some compensation for watching my body age. I don’t know. This peri-menopause PMS thing is real.

I’m seriously going to consider HRT/ Estrogen. Not yet, but if this gets worse into my 50s. An older friend of mine just swears that it’s improved her life so much that she will accept any health risks.