Guest blog by Peppur Chambers, a writer, producer, actor and wanna-be, will-she-be mom.
I’ve been TTC for over a year now. This wait has been a long haul; to keep myself busy and to keep myself sane during the major emotional ups and downs, I started to track the cycle within my cycle to not only understand my body, but to see if I could find any clues of my own regarding my fertility and lack thereof.
We know that fertility can be affected by hormones. So, if hormones are unbalanced, “Houston, we have a problem!”
Honestly, the topic is pretty tricky because there is A LOT of information out there. It can get pretty confusing as to which hormones are imbalanced and why. Most of the trouble centers around estrogen and progesterone and whether you might be living with levels that are too high or too low. The two are like a see-saw and not a fun one!
To really get a clear picture for yourself, it is best to go to a specialist who can pinpoint what’s going on with YOU and not the masses.
While tracking my cycle, I started to notice a curious pattern. I noticed that while happy on the outside, I was having this “Something Wicked This Way Come” experience at the same time each month. And this wicked experience wasn’t “cute”. In some ways, I felt like another person was moving in and inhabiting my body. Someone I call Hormone Rita. Her presence was how I knew my hormones were unbalanced.
Aside from “Hormone Rita”, here are five signs to help you determine if your hormones are unbalanced. Sadly, these symptoms can be signs for all kinds of things but they are a start to look at things collectively to where you can feel a lightbulb turn on that indicates your body might be a bit out of whack.
- You’re overly emotional – This was my first sign that something was not balanced. I felt that I knew PMS; I knew what it meant to be cranky three days before my period. The problem was that I was beyond “emotional” and for way longer than three days. I felt three-headed-beast emotional and that emotion was starting crazy-early, like Day 15! No bueno. My emotions ran the gamut from wanting to cry (all-day), to feeling my blood boil to a high-pitched rage at the drop of a dime.
- You need a memory stick – My brain was super foggy. I’d go to parties or events and not remember the face of a person whom I’d known for a long time; sometimes I felt as though I were staring at a stranger and I had a total connection with the person. I also couldn’t recall simple words like “necklace” if I was trying to describe someone’s outfit; or when giving directions, I could see the street I wanted to direct to but couldn’t retrieve the name of it from my word-bank and make it travel to my mouth for uttering.
- You have hair, hair everywhere – I noticed some hairs on my chinny, chin chin that seemed to pop up in the same place. Some women will have a serious problem with unwanted hair popping up; mine was minimal but noticeable, so I put it on my list.
- You need to weight a minute! – As a dancer and former athlete, I’ve always been in pretty good shape. Now, I have 7-10lbs that like to hang around like those last folks at the party that don’t know when to leave. These extra pounds could be due to a slow-down in metabolism, but my gut is saying it is hormones.
- You’re Anxious Annie – I constantly feel like something bad is going to happen. Like, really bad. I feel this anxiety swarming around me like little gnats. And then there’s panic; several years ago I was assaulted on the street once (a guy tried to steal my purse) and that panic I used to feel when someone got too close to me on the sidewalk has returned. I get anxious in enclosed spaces now — the elevator, on the subway and even the other day during the stay-in-the-car carwash. Additionally, the knotted tension in my back is insane and I have an incredibly hard time relaxing my muscles. This also means that I never sleep through the night as insomnia is either brought on by anxiety, or it should be a #6 to this list.
To help, I started taking Red Raspberry Leaf and Dandelion Root teas. I will say that I noticed a real improvement in my mood and had been feeling “normal” the past two months. However, this month, something has shifted again. I went wine tasting and the next day was a disaster and I’m now on Day 3 of this disaster roller coaster. (Some say wine and dairy are huge triggers.) I do believe this thing can be fixed, and a specialist will need to be called in to get optimal relief and find that lovely, peaceful hormonal balance and ultimately fruitful fertility.
Peppur Chambers is a writer, producer, actor and wanna-be, will-she-be mom. She is originally from Wisconsin and has lived in Chicago, LA, NY and made it to Prague for three years. You can read about her Journey to Self-Discovery (and more) at www.penandpeppur.com.