Science continues to play catch up with what women have intuitively known about their bodies all along.
A recent study on 336 women in Australia, New Zealand, & various parts of Asia & Europe revealed significant differences in competitive drive & interest in self-development between women with natural menstrual cycles & those on hormonal contraceptives.
Results from this study, done on data
collected over 9 months, showed that women with regular, ovulatory cycles had increased feelings of competitive drive.
On the other hand, women on hormonal contraceptives were more likely to report lack of interest or motivation in competing. The researchers from University of Melbourne said, “This research contributes to the growing body of literature suggesting that hormonal contraceptives may influence psychology and behavior by disrupting evolved hormonal mechanisms.”
Every day, I work with women who experience these changes in their lives.
Many of my clients have previously been on hormonal birth control & reported low mood, lack of motivation, decreased libido, & other side effects. Usually, regardless of whether or not they've used hormonal birth control, my clients start working with me when they've been experiencing chronic stress or are on the precipice of burnout. Women tend to experience burnout at higher rates than men– despite the fact that they do more to prevent burnout. Although I think there are multiple causes of burnout culture in women (such as the culture of the company you work for, the “invisible workload” of caretakers, & the pay gap), we can’t ignore the role of our health. Women are conditioned to disconnect from the wisdom of their bodies in many ways….
Birth control is pushed on women, even though it suppresses communication between our brain & ovaries, stops ovulation, & depletes nutrients.
Diets condition women to ignore their hunger cues & not to trust our appetites, feed our metabolism, or support our bodies with food.
Exercise is used to make us smaller, burn more calories, or to inflict pain as a sign of progress.
Caffeine & alcohol are normalized as coping mechanisms, instead of giving us the tools to produce energy with our own bodies, to rest well, & to recover from stress.
As my clients get healthier, learn to understand their health as women, & chart their cycles with a Fertility Awareness Method, they notice that ovulation brings a welcome burst of energy, motivation, & focus.
This is because the rise of estrogen & sufficient stimulation of a follicle in the ovaries initiates the fertile window (women are only fertile 6 days out of their cycles). Estrogen stimulates serotonin & dopamine receptors in the brain, causing an increase in these neurotransmitters.
Serotonin improves mood & focus, while dopamine increases motivation & ambition by causing you to seek out rewards. As a result, they perform better at work, in the gym, & gain a greater sense of confidence in themselves.
This study affirms what high-achieving women need to know most about their menstrual cycles: that they’re not just about reproduction, but a full-body event & a sign of health.
A woman’s fertility isn’t a barrier to success. It’s an asset to monitor, support, & use to your advantage.
The question is: are you ready to work with your body, instead of working against it?
Join the interest list for Cycle Confidence 2023, an intimate group program for purpose-driven women who want to understand their hormones & cycles so they can create unstoppable energy & unshakeable inner-peace.
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