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Why ovulation isn't just for making babies

Did you know that low progesterone can be a root cause of ANXIETY?

The only way a woman can make a decent amount of progesterone is to ovulate. Once you have ovulated, the hormone progesterone rises and stimulates the GABA (a neurotransmitter known as Gamma aminobutyric acid) receptor in your brain. GABA has the ability to produce a calming effect which can help with feelings of stress, anxiety and fear. It can also aid sleep and help with muscle tension.

But what about the progesterone in my pill?

Unfortunately for women on the pill, the artificial progestins don’t offer the same benefits as natural progesterone. When GABA receptors aren’t properly stimulated, it can make people feel anxious, overwhelmed and depressed. What’s more, a number of mental health related issues, including panic disorder, depression, bipolar disorder and PMS are characterised by lower-than-average levels of GABA activity.

Am I ovulating on the pill?

Ready for the truth bomb? If you’re on the pill, you’re not ovulating. Equally if your periods are irregular, short or absent, chances are you’re probably not ovulating either. Even if your cycle is regular, it’s worth getting your progesterone tested to make sure you’re producing enough.

I'm not on the pill, but how do I know if I'm ovulating?

If you're having natural periods (and not on the pill), that in itself is a good indication that you are ovulating. However, the only real way to confirm if ovulation has occurred is by testing your progesterone 5-7 days after ovulation. This is usually around day 21 if you're having a 28 day cycle but the timing will be slightly different if your cycles are longer/shorter than this. You can request this test from your GP or via the Dutch Test.

Not only is ovulation fundamental to your emotional wellbeing, but regular ovulation is also a crucial pillar to your overall health. The benefits of ovulation also include sleep regulation, bone health support, breast cancer risk reduction, cardiovascular health and also better immunity.

Luckily, there are lots of natural ways to promote ovulation and regulate your monthly cycle. If you’re not sure if you are ovulating or are struggling with your emotional wellbeing and wondering if low progesterone is the cause, then please get in touch to see how I might be able to help.

Photo by Katja Vogt on Unsplash

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