Vaginal Microbiome, Youthful Genitals & Reproductive Essence | Angela Heap #058

Vital Veda Podcast Banner: Vaginal Microbiome, Youthful Genitals & Natural Vaginal Care

What constitutes a healthy vagina?

How much pubic hair? How much lubrication? What pH level? What bathing methods? - what are the ideal parameters for a healthy vagina for healthy hormonal, reproductive and general health, and how do you look after it?

How can men care for the seat of creative intelligence? The Vagina

You have probably heard about the gut microbiome, maybe even the skin and oral microbiome, but what about the vaginal microbiome?

Join Ayurvedic practitioner Dylan Smith, who is incredibly passionate about gynaecology and the female urino-genitary system, and Fertility Nutritionist Angela Heap, who is is establishing a very popular fertility clinic and following, in this juicy episode so you can increase your awareness of what a healthy vagina is, and how to look after it.

About Our Guest: Angela Heap

Angela is a Nutritionist with 12 years experience in fertility and pregnancy.
She runs a successful London based clinic and works internationally with clients.
Angela lectures on Fertility and Pregnancy for the British College of Nutritional Health, The British Association and The College of Naturopathic Medicine where she studied in 2005 and now trains Nutritional Therapists on how to use functional tests.

Angela also collaborates regularly with a UK Based genetic testing company LifecodeGX to present on female health and genes incorporating Dutch testing.

Angela Heap

Angela recently took part and lectured to peers in the Fertilty Masterclass which represented an in depth look into fertility for practitioners. She also represents labs in the UK on interviews on fertility.

In 2018 she presented on clinical fertility as part of one of the biggest international conference sponsored by UK labs Regenerus on Fertility and Pregnancy with prominent International Gynaecologists, Paediatricians, Doctors and Naturopathic Doctors in their field in ‘ The Gestational Journey’ in London. In 2019 she presented on Male Fertility at the International Congress of Nutritionist in Croatia. Angela is a speaker at the UK Fertility Show in the UK, and regularly collaborates with Urologists and Gynaecologists in the UK. Her area of special interest is multiple miscarriages,  IVF, Genetics, PCOS and Thyroid health. She has been interviewed for podcasts and has taken part in many fertility summits over the years.  She also writes for magazines on Fertility and pregnancy.


In this Episode we Discuss:

Angela’s morning routine (Dinacharya)

Angela’s story

How she developed a passion for the study of the reproductive system and natural vaginal care

Infertility and having a hard time getting pregnant

Hormonal, and IUD contraceptive methods disrupting the energy and natural essence of the female body (shakti).

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and it’s relationship with the daily intake of contraceptive pills

The effects of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) on energy levels of the female body.

  • Pushed to produce 12 months of eggs in a short period of time (14 days).
  • The liver is under so much stress to be able to produce the amount of follicles with the stimulatory drugs.

Menstrual cycles

Dietary recommendations to propeciate menstrual bleeding - a great tool when engaging in natural vaginal care. 

Energy levels fluctuating during the menstrual cycle.

Vaginal Microbiome

One of the key variables that need to be considered for fertility and that can be optimized with natural and Ayurvedic vaginal care. 

Conditioning the possibility of having a successful pregnancy.

pH levels determining which bacteria can thrive in the vagina (ideally has to be between 4.2 - 4.5)

  • The absence of oestrogen causes pH to go higher.

The lactobacillus crispatus bacteria working as an indicator of microbiome health in the vagina.

The presence of certain specific bacteria leading to early miscarriages:

  • Ureaplasma
  • Streptococcus

Bacterial Vaginosis: a precursor to candida or thrush; its causes and how to prevent. 

Vaginal swabbing: availability and the dangers of over-scanning and over-testing in general.

Lubrication of the reproductive tissues (Shukra)

Smell and fluid (discharge) of the vagina.

Proper genital hygiene

  • Market-sold vaginal douches - not recommended.

Pubic Hair

It functions as a sweat absorbent and a smell and pheromone carrier. 

Conscious conception

Optimizing overall health and fertility 

Thinking of reproduction as a pious thing, Yagya. This way:

  • Every cell in the body is involved in the process. 
  • The rest of the body gets distributed and engineered into that seed. 

Aligning the child's conception with astrology.

Contraception methods

Phexxi Gel to alter pH in the vagina.

Male-centered contraconception.

Fertility tracking: Daysy, Cervical Fluid and Temperature.

Ayurvedic wisdom to increase vaginal health

Yoni Pichu: administering Yoni Ghee in the vagina to improve overall health or Phalla Ghee specifically to increase fertility. 

Dhumapana (fumigation therapy) after shower to be kept clean

Resources

Angela’s current website HERE

Angela’s ebook “Boost our Fertility - The Natural Solution” for free HERE

If you want to get in touch with Angela do it via her Instagram: @fertilitynutritionist 

Women's health section of the Vital Veda shop HERE

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Please seek advice from a qualified practitioner before starting any new health practice.


Menstrual Health, Fertility, PCOS & Amenorrhea | Lara Briden #048

Lara Briden Podcast

Divinity blossoms where women are respected.

Women’s health is of the utmost importance since it is the woman who brings the human being onto earth.

If we can optimise the health of women, we can optimise the health of humankind.


About Our Guest: Lara Briden

Lara Briden is a naturopathic doctor and the period revolutionary—leading the change to better periods.

Informed by a strong science background and more than twenty years with patients, Lara is a passionate communicator about women’s health and alternatives to hormonal birth control.  Her book Period Repair Manual is a manifesto of natural treatment for better hormones and better periods and provides practical solutions using nutrition, supplements, and natural hormones.  Now in its second edition, the book has been an underground sensation and has worked to quietly change the lives of tens of thousands of women.

Lara has helped thousands of women find relief for period problems such as PCOS, PMS, endometriosis, and peri-menopause and currently has consulting rooms in Christchurch, New Zealand.


In This Episode We Discuss:

The Contraceptive Pill Paradigm

The paradigm that The Contraceptive Pill can replace women’s hormones or be as good as women’ hormones.

Reclaiming ovarian function and reclaiming women’s own hormones.

The importance of ovulation.

The Menstrual Cycle - cultivating shakti (divine feminine energy)

Cravings During the Menstrual Cycle

A quality source of magnesium may help with cravings during the cycle. Lara recommends Magnesium Glycinate.

The Infertility Epidemic

Related Listening

Vital Veda Podcast Banner: Ayurveda and Fertility

Dairy and Cows Milk

How your regular cows dairy (A1 casein) can be a problem for inflammation but A2 dairy can be highly medicinal.

The Importance of Melatonin on Fertility and Reproductive Health

Blue Blocking Glasses are so important for overall melatonin health.

PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome)

  • Basically the situation of elevated androgens (other hormone).
  • The problem with ultrasounds - not a valid way to diagnose PCOS.

Hypothalamic Amenorrhea

  • Commit to increased amount of food for six months but ensure digestion is proper.

Immature Reproductive Organs

Compromises the ovary-brain connection (Hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal axis).

The Contraceptive Pill

  • Pill bleed is not a real bleed.
  • Can cause immaturity of the menstrual cycle.

Related Listening

Veganism and Menstrual Health, particularly Amenorrhea

Healthy Menopause

  • Naturally it is a smooth transitioning period that can be symptom free.
  • It is closely related to insulin resistance.
  • Mindset and expectations around menopause.

+ MORE!

Resources

see show notes above.


Support The Show

Please leave me a comment below (I love to read every single one).


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Please seek advice from a qualified practitioner before starting any new health practice.


Your Guide to Birth Control Methods, The Contraceptive Pill & Hormones | Wendy Dumaresq #013

Contraception: Become aware of the various methods out there and become educated about what each contraceptive method is actually doing to the body of yourself, your partner, your family member or friend.

Check out the associated article for a more comprehensive birth control guide.

About Wendy Dumaresq

Wendy Dumaresq is a herbalist and Natural Medicine Women’s Health provider, two times published author, event leader, speaker and Teacher/Healer with nearly three decades of combined study and clinical practice. 

Her mission is to share natural and safe, inspiring and empowering solutions for women of all ages.  She Knows that when you have the support, information and appropriate tools you can hugely improve your vitality, energy and enjoyment of life.

Wendy also incorporates Ayurveda into her work and is an expert in accessing the cyclical charts of females.


Daisy: Natural Intelligent Fertility Tracker

Daysy is an intelligent fertility tracker that lets you get to know your very own menstrual cycle. Thanks to Daysy, you know exactly when you are in your fertile window and when you are not.

The technology-based temperature method used by Daysy is one of the most reliable methods in the world for fertility tracking.

 Daysy allows every woman who wants a health-conscious lifestyle to monitor her individual monthly cycle and determine her fertile and infertile days in natural harmony with her body.

Check it out HERE

In this Episode we Discuss:

 What exactly is “The Pill” and how it works.
Once you learn this, you may alter your choice of it.

“The only pharmaceutical used on people without a health problem.”

Other Hormonal Pharmaceutical Contraceptive Methods 

The history and the current trend of constantly changing the composition of the pill due to associated risks and incidents. 

The highly common trend of an inability to conceive after taking the pill.

Potential side effects and diseases that are associated with The Pill.

The pill as the first line of treatment for teenagers with hormonal symptoms like irregular cycles, period pain and acne.
Even though there are so many effective natural options.

The oral contraceptive pill as masking symptoms and not getting to the root of the issue.

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) - A very exacerbated version of PMS.

Taking the pill continuously vs. taking breaks.

The importance of non-hormonal barrier methods of contraception.

The importance of raising contraceptive options with your GP, if you want to be well.

The importance of men being aware in this so they can respect their partner's health.

Natural Birth Control Methods 

Natural Fertility Management
For couples to learn about the lunar cycle and when is safe to have unprotected sex and not.

Why the menstrual cycle is the greatest gift to a woman.

How every period influences, builds and paves the way for the future offspring.

*A couple corrections to the podcast:

The diaphragm is not placed over 'vagina', it is placed over the cervix.

*Special Offer* for Vital Veda listeners who sign up to one of Wendy's courses will be bonus resources such as the "Happy Hormones E-Journal." Must mention Vital Veda for this speial offer.


Daisy: Natural Intelligent Fertility Tracker

Daysy is an intelligent fertility tracker that lets you get to know your very own menstrual cycle. Thanks to Daysy, you know exactly when you are in your fertile window and when you are not.

The technology-based temperature method used by Daysy is one of the most reliable methods in the world for fertility tracking.

 Daysy allows every woman who wants a health-conscious lifestyle to monitor her individual monthly cycle and determine her fertile and infertile days in natural harmony with her body.

Check it out HERE

Resources

Article: Birth Control Guide: Become Educated & Aware of Your Options + The Birth Control Pill by Dylan Smith

Article: Are we overprescribing the oral contraceptive pill to teenage girls? Daily Telegraph - Aug 30, 2017.  by Wendy Dumaresq.

Radiant Woman Book - chart your temp. familiarise yourself more with your hormone cycle.

Free eBook: Get Your Midlife Mojo Back - 8 common Signs of menopause and what to do about it. 

Natural Woman Network

Courses including “Thrive Through Menopause” and “Happy Hormones, Peaceful Period.”

Facebook live with Wendy Dumaresq - Every Monday 12pm, 5-8 mins - “Thrive through Menopause” Facebook page.


Support The Show

Please leave me a comment below (I love to read every single one).


SHARE

Spread the word! Tell your family, friends, neighbors and all your social mates.

Share this episode on Facebook / Share this episode on Twitter


Subscribe


Please seek advice from a qualified practitioner before starting any new health practice.


Birth Control Guide: Become Educated & Aware of Your Options + The Birth Control Pill

Many women turn to birth control pills and other methods because they are not aware of the dangers of them and they are not aware that there are safer options available.

We will explore a range of birth control methods, from conventional, chemical and dangerous methods to natural safe methods.

Become educated and well versed in a variety of natural contraceptive methods, to expand the happiness and fulfilment of your sex life with minimal interruptions.

This article is also important for any MAN who cares about the health and sex life of his partner, daughter, sister, family member, friend or fellow neighbour.

Synthetic Birth Control Methods

IUDs (Intrauterine device): Hormonal (Mirena) & Copper Coil (Natural)

How The IUD Works on the Body

The IUD is an internally planted device in the uterus.

Hormonal IUD (Mirena) artificially manipulates your hormones as it contains the steroid drug levonorgestrel into the uterine cavity.

Side Effects from IUDs

IUDs have been shown to cause serious side effects such as:

  • Pelvic infection - especially if you have a pre-existing infection with gonorrhoea or chlamydia. That’s why your doctor should screen for those common conditions before inserting an IUD.
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Uterine perforation (surrounding blood vessels or viscera become injured) which can lead to surgery.
  • Acne
  • Hair loss
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Headaches
  • Yeast infection
  • Weight gain

Even if your IUD is not hormonal (Copper IUD/ Coil) and fitted well, it comes with problems:

  • Irregular bleeding and spotting. Prolonged spotting can lead to iron deficiency.
  • Blocks the channels, causing vata imbalance in apana vata (pelvic floor) which can cause problems down the track like fibroids.
  • Can be a painful installation process that may require painkiller drugs.
  • Can increase period pain and cramps within the one year of insertion.
  • It’s bad for the vaginal microbiome and doubles the risk of bacterial vaginosis, which causes a fishy-smelling vaginal discharge.
  • It might come out. Studies show there is a risk of expulsion which you don’t realise, then you could become pregnant.
  • Pelvic infection
  • Uterine perforation

Pros about IUDs:

  • The IUD, however, has been shown to be more a successful contraceptive method than the oral contraceptive pill (OCP).
  • The hormonal IUD (Mirena) uses about one-tenth of synthetic levonorgestrel hormone compared to the OCP (but still at dangerous levels).
  • It does not completely shut down ovulation, which is important to produce hormones thus feel good!

Conclusion about IUDs:

IUDs are not wise for health.

As a birth control method, it's not as biologically harmonious as fertility awareness method (FAM), condoms, or cervical cap

For hormonal issues like heavy periods, adenomyosis, or debilitating endometriosis pain, the hormonal IUD is a better option than surgery or other types of hormonal birth control, however, there are much better alternatives which one can implement and learn about in a consultation with me.

Patches

Patches are so risky is that you absorb up to 60% more synthetic oestrogen than if you were taking an oral contraceptive. Fortunately, demand for the patch has seriously declined as the warnings have escalated.

Injectable Birth Control

Depo-Provera, or depo-medroxyprogesterone (DMPA), is a progestin that interferes with hormone signalling to prevent your ovaries from releasing eggs. A far stronger synthetic chemical that mimics the progesterone your body makes which carries with it a huge number of negative side effects, esepcially reducing bone density.

Spermicides

Spermicides are essentially chemicals that kill sperm by dissolving their outer membrane.

However, they also kill beneficial bacteria and skin cells. Disrupting the bacterial balance in your vagina can leave you more susceptible to yeast infections and urinary tract infections. And it has been proven they add no additional protection to condoms.

The Oral Contraceptive Pill (OCP)

Artificially manipulating your hormones with potent synthetic hormones, whose adverse health effects have been well documented for nearly four decades.

Clinicians know it. Women themselves know it because they feel better off the Pill.

16 million American women use birth control pills.
50–80% of Australian women use it at some stage during their reproductive lives.

Sure it is great that The Pill can be medicine for debilitating conditions such as severe endometriosis and very heavy periods, but its widespread prescription to “balance hormones” is illogical. 

What The Pill Does To Your Body

The pill induces a chemical menopause which shuts down ovulation, an essential hormonal production process for mood and overall health.

This works by releasing oestrogen and progestin into your body, preventing your ovaries from releasing eggs. The pill also thickens cervical mucus, making it harder for sperm to enter the uterus.

Hormonal Birth Control Does Not Balance Hormones

Prescribing birth control to “balance hormones” is illogical. Birth control does not balance hormones; it shuts them down.

Birth control shuts down ovulation, hence shuts down estrogen and progesterone. It then "replaces" back contraceptive drugs, known as “hormone replacement."

Problem is, this "replacement" is not adequate at all. In fact, the contraceptive drugs are not even hormones and are damaging to the body.

Real hormones are estradiol and progesterone. Contraceptive drugs are molecules like ethinylestradiol, levonorgestrel, and drospirenone.

Contraceptive drugs do not have the same molecular structure as real hormones and do not replace their vital role.

"The Pills" benefit of convenience is largely outweighed by the very serious health risks associated.

Health Risks Associated with Birth Control Pills

They are linked to numerous health risks:

  • Cancer - increases the risk of cervical and breast cancers.
  • Fatal blood clots - double your risk of fatal blood clots and others may increase your risk of heart disease.
  • Thinner bones - lower bone mineral density (BMD).
  • Oral contraceptives can increase your blood pressure.
  • Sexual dysfunction - The pill may damage your libido - permanently - interferes with a protein that keeps testosterone unavailable for women's physiological needs.

Side Effects

Many women also report awful side effects from the pill, which are undoubtedly due to the artificial drugs acting like "hormones" running through your body. These include:

  • Migraines, headaches and nausea
  • Weight gain and mood changes
  • Irregular bleeding or spotting
  • Bleeding of the gums
  • Breast tenderness
  • Yeast overgrowth and infection
  • Thrush (quite common).
  • Birth control pills deplete your body of important nutrients, including Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Magnesium, Zinc.
  • Severe depression, anxiety and mood changes
  • Feeling of congestion in the pelvic area and lower abdomen.
  • Oral contraceptives can also make your baby more vulnerable to allergies when you take OCs for up to a year before becoming pregnant, according to a Finnish study.

A Recipe for Future Infertility

Want to have babies in the future? I recommend stopping using the Pill and other hormonal contraception.

While on hormonal contraception methods, your body loses the ability to secrete its own natural hormones.

So when the time comes and you want to conceive, your body struggles. This is why hormonal contraception is a key cause of  the infertility epidemic.

I see this a lot in the clinic, and it is quite sad to see, as all these couples to want to do it have a baby. Note male infertility is also a big contributor to this epidemic that is under appreciated.

Your Romantic Life Dictated by a Pill

The contraceptive pill may disrupt women's natural ability to choose a partner genetically dissimilar to themselves. A research team analysed how the contraceptive pill affects odour preferences and found that the preferences of women who began using the contraceptive pill shifted towards men with genetically similar odours.

A genetic similarity in couples can lead to fertility problems and ultimately lead to the breakdown of relationships when women stop using the pill, as odour perception plays a significant role in maintaining attraction to partners, researchers said.

Similar to the findings of the study above, researchers found that you are more likely to be attracted to people whose scent is dissimilar to your own. 

And on a much deeper level, it’s alarming that these pills are altering, on a very subtle level, chemical signals in your body.

Using The Pill to Treat Symptoms

If you're using birth control pills for reasons other than birth control, such as to regulate your menstrual cycle or treat irregular bleeding, cysts, endometriosis, acne or skin diseases you are not treating your underlying problem.

You are simply masking it with a potentially dangerous drug.

In these situations, it is essential to balance your adrenal glands, as cortisol levels modulate and control the female hormones - especially progesterone. Book a consultation to balance your adrenal glands, energy, stress and hormones.

In 2007 the FDA approved the first birth control pill to completely eliminate menstruation.

Not only was this pill inadequately tested prior to approval, but the synthetic hormones it contains are also another prescription for disaster for women's health.

But there is an additional concern - long-term suppression of your periods will minimise your blood loss and could contribute to iron overload syndromes that is an overlooked dangerous situation. Elevated iron stores are one of the primary risk factors for cancer and heart disease.

Contributes to Oestrogen Pollution

Synthetic estrogens excreted by women end up in the drinking water supply. This adds to the oestrogens increasingly present all around us, from plastics to canned food and drinks, food additives, household cleaning products, heavy metals, and pesticides, as well as in our waterways as a result of the runoff from confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs).

Quench your thirst with synthetic hromnes?

Safe Alternatives for contraception that women can use

Natural Methods

There are two natural methods:

  1. Barrier Methods
  2. Natural Family Planning or Fertility Awareness Methods (FAM), Conscious Sex - a little more complex but definitely achievable, rewarding and empowering. Been around for thousands of years.

Copper Coil IUD

See above.
Although better than hormonal options, this still comes with associated risks and side effects, even if fitted well by a doctor.

Barrier Methods

Male Condoms

Condoms have a 98% effectiveness rate when used correctly. A water-based lubricant will increase the effectiveness; do not use an oil-based lubricant, however, as they break the latex.

Female Condoms

These thin, soft polyurethane pouches fitted inside your vagina before intercourse are 95 percent effective. Female condoms are less likely to tear than male condoms.

Diaphragm

Diaphragms, which must be fitted by a doctor, act as a barrier to sperm. When used correctly with spermicidal jellies, they are 92 to 98 effective.

Cervical Cap

This heavy rubber cap fits tightly against your cervix and can be left in place for 48 hours. Like the diaphragm, a doctor must fit the cap. Proper fitting enhances the effectiveness above 91%.

Fertility Awareness Methods (FAM) - Natural Fertility

Daisy: Natural Intelligent Fertility Tracker

Daysy is an intelligent fertility tracker that lets you get to know your very own menstrual cycle. Thanks to Daysy, you know exactly when you are in your fertile window and when you are not.

The technology-based temperature method used by Daysy is one of the most reliable methods in the world for fertility tracking.

 Daysy allows every woman who wants a health-conscious lifestyle to monitor her individual monthly cycle and determine her fertile and infertile days in natural harmony with her body.

Check it out HERE

Fertility Awareness Methods (FAM) - Natural Fertility

Not only do these methods assist contracpetion, but they empower you to learn more about your or your partners cycle! This attunes you more to the circadian cycles of you and nature.

The Temperature Method

This is a way to pinpoint the day of your ovulation so that intercourse can be avoided for a few days before and after. It involves taking your basal body temperature (your temperature upon first waking) each morning with an accurate "basal" thermometer, and noting the rise in temperature that occurs after ovulation.

The Mucus Method

This involves tracking changes in the amount and texture of your vaginal discharge, which reflect rising levels of oestrogen in your body. For the first few days after your period, there is often no discharge, but there will be a cloudy, tacky mucus as oestrogen starts to rise.

When your discharge starts to increase in volume and becomes clear and stringy, ovulation is near. A return to tacky, cloudy mucus or no discharge means that ovulation has passed.

There are various devices which help track your cycle and prove to be effective with high accuracy rates.

Withdrawal Method

Not successful enough because even before ejaculation, the penis releases small amounts of semen that can contain sperm.

Tantric Sex or "Conscious Sex"

Not successful enough due to similar reasons as the withdrawal method. Further more, practices like the retaining ejaculation is advanced and more relevant for people who have been doing practices like this since childhood (such as celibate yogis). Although these methods can be learnt and praciticed, caution needs to be taken they can create phyiscal implications on the males prostate and fertility.

Lactational Amenorrhea Method (LAM)

 Some experts claim that breastfeeding protects a woman from pregnancy by curbing hormones that trigger ovulation. However, every woman's body responds differently to the hormonal influences of breastfeeding, so this method is unreliable.

Explore your options.
Become educated about what implications these contraceptive methods have on the body.
Become aware of the associated history and experience in society.
Then empowered with awareness, decide for yourself.

Bibliography
Dr. Joespeh Mercolas content rich website.
Lara Briden - The Period Revolutionary.

Image Credits:

  • feature image - Simone Van Der Koelen
  • cucumber - Charles Deluvio
  • female condom - nig.gov

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