Day 982 and Not Small Men

I’ve been working on getting a deeper understanding of my hormone profile and where I can better support my cycle.

I’ve been surprised by just how little we seem to know about women’s health and the baselines that are considered ideal. Between the battles over health education in school (abstinence only) and the eagerness with which we put my millennial generation on birth control as teenagers, we’ve got both an under-informed and potentially over medicated population. Which wasn’t the case for our mother’s generation who went on birth control much later in life if at all.

A tweet from last week

I’ve had my fair share of fucked up fertility experiences and yet I’ve only just in the last few years learned to understand how my follicular phase impacts me so differently from my luteal phase. If you don’t know what that means either well it’s probably time.

The phases a woman’s cycle

I generally feel most energetic, pain free, and happy during my follicular phase. Despite knowing this I couldn’t tell you what an ideal FSH hormone level would be. I don’t know what balance of estrogen I should have at any given phase. I have no clue what my LH should be during my luteal stage either.

It strikes me that these levels should be taught along with implications for what it means and how to work with them just as we know our ideal blood pressure rage and resting heart rates. It’s some of the most crucial and basic self knowledge about our bodies.

When I think of how many other crucial biometrics I’ve got memorized (I track my SED rate and CRP quarterly for inflammation) it seems odd that something so crucial as one’s hormones wouldn’t be known, tracked and improved. I watch my heart rate variability like my recovery depends on it because it does. So do most serious biohackers.

Knowing more about own health is part of being a responsible adult. And I’m sad that we do so little to educate women on basic rhythms. I can’t tell if it’s a lack of interest from women or a dismissal from the medical profession. Women aren’t just small men.