Reproductive Health

with Nat Kringoudis

This is an unedited transcript.

Welcome back to the Mondays podcast. My name is Holly Lowe, and I am your host. And we are in the middle of a series right now that I love discussing everything to do with reproductive health and well being for women. And I have the absolute privilege today of speaking with Nat King Brutus who I have to say a little bit fangirling today because I have loved listening to your podcast and following you on Instagram and all of that. So I was just telling you so as my daughter, and so I am really, really pleased to have you with us. I really grateful to have you. And I did tell you, I need to do this. Because some of these things I didn’t even realize, as I was reading through some of your information, that you are a two Times best selling author, which I did know amazing bucks, two time podcast host and of course an incredible advocate for women’s health and just natural options. I would love for you to tell us just briefly what is it that you do in Australia? What is your practice like? And know, what’s your passion in that?

Wow. Well, I mean, I’ve been practitioner, my background is Chinese medicine and also studied acupuncture as well. And, you know, way back when nobody was treating women’s health, we just, we didn’t choose this space, I didn’t choose the space of women’s health. We were in flux with women that didn’t have answers. And it was more to do about fertility. It wasn’t so much to do with hormones in general. But I didn’t have the answers for these women. They couldn’t explain what their symptoms were their doctors couldn’t explain what their symptoms were. And really to cut a long story short, it came down to the fact that they were experiencing symptoms as a result of their modern lifestyle. But science and medicine hadn’t quite caught up to these being the reasons that we were seeing these symptoms. So sure. You know, I think as women, we understand that women can be, I guess more vulnerable when it comes to things like period pain and other challenges to do with our reproductive and gynecological health. But I don’t think we looked at the bigger picture, we weren’t looking at how our skin might be related to our hormones or how our ovulation pain might be related to, you know, what was going on within our bodies. So really just peeling it back. And I think for so long, we’ve treated a symptom rather than looking at the why. And I started asking why. And there weren’t a lot of people doing that at the time. And it wasn’t because I thought, Oh, this is a good idea to ask why it was because that’s what my training in Chinese medicine definitely was all about the root cause. Now fast forward almost 20 years. And I think it makes sense that we look for the root cause, but back then no one was doing it. And so it really just put us on the map. And we grew very quickly in the clinic, to a capacity that that I very quickly outgrew. And I didn’t have the structure for that I didn’t have the team for that. And so we went from being you know, a one man band to suddenly having a suite of practitioners. And then of course, I have to become, you know, a leader and a manager to all of those. But with that came a widened audience. And it wasn’t the time where social media was just flourishing. And I guess we got to position ourselves on socials as well. And that just went from strength to strength. So it allowed us to go ahead and identify where the gaps were in the market to create things like books and podcasts and products and services. And and really, if you know anything about me, I just love to talk. So it became very easy to create a platform that I just got to talk on. And here we are.

That’s perfect. I love it. We all like to hear ourselves talk. That’s a fact. A message, right? Yes, something

totally, totally. So I mean, again, it just, it just all has evolved. And this was planned, it really wasn’t. And I feel really privileged to be able to now have created several really strong brands where we get to just help people live better lives, help women understand their bodies better. And I think even to the point that you were talking Holly is really for me now. It’s about this next generation, like how can we be the best example for this next generation because there’s this massive opportunity for change. And I think it’s happening and that’s really exciting.

Absolutely. And that’s what excited me when I knew we were going to get to speak because that’s what we did. Our last few episodes have been with, you know, talking about the next generation talking about how things have changed. their options, and we’ve come so far in our knowledge. And yet I think, on the medical side, we haven’t, like you said, it’s still squeaking along.

It really is still a symptom by symptom process and symptoms are your best clues. But we don’t just treat a symptom, we trade a problem. And I think that’s where a lot of women feel that they’ve been misled or failed. Because they’ve thinking that they’re treating something all the while, you know, we’re talking about something like birth control, all the while, they just been masking their symptoms. So they come off the pill only to find not only are the symptoms there, but they come rushing back tenfold. So imagine if we lived in a world where, at the time where we started to see issues arise, especially for young girls, we knew how to tackle that. And it is different to what we would do as a 20 or 30 year old. But these are just phases. I was speaking to somebody in the clinic yesterday and she sat down and she’s like, also, I’ve just been diagnosed with perimenopause. And I said, sorry, you can’t be diagnosed with perimenopause. It’s like being diagnosed with puberty. Like, you don’t sit down and go, Oh, well, I’ve got bad news, you’ve got puberty. It is so much misinformation, and still so much misinformation by our health providers. Because it’s still we’re still learning. And so you know, I always love the fact that we get to we do we get to borrow from complementary medicine. And so often, this becomes mainstream. So often, it’s the conspiracy theories and the wacky ideas and that, you know, outside of the box that 10 years down the track, we’re like, oh, this is happening now. So,

absolutely. We always say that the difference between truth and a conspiracy right now seems to be about six months.

Well, it’s really, yeah, it’s really sped up in my in my experience, but But yeah, totally. So all of those theories that once upon a time that, you know, were very much told weren’t true, or weren’t fact, yet. All have become that. So, you know, I think we can always look, I think we can look back on and learn the lessons from what we’ve already gone through. Definitely.

Absolutely. So I would love to know, again, just because we’ve had these conversations, and we’re going to have more of them. We have, you know, some younger girls and ladies are going to be on the podcast in the next little bit to ask their questions and share some of their experiences. What age do you think we should be having these conversations?

I just love this question. And to start off here, it just lights me up. From the age that kids start asking, and I don’t think this is not specific to female gender. This is specific to all genders, from an age that a child starts to ask questions, is the time that we get to give them the information and because they’re ready to learn at that point in time. And obviously, it’s an age appropriate discussion, and it’s an evolution and evolves. It’s a discussion that continues to evolve over time. So I think it’s so important because for so long, it’s been so taboo to talk about the you know, especially reproductive and sexual health has been so taboo to talk about, when it’s a fact of life, it’s pretty much the only thing we don’t actually talk about. And I think that’s also because as adults, we’ve had an emotional or an experience that is attached to emotions when it comes to especially sex and intercourse, which is then obviously linked to the question, where did I come from? But I think we we do such a disservice to ourselves and to our children by not having these truthful conversations, all being age appropriate. So a four year old asked Mum, how did I get in your tummy? We love to make up all sorts of stories. The doctor put you there, the stock delivered you I mean, really, for a four year old. Imagine hearing a bird came and dropped you off on the doorstep. It’s horrific. It’s horrific. Absolutely. So I don’t think we need to lie to our children. I think it’s a beautiful opportunity. They give you the cues when they’re ready to learn. And a four year old, you can generally say dad has sperm mummy has an egg and they get together and that becomes a baby. Most three or four year olds will go Ah, okay, I sense if they need more information, and they asked for more information. They are a curious child, which I don’t think at this point, you would probably know that already. And they are ready to learn more information. And I think so long as there’s this age appropriate evolution of conversation. You don’t get to being a 13 year old girl and this bombshell of periods being dumped on you. At like you’re supposed to know what that is all of a sudden and it gives it what it is. It’s a mysterious when you and because you’ve at by the age of 13 you have some idea, but it’s been put together by your friends and it’s this convoluted idea of what sex is what your vagina is like, you know, so I think we get to continue to do this and I think look at I’ve got a 13 year old, she’s gone through, you know posit and sex ed and all of that at school. And I have to say it’s definitely better than what we received like you know, we got the banana in the condom in year eight. And, and, and it was a don’t have sex, you’ll get pregnant type of scenario. There was no connection between what happens in a reproductive cycle and a menstrual cycle, and none of that connection was ever made. But I’m so excited for her because she got to have these conversations. And I don’t think I actually even started young enough with my children, because I really only been on this path more recently to help people to actually uncover this aid happen when I started work wrote beautiful you, I realized that we were missing out on this beautiful opportunity to allow this to be something to grow together. Also, that takes immense pressure off you as a mother and an or an adult or a parent or a loved one. If you’re allowing that to just be something you know, the kid walks, you kid walks in the bathroom, and you’re changing your pedal tampon when you What are you doing beautiful opportunity to explain to them in an age appropriate way. I know that even for Olivia, she didn’t realize we never gave it a name to begin with. But we always talked about, you know, the lining comes away. And the whole process of what that was. She at the time didn’t realize it was bleeding. But when she had a sex ed class at school, she’s like, Mom, when the lightning comes away, you actually bleed? And I was like, Yes, you do. And so you know, I mean, it was just this conversation that continued to happen and still continues to happen. And she’s a funny example, because she’s very immature in her mind for a 13 year old. She’s not a mature 13 year old, which I’m not mad about, by the way. But but it’s still it still doesn’t matter. Doesn’t matter how mature how much of an old soul your child might be, you can still have these conversations and make everybody’s lives better for the future. And I just don’t think we’ve done that before.

Agreed, absolutely. We always laugh about this in our family, because I have a seven year old, a 10 year old and a 14 year old and my daughter’s right in the middle there. And we were in London one time and in the Natural History Museum. And they had this beautiful section in there on human like just development. And it’s really well done. And and we’ve homeschooled for many years are traveled and had tutors and whatnot. So they’ve never gotten to that age yet or they’ve been in in those kinds of classes. So I’ve had the privilege of being able to teach them at whatever age they started asking the questions. However, it’s a little tricky when you had I had a five year old at the time, who had a very curious, you know, 11 year old brother and sister and he would always be going lol I don’t know. How do you know? Right? But

also how amazing that he knew that he wasn’t ready to hear that, like, that’s okay, too, right? It’s sort of, we don’t hide anything from my 10 year old. And at the time that we started talking to Livi more about this. It was definitely many years ago, and he kind of just would tune out and I knew he was tuned out. But there was still this conversation in the background about a period or whatever it might be. And I do remember one day Libby coming home from school and I actually was mortified. She sat down in the yard and she said to me, mom, today, she goes, I’ve got one word that I need to talk to you about. And I said, Oh, okay, social sweetie. And she goes, it’s the word period. And I said, all we’ve been talking about your period. And she said, I know we have. But the teachers collected all the upper school girls today. So what were they like 10 and 11. And put us all in a room and we talked about the period and we’re going to give it a name, it’s going to be called a unicorn. And if we get it, we need to go the toilet teacher and we can say I’ve got my unicorn. I said, that’s great. And she said, No, but it’s not because they also told us that we’re probably going to be moody, it’s probably going to be painful. And it’s going to be pretty awful. And I said sorry. No, you know, so it was like, Oh, this is an opportunity. Or this was the opportunity for conversation that I was waiting to have with her that I didn’t get to have with her. And I had to try and reassure her and untangle that in her brain. Yeah, right. But then also my heart broke for the teachers that are teaching this because obviously their experience of their menstrual cycles has been horrible, painful. And and so she says to me, Mom, I think it’s coming and I said why is that? And she said, you just have said how moody I am all the time. It’s okay, it’s part of it. I don’t think you quite have been moody. But it’s just interesting, you know? So I think stories are particularly beneficial, but we need to be telling the right stories and also, we need to then shine a torch on ourselves. What are our cycles like if we’re sitting there week after week or month after month? Really hate on ourselves in that phase of our menstrual cycle where we are bleeding, why is our daughter going to? Or our child going to actually appreciate that or want that for themselves? You know, they wouldn’t. So we need to shine a light on ourselves. And also ask the question, Is my cycle as healthy as it could be? What can I do to set the example? If not for myself, which a we should really be doing? First and foremost, be for those that are around me that I’m also influential too?

Absolutely. And that’s funny, we my 14 year old son, he, he’s very intuitive. He knows more than I think most boys do at his age, but only on his own questions. You know, he’s very quiet, he loves to ask questions. And one of their favorite questions of all asked me is, is it really hurt to have babies? Does it really hurt when your lining comes out? Like we same thing, we’ve had those very kind of technical conversations? And I’ve been able to explain that it’s, it is different for everyone. Yeah. But we’ve, again, we’ve made this standard a norm expectation, what really, it isn’t, it isn’t normal, it might be common, but it shouldn’t be normal for it to be a horrific experience or to be a terrible. Yeah. And it is to change that conversation.

Absolutely. Growing up. I know, my mom used to say to me, if we had pain, I’m sorry, girls, it sucks to be a woman. Like that was literally what she used to say. And that wasn’t I’m not saying that, that. That was what her mommy said her. And I have found myself going to say that to Olivia and then realizing and stopping myself, or actually of saying it and then retracting going actually sorry, sweetie, that’s not true. That’s just actually what my mom used to say to me. And that’s, that was just a default thing that came out of my mouth. When 100% True, it is accepted that women have pain. And that’s it been somehow made normal. And like you said, it’s a symptom, it’s a sign that your body is trying to tell you something, sure, it’s common. Coming back to what we were speaking about start. It’s a symptom of modern day life. And it’s a reflection of our stress levels. It’s a reflection of inflammation in our body. And it’s a sure sign your body’s is feeding to you that something needs to be done. And that’s sometimes easier said than done as well. But it is your body’s way of communicating with you. And you know, your menstrual cycle is such a window into the lens, internal landscape of your body, such a gift to be able to figure that out. And so I’m really passionate again about telling teaching women how to do that based on their signs and symptoms, because they never lie. Your signs and symptoms never lie, they’re not in your head, you’re not making it up. And it’s can be tricky, because as women we are different every single day of our cycle. And so that makes it challenging. Whereas we continue to try and operate as if we’re men and we’re not men. And so that that’s I think, where the challenge also is, is allowing yourself to a understand your circle, B know what you need on given days of the circle. And that that allows you to actually work with it, not against it. Absolutely.

It’s funny. I remember it wasn’t until I was teaching prenatal classes before it even had my own babies. But I was teaching prenatal classes, probably about five years into before I had my first baby, which was a little unusual, but not you know, not unheard of. And that I remember I actually sat down and looked up and learned the stages of our cycle. I up to the right life. I had never understood what the luteal phase was or when I know what that was.

That’s yeah, that’s really interesting. I mean, many many years ago, we created a masterclass called debunking ovulation. And we had no idea at the time the impact that was going to have it started off, as my PA said to me, I think you should just run a fertility awareness class in the clinic. We had this space at the back of the clinic that was kind of like a workshop space. It was awesome. We could sit in 40 Women in there. And so I was like, You’re you think like, do you think someone’s gonna come to this? And she’s like, I’m pretty sure. So we as an experiment ran our first class. And we sold out like straightaway, and I think we went on, and I started running these same classes every week, for probably 10 weeks and was exactly the same class every Saturday at the same time. And then at some point, I’m like, What am I doing this needs to actually be filmed, and then we can actually sell it online. That became the process that we did for all of our master classes. But what’s funny about the fertility awareness masterclass, which is called debunking ovulation is that it’s so Deki if you watch it now it’s like 10 year olds recording, but the information hasn’t changed. It’s so relevant that there’s no point in changing it. You just have to look past the bad outfits and the hairstyles and that’s fine. But the if this information hasn’t changed, because we are talking about cyclic, your cycle and the cyclic rhythms of your body, and that’s never going to change, so this information is never going to be irrelevant. I think the more that we are in tune with that and that we can watch what our body is telling As it becomes so much easier to live in your body, and you can also, you can somewhat plan around it to, you know, if you, I mean, my hope is that nobody experiences horrible period pain, but if you are experiencing that, well at least be able to work around it so that you can still have a quality of life. And then I would encourage you to try and fix it. You know, of course, there’s that as well.

Yeah, yeah. Well, that’s the thing is, the truth of it is, we don’t have to suffer. We don’t have to stay like this. There are so many options available. But back in I remember when I was, you know, 1718, I had terrible acne, like cystic acne. And it wasn’t I was a competitive athlete, I was a dancer was all these things. And it was the bane of my existence. And I remember going to dermatologists and all different doctors, and every single one would put me on a different birth control. And I was horrified by that option. I just at that age, I just had no, there was no reason in my head to be doing that. And I didn’t know anything about it then. But I finally when I first got married that, you know, 10 years later, said, Okay, fine, we’re going on our honeymoon. We’re not having kids right away. I’ll go on the pill. I spent the first three months of our marriage thinking I was going out of my mind. Just from going on the pill, I was depressed, I was manic I was, I thought I was going crazy. And I started to put those dots together. And thinking man, I’m really glad I didn’t do that when I was 18. When they? Well, you crazy, I

think you raise a really valid point there as well. Because I think a couple of things. I mean, around the age of 16 Teenagers definitely go through a phase which mimics PCOS. And this is where a lot of mothers will panic. And rightly so because they don’t know that we this happens to us. But this is often the phase where we gain weight, we have a bit of acne, there might be a little bit of facial hair, that cycles can be a little bit wonky. And we panic because as mothers we panic, what happens we take our daughters to the doctor and with this is the age that the pill is prescribed, not knowing that this is a normal, normal phase in the maturation of our sex hormones. This is a phase that’s really important to set us up for the for the what’s to come next. Now our sex hormones don’t mature until around the age of 21. But if the average woman or young woman is being put on the pill at the age of 16, you’re holding that maturation at the age of 16. So when this woman comes off the pill at 26, or 32, or whenever that might be her hormones are as sexually mature as her 16 year old self. So she starts back at that point. Again, she doesn’t she doesn’t jump on as a 32 year old in terms of, you know, the the, the timeline of her hormone maturation, she goes back almost at the start. And a lot of women are shocked to learn this because they think that the pill is fixed their problems or at least even if it’s masked them, even if it’s been in they have the awareness that the pill is mass the problem, they don’t realize that they’re starting as a 16 year old when it comes to you know, acne breakouts, hair loss, like so many of those symptoms are gone through. And that can take a long time and no 32 year old one skin like a 16 year old, like let’s be honest. So it is important that we understand this and make informed choices that are right for us and have as much information as we can. This is becomes problematic. Also, if there is an underlying hormone imbalance that was never treated, because not only is it there, when you transition off birth control, it’s usually 10 times worse. So the research does definitely indicate that the older you are to use birth control after the age of 21, the less problematic it is, when it comes to your hormones. A lot of women will report that they have hormone challenges after coming off the pill. And that’s likely one of the reasons why. So information is very important. I’m not here saying don’t do it, or you shouldn’t. I’m here saying please just have this information and make a good choice. Yeah, so what’s right for you?

Well informed decisions, right? I think anything we do, whether it’s speaking to our kids about something at a certain age, or whether it’s making our own health choices, if we don’t really know what those options are, how would

we done and I think this is where this has definitely rang true in more recent times, people are finding out in their minds being open just by the nature of things that are happening in the world right now that Oh, wow, I’ve done X, Y and Zed because I was told to do X, Y and Zed and all of a sudden there’s options like to advocate for you. And the thing is, nobody is going to do that other than you you have to get clued up on that, of course your health providers have your best interests at heart, but their toolkits might be limited. And so this is I think, really important to understand. Are you seeing the right person for your concerns and challenges because half the time we’re not and we end up on birth control? Basically that’s the answer for everything, isn’t it? Yeah. Well,

that’s the thing is, we’ve talked about this many times in this is our like you said, our healthcare providers are amazing. Our doctors are amazing. We have them for a purpose. I always joke with my family doctor that I use them to diagnose. That’s pretty much it. And then I go figure out the treatment myself, you know, right. Like, they know what they know, but they only know what they know.

Well, I mean, I had, we were talking, before we started, I have a little boy with a respiratory condition. And, you know, they’ve asked us to do some pretty gnarly things for him, and which most of them we haven’t needed to, because we’ve worked out a way ourselves. And that’s fine. That’s because that’s what we want to do. And not everybody wants to do that. Again, that’s fine. But what’s interesting is that there has been a couple of times where there has been some quite deepen kind of confrontational conversations. And at the end of the day, I’ve turned around and I’ve said, I’m an expert, you’re an expert in your field, I’m an expert in my son, because I’m with him. 24/7, you probably see him at best, for four hours a year, I see him 24/7. So and the same goes for our own health. Yes, I am an expert, I am an expert in living in my body. Now whether or not I’ve got a higher level of health or not, or wellness or not. But we get to become experts in our own bodies, if we so choose. And I think that’s really important that we then get to advocate for what actually feels right for us. So I think the challenge around that is, we second guess ourselves, of course, we go to our health providers to because that’s their job. But if something doesn’t feel right, or you’ve got this inkling that you know, always trust your gut feeling, it’s never wrong, it can be scary, but it’s never wrong. And the more that you can do that, the more you trust that the easier life gets, and you stop second guessing everything, and you can put yourself on a path of, you know, I always say to PE patients, first of all, we want to get to a place where we’re managing the symptoms, then we need to put you into a place of recovery, you can’t have recovery without actually managing the symptoms. First, we have to get to that place because you know, and then we get to then we get to recover. So it’s not necessarily a quick fix. But it is a long term solution so that you’re not left feeling horrible day in day out.

Absolutely. And the beauty of the way our body talks to us, if we’re only doling those messages all the time, there’s a place for that there’s a time for just getting some of those taken care of. But if that’s all we’ve done, I think it’s really important that we allow our body to speak. Yeah, might be loud and annoying. It might be a really big

ladder and ladder, like, you know.

Yeah. And I love that for women in particular. I know a lot of intuitive men too. But for women in particular, we really do have a power superpower in our intuition, right, like with ourselves with our children, whatever that is. And you’re so right, we need to trust that super important. Definitely. So I want to know, if you were questions I wanted to know. And we talked a little bit about the pill. But what are some of these options that we have instead of is that something you know, that you’re you can talk?

Of course, I mean, we’ve got so many options. And I think I think that even the convenience of the pill isn’t as convenient as we might think it is given the host have side effects that come with it. The some, many of which most women don’t even actually know or maybe not even aware of. So and also, especially for teenagers, like a lot of mothers will say I just don’t want my daughter falling pregnant. And I’m like, well, it’s such a disservice not to teach them about their cycle, first and foremost, to realize that it’s very likely that there are only three or four days within that cycle that she’s fertile for anyway. So why would we flatline our hormones for the entire month round? When there’s only three or four days? And also, if you’re not learning this, then when are you learning this like this? When when you use birth control it flatlines everything I think this is the biggest issue is women that never get to really learn who they are, right? As a 16 year old, you don’t really understand your emotions, you don’t really understand physically what you’re feeling. You know it, you know what, in the moment, you’ve got no life experience to draw draw upon to look back at. So there’s no perspective as such. It’s just very big and very real at that time. But there’s no you know, there’s no gauge for that. So I think first and foremost, cycle awareness is so important for us as women and such a gift and whether you choose to use birth control down the track, at least you then understand your cycle and you have this it’s very, very important. So you know, from the age that we start to menstruate, tracking this looking at the ebbs and flows working out when we’re ovulating because even the time that we’re ovulating tells us so much about what our hormones actually doing. So you know, first and foremost let’s start with that. It is not as scary as we are led to believe it is and I’ve been practicing fertility awareness for ever. I’ve got to Children, they were conceived the month that we both tried for each of them. And I don’t say this because I think I’m fabulous. I say this because it’s possible, right? And, and also, because I would hope that as someone who has specialized in fertility, that I would be able to have the baby straightaway, you know, I’m not great at getting them out. I’m just great at making them. So So I think the main thing there is, I do not want any more children. We have practiced this and with no problems whatsoever, and I’m at a point now in my life, where, how can you not know, it’s like, this is the part I look at what my body’s telling me every day, it’s so obvious when I’m fertile. It’s like, I feel sad for people that don’t that can’t actually see this or know this, because it’s such a no brainer for me. So, you know, there’s that there’s a lot of women who don’t trust themselves. And it’s because either they’ve never been taught this, or maybe they have been on birth control, they’ve come off birth control, and they’re like, I just don’t trust, I just don’t trust my body, which breaks my heart. But let’s learn how to trust our body. So there’s some amazing fertility tracking devices out there that allow you to track your cycle. Now, full disclosure, I am biased, because I’m the owner of Jay Z, Australia. But

yeah, I know, well, the co owner, but there are many tracking devices out there that allow you to do this. What I think women need to specifically understand, however, is that is not just simply an app, an app just guesses when you are going to be fertile based on your last cycle, do never just trust an app alone, you need to be inputting data into an app to actually accurately allow it if you’re allowing that to predict your cycle, you need to have the right technology behind that. So obviously, like I said, I want it to be transparent around that. There are other devices out there as well, I think the main thing is look for a brand that has technology that’s that’s behind it, that’s been around for a long time. Something like the Daisy, like I said, it’s based on 40 years of technology. Like for me, it was a no brainer, when we were offered the opportunity to represent the brand. Because 40 years is excellent, you know, and accuracy is really important. But what it allows you to see is very accurately, it can pinpoint your non fertile days very, very accurately. And the more that you track with any of these even just attemping method, the more that you track, the more that you can see. So the more data you have, what often these the apps that allow you to put the data into them, what they allow you to see is the trends that happen over months, especially if you don’t have a fully regular cycle. But it also means that you can then look and go, Oh, I can see my symptoms line up with when my temperature goes up, for example. So we can see where the symptoms are. And so I think that gives a lot of women peace of mind, I think it’s a great regime to get into is checking on your body every day anyway. And this is just one way that you can combine ancient wisdom with modern technology and have that that peace of mind and some way to store your data. Because I mean, once upon a time when I was learning fertility when it’s we used to track it in sheets, and women still do this. Now there’s nothing wrong with

besides a notebook and a thermometer.

Nothing wrong with that. It’s just I don’t want to do that if I don’t have to if there’s a device that makes it easier for me, there’s a few there’s quite a few women on the fertility awareness path that that don’t like the devices, and I can understand that. But there are women that do like the devices and it’s not about what’s better. It’s not one one’s not better than the other. It’s what’s your preference? Yeah, at the end of the day, because really, I think we can all agree all we want is to be able to understand our bodies better. So obviously, tracking devices, very good. And then also, I mean, the other alternative is barrier methods. And I know it’s very old school, but I think for teenagers, we should be encouraging them to use barrier methods, STDs STIs, you know, sexually transmitted diseases are a real thing. And the pill doesn’t stop that from happening or Mirena doesn’t stop that from happening. So I think that’s very important to be able to advocate for protection to be used. Definitely in especially if there is, you know, first encounters or first becoming sexually active or even if there are multiple partners. I mean, you and I know this, but the amount of patients that I see that still wouldn’t do that is frightening. And it’s not until you have seen patients that have been presented with, you know, syphilis or STIs that have impacted their fertility long term that you like this could have been prevented. So I think encouraging young women to use barrier methods also is a very smart thing to do, and a very safe thing to do and the accuracy of all of these things. really high, you know, a condom is very effective. fertility awareness is very effective. They’re all within a small margin of each other, just as as effective as each other. So practicing safe sex is also very important. Yeah,

that’s fantastic. Yeah, it’s something that we talked about the bid hand and the condo conversation. Because my kids are in school. That was a funny conversation, because my kids were watching a movie. And in the middle, they were in sex ed class, and they pulled out the bananas and did the whole thing. And it was the funniest conversation between my older two about what are they doing? I know, I know. That for banana. Oh, my gosh. Because I got to explain what that was and what they are and why you use them. Yeah, right. Right. It was a mini homeschool sex ed class, boy.

Oh, my gosh. I mean, you can always rely on a little bit of television education that’s left of center every now and again. We were watching something on the weekend. And it was like what jetted off. But you know, the kids are like, What is going on? It was yeah, it was really funny. I was like, Oh, that was fast track education.

I love it. Well, you know, and bring some humor into, you know, what can be an uncomfortable situation if it was presented in a different way. I mean, I think back my sister and I and my older sister and I do a once a month in a podcast together. And it’s called what your mama didn’t tell you. My mum’s amazing, but we love it because the two of us. Right, we’ll talk.

But it was also there was so many things that weren’t okay to talk about.

That’s right. And it was just the idea that I got most of my information from my older sister, you know, and it wasn’t, it wasn’t because my mom, my mom’s a very smart, you know, she was very open. And it wasn’t that it just wasn’t a conversation. We never asked, she never offered those bits of information that if we had asked, we would have been told what we needed to know. But right raised that era, they don’t

even like I even like getting a mirror out and having a look down them. My mum would never have suggested that. No, I don’t actually think I ever did that until I was in labor.

And labor with other clients. Right? Well, that’s where we go, right? Yeah.

But you know, that was never even a thing. There’s no way that that would have been encouraged. And it just meant that it was this topic that wasn’t okay, it was a it was kind of dirty. And that wasn’t never she gave me the tools in terms of I was wildly fascinated with getting my period with the reproductive organs. I used to sit there. And I remember reading through I had this pamphlet that probably was 16 pages at best. And I just remember you sit there and read through it over and over and over again, which is quite funny. Now fast forward, you know, however many decades and here we are. I never never thought this would be the case. But to me, I just find wildly fascinating and that and still to this day, we’re still learning you know, there’s so many things we still don’t know. But there are a lot that we do that we can at least start to change the shape of all of this moving forward for everybody.

Absolutely. And I think these conversations are a big part of that. If as those moments are as women can feel comfortable with our girlfriends or on a podcast or whatever it is to get some BB equipped and some of this information that we didn’t get and when the questions do come up, it doesn’t need to be shut down. conversate you know, I can’t talk about that because I don’t know where I go you know?

Absolutely and even for the males in our life as well like having these conversations in front of them that’s that’s so fine. We put out a candle in lockdown it was does not smell like vagina on the back of Gwyneth Paltrow is dismal, like vagina. And, and my dad heard me saying in the background and in hearing in the background on the phone, he’s like, Oh, you are not doing that net. And I’m like, oh, no, I really am. Wait for like that easy. mortifying. And like not really. I’m fine. And cringe to this day, but I’m sure they’re proud on some level as well.

No, it’s not. But those are the things that I love that we’re changing this. We’re changing the conversation I have. My office is full of, you know, birth education tools. I have a silicone breast sitting on my desk and my son had his little 12 year old friend in here the other day, and he grabbed it and thought it was stressful. It was upside down. And he’s sitting there going like this and all of a sudden my son just starts bursting out. He’s dying laughing and it’s fun turns. Hilarious. You’re gonna hang out in my office. This is what I love. I love in some sense to that. I mean, yes, it was funny, but that he you know, he’s a fortunate boy who respects A woman’s body, all the knowledge he has, like he’ll say to me many times, I think it’s just amazing that you were able to birth us, you know, like, he’s 14. It was his birthday yesterday. And he said, thank you to me for going through later. You know, like, full that’s I think we’re gonna raise, you know, a different generation of men who have a better vocabulary

offensively our cycles,

as opposed to just being Oh, she’s moody, or, Oh, it’s PMS time. You know, like, we don’t have that vocabulary for our kids at this point. I hope that they can keep growing

that way. Good. Yeah. Well, that’s testament to you. So well done. Because, you know, there’s there’s a long way to go with our, with the boys. I think, definitely,

I absolutely agree. Well, when we talked about having my daughter on to chat in this conversation, it was the first thing he said was, well, when do I get to get to talk? Oh, I want to talk about girls. You can come on to make your data. Good. Well, because it is a conversation that our kids are having, like you said, regardless, they’re gonna do it in some form. My daughter has friends who are older, both of her close girlfriends have their periods. So it’s an almost daily question from her. She’s only 10. But she wants to know, well, how much longer? When will I get it? You know, and I can very easily say, don’t rush it, you know, it’s you don’t want it. It’s not something you want to look forward to? Like, all those thoughts do come to my head, and stuff like that. It’s just stopping yourself from saying,

yes. Right? Yeah, definitely.

We’ll definitely, we’ll do a kid version of this. Version. I love it. All right. So one last thing is we will wrap it up, I want to know what would be if you had to pick and this might be a hard question. But if you had to pick one piece of advice for the ladies who are listening to mamas who are listening, for taking care of themselves in their reproductive health, what is one tip? What’s your favorite thing? Or maybe one or two? Sure.

Firstly, I want to say be the example like if you can do it for yourself, which you should be do it for your children, and be the example. So if there is things that aren’t right, please let this be your call to action. And I think also, we really need to be mindful stress for me is the driver for all hormone imbalances. So how can we check in with where we’re at with that, we are currently encouraged to do everything. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But something has to give. And what that does to our cortisol levels is crazy. And elevated cortisol levels is, for me, it’s probably the number one reason I see all the issues that I do in the clinic. So there’s one simple thing I asked women to do. And that is, I want you to become conscious of when you are actually overwhelmed when you are actually stressed. Because chances are you hit that at least three or four times a day. And you’re not aware that you’re there. And you can’t do anything about what you’re not aware about. Simply becoming an asking yourself, not I’m going to start to become more aware of when I am stressed or overwhelmed or feel like I am, you know, brain fried. And that’s all I have to do. I just have to ask myself, if I bring that to my consciousness. And I’m going to start to just by default, become more aware of how often I hit those that the high point every day. I can’t do anything about it, like I said until I know, but at least once I know, I can also go does this warrant stress or am I just in a bad habit? Because I mean Genet chances are you are in a bad habit. But does it warrant stress? And does this does this actually deserve release of my precious cortisol because when I am releasing more of that everything else is sort of like out the window. So simply just check in and see if you can actually become aware of when you’re stressed. And then just ask, ask yourself the question, Does it warrant stress because that simple technique is very powerful in helping us to reset and it’s not that you’re not going to be stressed again, you might be stressed five minutes later. It’s more about how can we create pockets where we’re in rest and digest rather than fight or flight? And how can we create more of those pockets because the more we do it, the more that we’ll actually be able to bring ourselves back down again. It’s like I said, it’s the modern day issue for women we live in fight or flight and it throws everything else off balance. So a we need to be an example and be we need to be checking in with ourselves.

That’s amazing. And that I think, in a nutshell is what balance that that was seems like there’s a loose of balance. That’s what that is. It’s not that we can avoid it. It’s that we’re going to live in it but we’re going to find a balance to like you said the rest of the digest part. I love that part. Well, thank you so much again, and I really hope we can have some work on There’s so much that we can cover when it comes to hormones and all the good stuff.

Oh yeah, yeah. You’re so welcome Holly. Thank you so much for having me. Awesome.

Thank you that was amazing.

You’re so welcome. Thank you for having me. Like I said, yeah, if there’s anything else you do want to discuss down the track don’t hesitate.

Yeah, definitely. Why no, we’re gonna pull together some teen conversations so that’s something I’ll miss. Yeah. Ready? Okay. Fantastic day.

You too, or evening or whatever. Wherever you’re at in the car. Holly.