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Last Updated on September 14, 2022
This educational conversation will enlighten your understanding of women’s bodies and help you learn how to make decisions that are best for you.
It may not seem obvious, but understanding your menstrual cycle is the secret to unlocking your intuition and watching your business soar.
Getting to know your body will help you understand how your mood, energy, and emotions change with your cycle, so you can work with this information–instead of fighting it–and be the most effective version of yourself.
A big part of this conversation also requires us to understand birth control. You might be surprised to learn that what you think you know about birth control is not the whole story. This information is not about making judgments or sweeping claims about what is or isn’t right, but rather, is meant to spread awareness.
We all have the right to be educated and look at the side effects and pros and cons of our decisions, so that we can make informed choices about what we want to do with our bodies. There is no one-sized fits all approach, so learning about your options and then deciding what feels right to you is what this episode is all about!
My guest today, Lisa Hendrickson-Jack, is a certified Fertility Awareness Educator and Holistic Reproductive Health Practitioner who teaches women to chart their menstrual cycles for natural birth control, conception, and monitoring overall health.
In her new book The Fifth Vital Sign, Lisa debunks the myth that regular ovulation is only important when you want children by recognizing the menstrual cycle as a vital sign. Drawing heavily from the current scientific literature, Lisa presents an evidence-based approach to fertility awareness and menstrual cycle optimization. She hosts the Fertility Friday Podcast, a weekly radio show devoted to helping women connect to their fifth vital sign by uncovering the connection between menstrual cycle health, fertility, and overall health.
Thanks so much for joining me this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!
If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the bottom of the post.
Also, please leave an honest review for The Success with Soul Podcast on Apple Podcasts so we can improve and better serve you in the future. Plus, you could be featured on a future episode during our listener spotlights. Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and I read each and every one of them.
And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts to get automatic updates. My goal for this podcast is to inspire those who seek flexibility and freedom in their lives by making something happen with holistic, soulful, step-by-step strategies from me and other experts.
Kate Kordsmeier 0:00
I don't even know where to start with today's episode because it just blew my freaking mind and it is going to rock your world. I am so pumped up I literally just hung up with Lisa Hendrickson jack, and I have never been more excited to share an episode with you. Okay, I know you're probably thinking like, really Kate, another episode about periods? And how are you going to possibly tie this into business, but I promise you, we get there and it is so good. This is literally the secret to unlocking your intuition and watching your business soar. But it may not seem obvious. Lisa is a certified fertility awareness educator and holistic reproductive health practitioner. She teaches women how to chart their menstrual cycles for natural birth control conception and monitoring your overall health. And her new book The fifth vital sign, which is honestly so freaking brilliant, debunks the myth that regular oscillation is only important when you want children by recognizing that the menstrual cycle is a vital sign of our health overall. I love Lisa's evidence based science backed approach to this fertility awareness and menstrual cycle optimization. And I promise you, if you follow her advice, your business is going to skyrocket. So Lisa also hosts the fertility Friday podcast, it's a weekly radio show devoted to helping women connect to their fifth vital sign. And this was easily one of the most fun and lightning, just mind blowing conversations I've had to date for the podcast. Before we get fully into it though, I do want to just give a little bit of a trigger warning if you have struggled with infertility or a miscarriage, or any other kind of loss related to your menstrual cycle. There may be some things that we talk about in here that will be hard to hear. There are also a lot of things that can help you get to the other side of this. But if you're not in a place where you're ready to hear that I do just want to give that trigger warning, and you can opt out and we will always be here for you when you are ready. So with that being said, let's get into it. You're listening to the Success with Soul podcast with Kate Kordsmeier x journalist turned CEO of a multi six figure blog and online business. But it wasn't that long ago that Kate was a struggling entrepreneur who lacked confidence, clarity, and let's be honest money. But all those failures, experiments and lessons learned helped Kate create a thriving business that impacts thousands and brings freedom, flexibility and fulfillment to her life. If you're ready to do the same and make something happen with holistic, soulful, step by step strategies from Kate and other experts, you're in the right place. here's your host, writer, educator, Mom, recovering perfectionist, bookworm and sushi connoisseur, Kate Kordsmeier. Lisa, welcome to Success with Soul.
Lisa Hendrickson-Jack 3:10
Thank you so much for having me.
Kate Kordsmeier 3:12
Oh, I'm so so looking forward to this conversation. And we've we've had a couple guests on in the past that I've talked about cyclical living, and you know the importance of getting in tune with your cycle. But I just want to reiterate for anybody who's listening and is like, this is a business podcast, why are you talking about periods?
always approach our business from a holistic perspective. And so understanding your body is key. And there's so much power in your period. And it's so important to get in touch with it. And I feel like me personally, you know, I dreaded my period. Like most women, I knew nothing about what was actually happening. If somebody was like, are you in your follicular phase or luteal phase? Like, what are you even saying to me right now, up until just a few years ago. So this is, you know, relatively new to me. And it has totally changed my life. And so I'm excited to have somebody who is an expert on this topic, come in and help us help us navigate this. It seems like as adult women, these are the kinds of things we should already know. But we do not. So Lisa, enter Lisa.
Lisa Hendrickson-Jack 4:28
Well, yes, no, it's it's just one of those things. I mean, these are the conversations I have every day, obviously, because this is my business. So I spend my days talking to women about their cycles. And the most common thing I hear from women is that, you know, I like I'm 40 years old, and how come I'm just hearing about this now, how come I didn't know that I wasn't fertile every single day of my cycle. How come I didn't know that? You know, when you have a cycle, your mood and emotion and energy changes and that's actually normal and we can learn to really harness that so that we can be Just kind of the most effective versions of ourselves like without following. I mean, our world is kind of based on the male model, you know, like the 24 hour circadian rhythm clock, but our bodies are in a monthly cycle. And that means that we have different fluctuations that it's we're just not the same every single day, that's really helpful to know, when you're trying to structure your business and trying to find ways to be productive and effective, but also take care of yourself.
Kate Kordsmeier 5:27
Yeah. Okay. Tell us a little bit more about that. Because this concept totally blew my mind when I first learned about it. So I don't want to like gloss over it in case anybody else has not heard this before. Tell us a little bit more about what is the difference between the male cycle and the female cycle hormonally?
Lisa Hendrickson-Jack 5:46
Well, I feel like we're all pretty used to the male cycle because that's how our entire world was designed. So you know, the circadian rhythm, the idea that you wake up in the morning, and you maybe let's say your energy peaks around noon, you kind of maybe feel a little bit less energetic in the afternoon, and then you go to bed. That's a really huge oversimplification. But basically, the point of what I'm saying is that, from that male model, based on the 24 hour clock, it's really saying that every day is about the same. And you can expect the same amount of productivity every single day, kind of regardless. And so many of us, I think, most if not all of us try to put our lives and our businesses and our work habits and our goals and our plans into this 24 hour day. And the challenge with that for anybody, you know, anyone who has a menstrual cycle and a period is that you quickly find out that your energy typically isn't the same every single day. So it's a fine line, as you can imagine a balance between feeling like you're just a product of your biology, right, led by your hormones, and the actual reality that it is normal for your energy to shift throughout the cycle. So if if we take you through the cycle, you know, the first day of your cycle is the first day of your period, the first day of your true characteristic flow. So if you have a couple days of spotting or something like that, you know, we would really look at the first day as the first day that you actually have flow. And one of the great analogies that so I did a great podcast interview with Alexandra Pope and Shani, Hugo Wurlitzer, and they wrote the book, wild power. And in that book, they use the analogy of the seasons of the year to take us through the menstrual cycle. And I think that's really just a nice helpful analogy, I'm, I'm full of the analogies. And so your period would actually represent your inner winter. And so anyone who's had a period will recognize that typically, that's the time when you feel like kind of chilling out more. So by yourself, typically feeling a little bit more, I guess, a little bit less externally motivated and kind of wanting to have that time, like, everybody isn't the same. So I don't want to just broad, broadly generalized, but for me, for example, that would be the time when I would actually like to just chill out with a good book, and perhaps not the time that I want to have like six back to back meetings on that day, just maybe during those couple of days. And so once your period starts to end, and another thing I'll point out, because it's kind of hard because it's like a circle. So it's like, should I talk about this first or whatever. But often, when you get your period, it's like a relief, because you've had a bit of an emotional shift, during the week before, to put it mildly fermented for, you know, for some of us. And so the period is a relief, it really feels like this, kind of like the end of something, flash the beginning of something where your emotions kind of like clay, really saying, Yeah, yeah. So then when you go into your cycle, you know, the first part of your cycle as you approach population, that's like the spring. So that's when literally your follicles are starting to develop. And this is a really creative process. So we can think of the creative process as a literal one, like creating a baby. But you can also think of it as a metaphor for creativity, in general, harnessing this incredible energy that we have. So as you're approaching ovulation, your follicles are developing. And this is the process that your body is going through to create an egg. And, you know, there's not to get like super esoteric and Woo, but there's nothing more.
All right, well, then let's dive into that. But really, this is the most creative thing from my perspective that you can do on earth is to create a human being right. So that's some amazing, creative energy that we're harnessing and developing. So then no surprise during that time, we typically have a bit more energy you kind of feel a change in the season. And this is a really great time to do those projects pylon, those tasks because often this is when we have that kind of spring creative energy. To bear and to bring forth. And so then as you know, eventually we reach population. So from a hormonal perspective, this is when we're producing our estrogen, and many women. So again, we can't just make broad general generalizations, but many women during that time around ovulation feel really, really energized are, you know, loving the effects of the estrogen. And this is often the time when it's just it's like, kind of outward facing, really all the things like so this, these are the great days to do the back to back meetings to do the presentations to do all the things because this is really when your energy is in alignment. Typically speaking now, not everybody feels great around ovulation. You know, not everybody has an easy time clearing estrogen. So we could talk about different health issues different, you know, so there's certainly individual differences. So this is more of a general sense. And anyone who's had a few menstrual cycles will kind of resonate, at least to some extent with what I'm saying. So then after you ovulate, you go into so population as a summer, because I didn't say that. So after ovulation, you have a significant hormonal shift. So oscillation is the point where you know, the egg literally bursts out from the ovary. And this is the point when you start producing progesterone. And so this is when you enter into your inner falls. So there's kind of like a wind down period that happens as you approach your period. And energetically, you know, this is often the time where you kind of start winding down during that first week after ovulation. And then during that second week, like as you really approach your period. For many women, this is when you're experiencing PMS symptoms if you if you do experience PMS. So just to point out that there's a difference between Kevin normal shift in energy, it's it's normal to feel a little bit different throughout the cycle, because it is a cycle and you don't feel the same every day. It is problematic, obviously, when you have significant PMS upheavals and emotions, significant cravings, depression, anxiety. So if if it's more than just kind of a normal shift in season, then there's things to do for your health and your self care to balance that out so that you can have more of the month to do what you need to do. But hopefully, this paints a picture of really what is happening in the body energetically. So during that week before your period, if you think about it kind of like fall going into winter. What do you feel like doing, you know,
Kate Kordsmeier 12:21
like, you know, put on a sweater and get cozy and but I also am like, oh, let's kind of like organize some things and, you know, get like, it's the back to school vibe of like, Oh, I'm kind of excited to?
Lisa Hendrickson-Jack 12:36
Yeah, I love that you said that. Because there is this nesting tendency that many of us have very bad kind of fall pre menstrual phase where literally, if there's going to be organization of the house, like that's when it's done. And so you know, this isn't about me telling you how to feel during your cycle. Hopefully, this is for me to paint a picture of what is typical. And for you then to start paying attention to your cycle and start paying attention to how you typically feel. Because the thing about a cycle is that no, you don't feel the same every single cycle. But there are definitely patterns. And so if you if you talk to any cycling woman, any woman who has cycled for, you know, a year or more, and so I'm specifically referring to you know, if you have had time off of hormonal contraceptives, and those types of things, and you're actually cycling Normally, if you speak to anybody, they will tell you that it's different. And maybe if if you haven't even really thought about it, as soon as you are attuned to it, and you start paying attention to it, you realize, Okay, that makes sense. This explains so much, right? How do we work this in our favor, we live in a world that this is looked at very negatively. So if you do have a mood, that kind of thing, shift down gear down before your period starts, that this is bad, because you're not productive. And so a lot of us try to force through, we don't feel free, I'll give an example of myself. So typically, the day or two before my period, I'm always really tired, meaning that I need to go to bed earlier. And typically, I will sleep a little bit longer, because my sleep is pretty like it's like seven and a half hours. Like I don't even need an alarm clock. It's like, you know, but during that particular time, and so I've had many, many occasions where I'm like, why am I so tired? Well, obviously, you're you know what I mean? I am right mmediately, like myself, but the challenge is that when you ignore this normal cycle, and you force yourself to do the things, and to kind of, you know, I'm not going to take a break, and I'm going to run a marathon the day before my period. Not that there's anything wrong with that. But when you do those things, what you kind of end up doing is making it harder for yourself. So when you're paying attention to your cycles, you start to recognize that you know what, it's a whole month instead of looking at what I'm going to do every day and having the goals being very much like every day I have to do this. It's okay to actually pile more on when you have more energy. Take a little bit off when you have less energy. And by taking care of yourself, and it doesn't mean you don't do anything, right, it's everybody's different. This is it's like a choose your own adventure. So you get to decide what this looks like for you. But if you have that kind of mindfulness about how you're scheduling and forgiveness, acknowledgement that every day isn't the same. Have that grace that you can give yourself, if you need a day or two, where it's really look really light, right? It, it pays off in spades. And if you can work with your body, instead of trying to pretend more men, then you can have better periods, less PMS, right? So that the downtimes end up not being like, down into the ground for three days, because you'd like burnt yourself out so much that you can't even function. For example,
Kate Kordsmeier 15:53
I love so much of what you said. And I just particularly want to emphasize the like, I think a lot of women when they first start learning about this, and I know I did this, like, because I'm a perfectionist, I go, oh, okay, so I have to get like everything, just so so that I'm not doing anything when I'm on my period. But when I'm oscillating, I'm doing all the things that you know, like, and you're trying to match it up so perfectly. And I love that you said like, it's not about that, it's just getting a tune with that to make things easier on yourself. Like, I may still give a wet live webinar when I'm on my period. But I will know, okay, I'm, you know, this is going to be a little bit harder than usual. And like you can prepare yourself. And it's more of a conscious choice than just kind of like forcing everything and like you said, trying to just pretend more men operating the same every single day. And everything feels so hard. If you're wondering why everything feels so hard. It's probably because you're not attuned to your body, and what's happening in your cycles. And you could make things so much easier on yourself, if you if you became more attuned?
Lisa Hendrickson-Jack 17:01
Well, I think there's a natural maturation process that happens to every human being as we get older. So one example for me that just, you know, to put it into perspective, is that when I was younger, I had more patience, for example, to like, eat like a crappy breakfast or not really eat a breakfast, and then I would be hungry and like snacking all the time, for example. So I used to like, this is just an example for myself. So I'd eat my oatmeal at like 830. And then I'd be hungry at nine. But I would like snack until lunch, right? And I was never really satisfied. So eventually I got to the point, it's like where I'm a grown up now. And I'm like enough. I know what my body needs, oatmeal isn't going to cut it for me, I need some protein I need, you know what I mean? And so then you kind of sorted out what works for you. And this analogy can be applied to anything in life. This really what we're talking about here is kind of like a process of getting to know yourself, like but what your body really does. So it's not about what society tells you to do. It's literally trying to understand how your body works. And unfortunately, because our society like, you know, I'm not trying to be sexist or weird, but like, you can legitimately look at it and say that it was designed for a man's body clock. Yeah, it wasn't designed to give us like, a couple days of lighter, you know, work, you know, at certain times and heavier work at other times based on like a monthly cycle. Right. So I think that it's helpful to consider things and even when you're planning and goal planning, it can be really helpful to think about it in terms of a month or a cycle. And the reason for that is because then you can, instead of looking at what you accomplished in a week, or a day, you can take the lens back and look at what you accomplished in a month. And you can also learn to trust yourself because I am also like a type a perfectionist type. So I think for me tracking my cycle has been really helpful because it's like really helpful for me to like, it's like Calm, calm down. Like Yeah, but one of my tendencies and so let me know if you relate to this is to be super hard on myself and actually be ridiculous. Like, like, and when I say ridiculous, I mean, like if if I take a day or two off, I am very like a, you know, highly effective human being I do a lot of midweek. So if I take a couple days off, I'll often have this irrational, illogical fear that it's like, I'll never get off the couch. Right? And I'm just gonna, like not do anything for the rest of my life. And if you like, if you know, the things that I've done, and the things that I accomplish on like, a monthly and yearly basis, it's like, Are you insane? But yeah, like a lot of people would say like, I'm one of the most productive people that like your most productive people I know. But this is what I mean when I'm talking about kind of taking this lens back. If you can recognize that you're operating on a cyclical basis. And if you start to notice some trends, I loved what you said about you know, I first it Like I need to do nothing on my period and everything in isolation. This is part of figuring out what's going to work for you. So, you know, it could just look like instead of doing, you know, three webinars, maybe I do the one but it because it's a webinar, I can wear my pajamas. And then I have the rest of the day or lap professional on top DJs on the bottom. Yeah. Or it could be that you like maybe your business has client work and also has other types of work. Right. So for me, for example, my business has client work, but I'm also an author. So you know, a big part of my kind of projects, when I'm not on is writing books, write articles, you're creating content. So it might be that you actually plan out your schedule. So I'll share like a little thing that I do, but I have weeks where I do calls. And so this is one of them high weeks where I do calls, and I do client work, and actually have weeks where I don't do a lot of calls. Yeah, and I have more time to kind of focus on it. And so I'm not suggesting this is the way or this is not the way, but hopefully this conversation is at least giving you permission to maybe take off or to down, you know, shift down for a portion of your cycle. If you feel you need that if you've noticed that you do have different energetic changes, and giving yourself that grace of that permission. And even just knowing Yeah, I don't feel like doing a lot right now. And that's okay. Because I know that when I hit this part of my cycle, I'm always, you know, feeling pretty energized and go. And so for me, that's literally even though I know all this stuff, and even though I teach it literally, that's a conversation I have with myself every cycle because it's like, Lisa, just chill out, it's okay, because you know that as soon as you hit preovulatory, you're gonna be like racing,
Kate Kordsmeier 21:42
right? I know, it's so funny how like, we can logically know this, and we can teach it to other women. And then when it comes to ourselves, it's just so hard sometimes to like, I mean, I said something the other day, so I'm almost four months postpartum right now. And, and I was talking to my coach the other day, and I was saying, you know, I'm just having this hard time with exercise. I just have no desire to do any form of exercise beyond like a walk around the neighborhood. Which exercise sorry, which is exercise. I know, again, I'm ridiculous to so I hear it. I am telling I just don't want to do this. And but I feel like I should and you know, if I want to, like lose the baby weight, which is so stupid in itself, then, you know, I should be exercising. And I know exercise is good for me. And she's like I said, so the first thing I said was, I just am feeling lazy. And she's like, Kate, nobody would ever describe you as lazy. You're the most productive person I know. So I get the same thing. And I'm like, Yeah, okay, she's your version of lazy is somebody else's version of like, hyper efficient. And like, okay, that's a good reminder, too. I know, I'm being way too hard on myself. And then she said, what exactly what you said, which is like, there will come a day where you will wake up and you'll go, I feel like doing a hit workout. And like, and you'll just do it, then don't force it. Listen to your body, like especially, you know, I'm breastfeeding. Like, there's so many things happening in my body that she's like, just let it go. And like when you want to move, move, and she's like, I'm not encouraging you to wear a Fitbit. But if you did, I bet you would see that you're moving a lot more than you think you are. Because I have a two year old and a four month old. And she's like, yeah, movement is probably not an issue for you at this time. I'm just like, so conditioned to think, no, I need to be doing like high intensity workouts all the time.
Lisa Hendrickson-Jack 23:50
Well, and I'll share a few different perspectives with you because first of all, I live in Canada. And in Canada, we have maternity leave now. Yeah. Right. So of course, it's different for business owners. Right, but because we have maternity leave, so it's actually it's like, well, there's positives and negatives about every country, I'll just say. But currently, it actually extended to 18 months. So Oh my god. Yeah. So it's like, you know, alternate universe up here. But the reason I bring that up is because then it changes the culture around postpartum. And what I mean by that is that Yeah, you know, it's everyone wants to lose the baby weight. Like, this is a universal thing. We all we all want to kind of, you know, get on with it. But with that said, because of the because we have a maternity leave of 12 months up here. You know it. I i'm not saying no one talks about this kind of intensively at this stage. But I'm saying that like, you know, when you have a job, you're not going back to work until 12 months later. A lot of a lot of women not every single one Right, and some 18 months so that I guess what it does is it kind of allows you to just live for longer before it becomes an issue. Right as in the States, it's like three months of unpaid leave if you're lucky. Yeah. And so then it's really more of like, right, then it's talked about because you have to go back into society,
Kate Kordsmeier 25:20
right? You have to be back to your normal self after three months. And so that includes all the things including the baby weight, or, you know, your energy levels or your moods or whatever. And it's like, I mean, I said, I was a couple weeks ago, I guess it was a couple months ago. Now I was at the beach with my mother in law. And I was like, Oh, you know, I'm so embarrassed being in a bathing suit right now. She's like, Gemma is six weeks old. What are you talking about? Like, don't even think about your body right now. You literally just had a baby. And it's like you have I don't know, I needed that reminder. Because when she said it, I was like, man, I am being so ridiculous. Like, I would never talk to a friend that way. Why am I talking to myself that way,
Lisa Hendrickson-Jack 26:03
but it's also baby number two. And so I feel like it's different when you there's all these things, but it This is why these conversations are important. So another mindset thing to put out there is I used an analogy to describe the seasons of the menstrual cycle, we can expand that analogy to describe the seasons of life. And so when you are hot, like postpartum, this is a season of life, who were tiny individuals rely on you for everything. And when you're breastfeeding, you're literally the food source as well. Yeah. And so similar to what your coach said that, you know, when you feel like it, you you know, naturally kind of go back into it. This is exactly the same conversation about the seasonality of life. And again, this is what is missing. This is what the circadian kind of 24 hour clock does to us. Because it makes it it makes us feel like every day is the same. And it doesn't really help us to think about literally, as, as women, if, if you have children, if you have a menstrual cycle, then you Your life is happening in seasons. Mm hmm. And, and another thing that we don't need to go into in a lot of detail, but I will say it is that I was I so I'm a mom, I've had two children. So my my two boys, and they're five and seven. And so this is just my personal experience. It's it is what it is. But although I felt significantly better at about the four or five month mark, I don't I don't feel like if I ran like, you know, like, when I was in school, I used to do track. So I used to do like the hundred meter and stuff. And like, yeah, I won, like, okay, so at four or five months postpartum, if I had done like a full month sprint, I feel like something would have broken. Yeah, I didn't feel like good like in terms of fully healed, like at a deeper tissue level until after a year. So perhaps it's the body's wisdom that's allowing you to walk right now. Because maybe it's not the best thing physiologically, and it is a real thing, there are women who really do overdo it and cause themselves to have significant damage. So not to go into like the scary bad place. But just to say there are seasons in life. Yeah. And it is okay, to sort this out. And to recognize it to be very forgiving to yourself during that season. And to remember that you will not always have a four month old, when your baby is one when your baby is two, you're going to be in a different season. And yeah, you'll probably be running with them.
Kate Kordsmeier 28:46
Right? Thank you for saying that both for myself and for any mamas out there listening because I don't feel like this is talked about enough. And we are also like our culture in the states is you bounced back immediately if like two weeks after you had your baby, you can still tell that you just had a baby or you were pregnant recently. It's like, Oh, you know, like, you need to get out there and have a baby. I know. And that's what I always want to say is like, I get a compliment sometimes after my first Oh, you don't you can't even tell you just had a baby. And I go I know you mean that as a compliment. But it's not. I did just have a baby, you should be able to tell it's not natural for it to just like,
Lisa Hendrickson-Jack 29:27
but God. Okay, I have one more analogy, because I feel like we need to drive this point home. Yeah. And so I'm not going to tell the story perfectly, because I did hear it from like somewhere else. And I don't remember exactly where but I'll do my best. And so in some cultures, for example, stretch marks aren't considered to be these horrifying things. Oh, yeah. Why? I remember hearing the story. And so I don't know specifically which culture but I'll just kind of leave it at that. But say there was a group of women around the pool and they saw a A woman who didn't have stretch marks, and they looked at her with sadness, because they thought it meant she couldn't have babies.
Kate Kordsmeier 30:08
Oh my god, I just
got chills like, goosebumps of like, Oh my god, what would that be like?
Lisa Hendrickson-Jack 30:14
Yeah. So this, I say these things and share these experiences, so that you can just think about things differently. Like, what kind of crazy culture did we grow up in? That doesn't celebrate life. So one of the things that I talk about a lot, because of course, coming from this culture, our periods are like a liability. And really, and truthfully, the solution to all period problems, as per you know, Western medicine, is to completely suppress the menstrual cycle with hormonal birth control. And in case you didn't know, hormonal birth control doesn't regulate the menstrual cycle, it actually suppresses the menstrual cycle, most hormonal contraceptives, you know, stop you from oscillating. And so that means that it literally stops you from having a normal cycle and causes you to have like a regular bleed, which is not a period. So literally, we're like shutting it off. And this is considered to be normal, because we look at it, the period and the cycle very negatively. So one of the things that I just would encourage everybody to remember is that every human being on earth is here because of his or her mother's menstrual cycle. kind of important. So maybe we should be questioning but culture that doesn't celebrate that, as opposed to ourselves and feeling bad about it, like, how are you feeling bad about the fact that you just literally brought life into the world, and right, your body is different? Yeah, your body is different, because you just brought life into the world. So someone has to say it, someone has to say, a different perspective than this kind of crazy out of control culture that we live in.
Kate Kordsmeier 31:52
I'm so glad that our station went here, I did not plan on talking about postpartum body image and
stuff like that. But
I mean, it's been so helpful to me and I, you're just you're so right. And I, I really hope that my podcast and this interview can be like, but a small, you know, a small part in this paradigm shift that we need to have happen. Because without amazing women with beautiful cycles, there is no life. So I was just
Lisa Hendrickson-Jack 32:23
thinking about it as well, because one of the reasons that I ended up starting not only starting my business, but like, quitting my job and, and focusing on it was because I didn't fit I felt so this is just how I felt. And I recognize that there's all the different ways. So I'm not saying this is the right way or wrong way. I've also kind of wondered if I could have done it differently. But anyways, I felt like I didn't fit into the corporate schedule and world once I had children. So I had organized my life in such a way where I had like, a good, you know, nine to five type of situation and everything was, you know, on point and so my real passion was kind of on the side, because I, I felt like, okay, it's not going to be like all the all the myths, right, I won't be able to survive and all that kind of stuff. And so but when I had my first son, it's like a round peg square hole, all of a sudden, I needed all this time off. And it's not like I couldn't find the time in a day to do my work. It's just at the specific hours, you require me to work for not effective for my family. So I think a lot of women find themselves in somewhat of a similar situation. So so many women are then creating businesses for themselves, right, you know, in a way, obviously, to try to make it all work. And if you're looking to have an effective business, you're going to be much more effective if you're not constantly beating yourself up about just literally being in a female body. Uh huh. about beating yourself up at the fact that there's times of the cycle where you don't have energy, beating yourself up after you have a child, and you're going through a different season. And you're not like productive in the same way that society values. So these conversations are so important for all women, but particularly business owners, because we are making huge contributions. having babies changes your brain, and it makes you just look at life differently. And yes, so many women have these incredible businesses that are making profound differences and impacts in people's lives. And so we need like, it's like, we need you guys on board. So let's like pretending that we're men sorted out, figure out how to work with our bodies, and then we'll be so much more happy, effective. We'll have more energy and we can actually rest but we need to what a
Kate Kordsmeier 34:34
concept rest, it's okay to rest. Yeah, I'm, boom, I just feel like Mic drop. But okay, let's cycle back now because you started talking about your career. How did you get in into this? So I mentioned in the intro, you have an amazing book called The fifth vital sign, which is so genius. Tell us a little Little bit about like, just how what got you passionate about fertility awareness? And how did you become like an expert in this topic other than, you know, being a woman?
Lisa Hendrickson-Jack 35:10
Well, that's a great question. I mean, for me, my experience, I think was a bit unique in that I discovered fertility awareness when I was about 18 or 19 years old. Wow. I have been, right. So it was really, really young. So I had been put on the pill. When I was in my kind of mid teens, I think age 15 or 16. And the reason for it having periods heavy and super painful. And I was like, big into sports, as I mentioned, like the track the basketball, the volleyball, things and ballet and who wants to bleed out in a leotard? Right. So, so the pill was this, the panacea, the solution? So I went on the pill. And, you know, in my case, it actually did make that the fake bleeds. I didn't realize this at the time, but the fake periods were a lot easier to manage. Yeah. So I being a teenager was like, This is magic. And so because I wasn't having sex, so this was purely for like, the pure at the time, this was purely for the period management, I would stop taking it because I was like, I'm fixed. And then every time I went off of it, the periods would be just as bad. So even though I was young, I had the sense of like, I don't know what it's doing, but it's obviously not fixing it, because the problem is still there. So I had that idea. So when I needed birth, control them, you know, university, left home young post High School, feminist phase, right? What happened was, you know, I had this thought that, I mean, if I had the thought that there was something wrong, and I wanted to figure out what it was, I had family members who had had struggles with fertility, I did not want to have a baby at like, 19. But at the same time, I wanted a baby at some point. And I was like, you know, let me see if I can figure this out. So I was like, Okay, I'm gonna use condoms. Things have changed. 20 years ago, condoms were taught about taught to be effective. And so I didn't have this fear of using condoms. I was actually okay with that. And it was around that time that I discovered fertility awareness. So I, you know, I went to one of the feminist type, you know, talks and this woman said, basically, that you are not fertile every day of the cycle. There's only six days from a scientific perspective. And you can tell when you're fertile based on your cervical fluid and cervical position changes. And then of course, confirm ovulation with your temperature, Mind blown. Yo, I ran out and bought taking charge of your fertility. And this, it was meant to be because on my university campus, there was a group of women who met every month, some of whom were trained and certified educators, who actually did is the fertility awareness training circle, it's like still there. And they held monthly meetings. So of course, I started attending, and it wasn't very long before I took a training class and began teaching. So this, all
Kate Kordsmeier 37:48
right, I can't have like this was happening on your college campus. This was not happening at the University of Georgia,
Lisa Hendrickson-Jack 37:54
like 20 years ago. And so then I was doing this on the side, like a grassroots thing. And it literally never occurred to me that I could make a business out of it. It just didn't. And so I was able to take this knowledge for granted, I was able to teach on a very small scale, very small scale, throughout my 20s. And so what happened was, you know, like, I also parallel to this was starting out my career and things I was doing. When I had my first son, that was kind of when the shoe dropped, because I realized that, you know, first of all, to when I was in university, so to date myself, there was there was no Facebook and my Instagram stuff. Like I didn't get a cell phone. And I didn't have a personal computer until I went to college. Right? So people look.
Kate Kordsmeier 38:45
So this powerful Mac or something
Lisa Hendrickson-Jack 38:49
that was so popular, and Legally Blonde came out and everyone was like, I have to get a pink Mac, right? Like, so this was different. So when. So it was right around that time when I realized that, okay, this, you know, it's different now there's a lot more opportunity. So basically, I thought to myself, every woman needs to know this. I've been utilizing this information and teaching other women for a really long time. But still, the world hasn't changed, because the average woman still has no idea. Knowing. I like started listening to podcasts when I was breastfeeding all the time. And I was like, well, geez, I can start podcast. And I was like, let's see if anyone cares about this stuff. Let's see if anyone wants to know about it. So I was thrown out there and see what happens. And obviously they liked it and they wanted to know more. Because all women are just like what, like what the heck even mean that I'm not fertile every day. I was taught that I was what the heck do you mean that the birth control pill, you know, stops me from having a cycle and gives me a fake one. They told me that regulates my cycle and it's helped that
Kate Kordsmeier 39:57
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Okay, let's talk about that. Because this gets me fired up to very similar story. I think so many women can relate to this, you get your period, you know, probably somewhere between like 12 and 15 years old, I don't know now girls are probably getting it like eight. But you know, you get your period. And it turns out like Oh, man, period suck. This is really embarrassing. And you know, I have to deal with this at school. And I and this is how women girls are taught is like, this is an embarrassing thing that you need to hide and can't talk about. And then you start having a lot of symptoms. Like for me, it was super heavy periods to and acne and you know, all kinds of things. I didn't really have PMS at that time. But I mean, every woman has their own things, right. So my mom takes me to the gynecologist and
of course, they're like, well just go on the pill.
And this will solve all of your problems. And so I was on the pill for a decade. And I never thought twice about it because it air quotes I fixed my period. And then I had a bunch of digestion issues in my mid 20s. And so I was put on medication for that which did not work and had this these horrible side effects, but it made me feel like I don't know what's going on with my body but something's wrong and I don't feel like I can get to the bottom of it if I'm on any medication. So I'm going to go cold turkey off everything including birth control, and see what happens. And I went off and my body freaked the fuck out. And I just I gained like 12 pounds in six weeks not changing anything about my diet or exercise. I broke out in the most horrible acne of my entire life and I was like 26 like wait, I thought I was kind of past like the hormonal teenage acne years. And I started got started having panic attacks. I start I mean it was bad. And I started researching it. And I was like, You know what, I think I have PCOS. A lot of these symptoms are lining up with that my site goals were really irregular, but also super long, like 60 plus days in between a period. And I went to my new gynecologist, and she said the same thing, well, do you want to have a baby? And I'm like, well, not today. But eventually I would like to and she said, okay, just go on the pill until then. And I just like, knew in my gut when she said that, I was like, I don't feel like that's going to solve the problem. And it was hard, because everybody else in my like, circle was saying, What do you mean period, like, I went on the pill. And now I don't, you know, some of my friends were like, I don't even get a period anymore, even a fake one because they skip the sugar pills, or like they're on the murena, or whatever. So anyway, this is a very long winded way of asking you, what are your thoughts on the birth control pill? What is the truth of what it's really doing to our cycles? And yes, blow our minds?
Lisa Hendrickson-Jack 45:53
Well, I mean, I'll start by saying that your experience is so similar. I'm sure that there's so many women listening right now that are nodding their heads. And yeah, that's exactly what I was told. So I always like to just clarify, because when I talk about the pill, it's really easy to be like, oh, Lisa, she is anti pill, and she doesn't think anyone should ever take it. And she wants to take away like, right. So there's obviously a an issue to have access. Right. That's, that's very apparent, I would say more so in the States than, than in Canada. So to clarify, I think that the fundamental point of having a conversation like this is informed consent. Because I've had people who learn about the side effects of the pill and the potential effects on you know, fertility. And we'll say, Well, how could you ever say anyone should use it? So they kind of take the other way? And I say, Well, people smoke, and they drink, I would say the difference is, is that they know the side effects. And they make a choice consciously. So I believe that, you know, you talk about the side effects, you should talk about the side effects, because then it gives women a choice. So some women are going to choose to use the pill for as long as they would have anyways, because it's the right option for them at the time, some women would choose to then alter their use. So perhaps they would use it for a few years. But maybe if they knew the full information about it, they would modify their use and potentially not use it for a whole decade. Maybe they would use it for a few years. And other women would just not use it because they would say I don't think this is for me. The side effects seem a little crazy. So in terms of the question about your situation, like with having the pcls symptoms and the long cycles. So the The fact is that hormonal contraceptives do not we briefly touch on this, but they do not fix the cycle. They suppress the cycle. So I think that's the first thing to be very clear on. How does that happen? What How does it suppress the cycle? Hmm, so all hormonal contraceptives, they have three main modes of action, essentially. And so not all contraceptives, completely suppress ovulation. But when you put hormones in your body, it certainly does alter. But the majority of hormonal contraceptives suppress ovulation. So in order to ovulate, there's a conversation that has to take place between your hypothalamus, pituitary gland and ovaries. And so one of the main modes of action for the vast majority of hormonal contraceptives like the pill, the patch, the ring, all those types of things, is that it interferes with that conversation. So oscillation doesn't happen. So it's the mother of all endocrine disruptors because it's disrupting our endocrine system, because that's how it works. So it stops you from populating. If you don't ovulate, there's no egg, there's no egg, there's no possibility pregnancy, this is why these methods are effective. That's what they do. And then a secondary mode of action is it thins out the uterine lining so that even if there was something that popped through the there would really be nowhere to implant. And then the third mode of action is it actually causes the cervix. So the entrance to the uterus to fill with a thick mucus plug so that the sperm can't get in. So there's three main modes of action. And if you can get your head around that. So actually, the way to kind of drive the point home, when I was researching to write the fifth vital sign, I took it back to the first pill. So the first pill and Ovid was released in the market in 1960. And before it was released, they did trial, you could think of it as a beta, a beta test. And that beta test, they took women and what was interesting is that at the time, there was kind of this idea that for women who were not conceiving, so actually women who are trying to get pregnant, that if you were to stop the cycle for a while and then restart it, they would be more fertile. So the trial beta test actually contained women in there who were trying to get pregnant. So they put them on the first version of the pill, which had no withdrawal bleed, it had no sugar pills. So they just went on the pill, and they stopped getting their periods. And this was 19, like 58. So they there was no precedent for not having your period, the only time that you don't have your period, you know, certainly prior To kill was if you were pregnant, breastfeeding or actually ill. And so these women immediately were like, wow, right, they thought they were pregnant and the doctors couldn't convince them otherwise. And then when the it kind of finally sunk in that it was the medication that made them stop bleeding. They were devastated many of these women because many of them were trying to get pregnant. So they add it in the fake bleed, so that women would go along with it. This was all like this. It's all it's all there. There's the Greek, called, I think it's called the fertility doctor, I bought it, I read it, there's all like, this is documented history, ladies.
Like, literally, this was the beta test, and the result of the beta test was to put in the fake bleed. So to be clear, the This is why 60 years later, when you look at pill marketing, now they just come out and say it, the bleed doesn't have a purpose, you don't need to bleed. This is why they came out with season owl, the 84 day pill. This is why because it never they're there. When they say there's no medical reason, like there was no medical reason for them to add the withdrawal bleed, they added it so that it would look like a menstrual cycle, and so that women would be assured every 20 days that they weren't pregnant because of this bleed, similar to how they would have been with a regular cycle.
Kate Kordsmeier 51:25
Like I am,
Lisa Hendrickson-Jack 51:34
Kate Kordsmeier 51:36
So okay, there's no medical reason to have a bleed.
Lisa Hendrickson-Jack 51:40
But I withdrawal bleed a little girl, not the same thing. I'm glad you said that. Because it's not i'm not saying that we don't need to have a period. withdrawal. This is what I'm trying to do is make a distinction between this artificial state that we put our bodies in on the pill that we're not told about, and the actual true menstrual period menstrual cycle. So in a normal abila, Tory cycle, you make estrogen as a Pro's pro population. And estrogen has many functions, it builds a uterine lining, it helps us to produce cervical fluid, which is what when you're trying to get pregnant, you know, you want to have sex with you have cervical fluid, it looks like clear and stretchy or like lotion. And this is the basis of fertility awareness when you can understand those bodily signs. But in addition to the specific reproductive aspects, because this is what we're told, we're told that the only reason for a menstrual cycle is when you have babies, that's why your doctor was like, are you planning to have a baby. Because if you're not, you don't need this population stuff. That's basically the message, right? Except that we also have receptors for estrogen and progesterone throughout our entire body, including our brains, even our bones. So this natural hormonal cycle, so estrogen until oscillation, and then progesterone surges afterwards, those have a specific effect on aspects of our health that are not related to fertility, like bone density, their risk of heart attack, the the risk of certain cancers. And so what I always say is like, even if you don't have a baby, you probably don't want to have osteoporosis by the time you're 25. And so we should be talking about this, and recognizing that menstrual cycle. So I love analogies, as you know by now. And so one of the analogies I use to describe this concept is that if I were to go to a car dealership and buy like a car, I can get a air conditioning or not. And the air conditioning is a separate feature. So if I don't get air conditioning, and maybe this is dating me, because I don't know if you can even buy a car now without air conditioning, do this. So maybe I need to update my analogy. This just speaks tell them Player B player, that's a better analogy. But yeah, whether you get the CD player or not, the car is going to function same because a CD player is a separate, you know, device, right add on to the car. But and this is how we've been taught to think about our menstrual cycles, except if you are a woman. So if you are born like in a female body, and you have a uterus and ovaries and all the things, then we are not men with ovaries, like we are not the same as men. So this means that our bodies are different. And it also means that our bodies were designed to operate with our ovarian hormonal cycle, it means that our bodies function optimally with a cycle. And the reason that I called the book, The fifth vital sign is because there are a number of health professionals that are now looking at the menstrual cycle as a vital sign. So in your case, for example, when you noticed that the cycles were totally off, I mean, you also had kind of raging acne and other symptoms. That was a key sign that your body was out of alignment. Yeah. And you also had that kind of frame of mind that like well, the pill, obviously didn't like, fix it like it's the thing that's still there.
Kate Kordsmeier 54:49
That it was just a band aid.
Lisa Hendrickson-Jack 54:50
Yeah, it's like putting, it's like taking the batteries out of your fire alarm when your kitchen is on fire, like raishin is still on fire. And so you are
Unknown Speaker 54:59
going off anymore. And that's, I mean that that's a great analogy, because that is exactly what it was.
Lisa Hendrickson-Jack 55:05
Yeah. And so then, I mean, if you look at the menstrual cycle that as a part of your natural, optimal kind of makeup, and you look at it as intimately connected to your health, then I mean PCOS for example, the the fundamental signs or symptoms or characteristics of PCOS include glucose intolerance, insulin resistance, hyper androgen, like production. So that, right, and so what what is the solution, it's not always simple, there's different types of PCOS and different approaches. But for many women, you many women experienced a significant reduction in their symptoms, by reducing their sugar consumption, organizing the macronutrient ratio, so they're getting adequate protein fat, and then lower glycemic carbohydrates, you know, incorporating exercise in an appropriate way. And then really looking at how to sensitize the body to insulin and kind of right. And in addition to that, when you go on the pill to make the bleed every 20 days, it doesn't reduce that, you know, 50% kind of increased risk of developing type two diabetes later in your life.
Kate Kordsmeier 56:21
Right? Such a good point,
Lisa Hendrickson-Jack 56:23
it just makes the bleed come every 20 days, we haven't even looked at the underlying health risks that are associated with untreated PCOS. And what happens when you do want to baby so I, like, you know, feminists, but I question a lot of the tenants of feminism in the sense that my feminism should mean that I can avoid pregnancy when I don't want a baby. But it should mean that I can have a baby when I want to. I want to be able to do both.
Kate Kordsmeier 56:51
Right? Okay, so much good stuff here. Okay. One is anybody listening, and I'm sure at least say you have resources for the stuff too. But I'll say we have a blog post on rootandrevel.com, about the side effects of birth control pill. And I have a lot of posts about how I was able to naturally reverse my PCOS. And basically, like, put it in remission, because I'll always have it on the blog as well. So if anybody wants to explore some of some of that stuff, we'll put the links in the show notes. I want to ask you a follow up question. Well, I'm just going to say this one, so I don't forget it. But I want you to come back to the access stuff that you mentioned in the at the start of this, that there's an issue with access. So let's come back to that. And then about getting pregnant when you do want to. So that was my thing where I remember I so I kind of left off my story of I went to the guy No. And she said, well just go on the pill until you get pregnant until you want to get pregnant. And I just felt like, you know, that wasn't right. And so I'm so glad that I listened to my intuition there and said, No, I'm not going to go back on the pill, I don't want any synthetic hormones, I need to like, fix this naturally, and actually fix the root cause. And so I did it. And I remember all of my friends being like, wait, so are you trying to get pregnant? And I was like, No, I'm not going to get pregnant for years. But when I am ready, I want to be able to just say like, okay, we want to get pregnant. And then, you know, not that there's ever a guarantee. But like PCOS is not going to be what holds me back from getting pregnant. And so I spent the next like three to four years really doing a lot of the things you mentioned, a couple other lifestyle changes, stress and self care was like a huge thing for me. And, and then it happened exactly how I wanted it to which was I my husband and I were like, yeah, it was December, we said I think in 2018 Let's try to get pregnant. And so we just stopped using condoms and got pregnant then, like
It was like, thank God, I didn't listen to that advice. Because it took me three years to get my cycle healthy and my body in a like optimal condition both for conceiving and just for like living a good life. And if I had listened, I you know, I would have had devastating years of trying to get pregnant and likely not being able to because I was on the pill and just continued fucking things up.
Lisa Hendrickson-Jack 59:23
Ah, well, I mean that that says it. That's basically what I talked about in the book. Yeah. And so this I'm trying to think of where to even start. So it's it's basically what we were talking about earlier like this is the the kitchen on fire analogy. The first step is to recognize that the menstrual cycle is a sign of health. Yeah. And to live in a female body of reproductive age means that the optimal functioning of your body is in alignment with the optimal expression of your menstrual cycle, so if the menstrual cycle is off, it is a sign that something else is off. So the vital sign analogy is helpful because you know, the most common vital signs, body temperature, respiratory rate, blood pressure, heart rate, it's pretty obvious to all of us that if your blood pressure is way too low, not only is there something wrong, but there's a specific set of circumstances that could cause that. And so this is what's missing from the entire conversation. When your menstrual cycle is off, you know, in that specific way, there's a specific reason. And if you address that reason and bring the cycle into alignment, then this is what helps you to be overall healthier as well. So it's not just about wanting to have a baby, it's also about wanting to be healthy. And if we can, like with step one, I think what's also really, really important in this conversation is that one of the challenges with birth control is that it's easy to blame birth control, then for fertility problems, it's easy to say the pill cause me to have these problems. So in your case, the pill didn't cause you to have pcls, you had pcls. And if you had been on the pill, the pill masks those symptoms. So it prevents your body can't talk to you in words. So your body's communication with you is your intuition which you listen to and I think that's huge. So you know, everybody go back and listen to this, again, is what you listen to. But in addition to the intuition, we have symptoms, and those symptoms are disrupted menstrual cycles, horrific PMS, horrible pain, seriously heavy bleeding, you know, irregular bleeding, ie regular menstrual cycles, these are the this is the language of your body. And when you take hormonal contraceptives, then you're silencing that language. So you wouldn't even know if there was a problem. Exactly. So not every woman on the pill is going to have PCs. So in the book, what I talked about, you know, one of the ways to preserve your fertility naturally is to do what you did. So to find an alternate way of managing your fertility, you know, there are non hormonal methods. Again, there's lots of options, everyone's going to choose what is comfortable for them. So not everybody is comfortable with non hormonal options. But there are non hormonal options. There are ways to combine methods, when you have an understanding of fertility awareness, for example, and you understand that every day of the cycle is in fertile, you can combine that knowledge with methods, you can add two methods, you can use a diaphragm and a condom, and pull out like three, like, like you could do all right. There's we do it like, as hypochondriac as you want to. But it is possible to avoid pregnancy without hormones. And so what my advice and again, like I say this with love, and I also say it from experience, both as a practitioner in this field and as a mother, as a woman who actually really wanted kids when I was ready. And so when like, you know, even if you've never been in a car that you haven't sure it's the fertility insurance in a way is, is to at least have a period of time cycling naturally before you want to have a baby so that you can at least see like so if you've been on the pill for like, five years, 10 years, and you really don't even know what your cycles were like. Or maybe you're at a higher risk of having problems if your cycles were
irregular, and predictable. Like, if you did have some cycle issues. And that's why you were put on the pill and the pills and fix it. So you're more likely to have those issues still, they're kind of hanging out in the background. But whatever the case, my advice for women, particularly as you approach late 20s, early 30s is to really recognize a couple things, one, that it does take time for your body to go back to normal after the pill. So there's an established period in the literature of temporary subfertility, it doesn't mean you can't go off the pill and get pregnant, obviously, you can. But it means that from a statistical perspective, there's actually a period of about six to 12 months where the fertility is suppressed. And women who come off birth control for example, are it often takes twice as long for them to conceive? Mm hmm. Specifically, I'm talking about a study where you had women who were using condoms, it took an average of four, you know, months to get pregnant and the women who came off of birth the birth control pill, it took eight months on average to conceive. So interesting, literally twice as long. So it doesn't this is not about fear. This is about strategy. So when you understand that, then there's a literal reason why your intuition comes up to you. A lot of women have this where it's like, maybe I should, you know, my husband and I are planning to start trying next year. I've talked to so many women who go to their doctors and they say, you know, we're planning to start having a baby, should we go off of the pill a couple minutes early just to get my body you know, back in the doctor say no, this is your intuition. Okay, so Now you have scientific evidence that if you want the studies, like literally 1000 of them are listed in the back of the vital signs, the research, but so if you want the research like to feel more confident talking to your doctor about this, then that's why I wrote the book so that we can actually, it's not just like some check saying stuff, it's like legitimately research. So there's that. But also, there was a study that looked at how long it took for the cycles to go back to normal, the average was about nine to 12. Now, if you have an issue, like PCOS,
it's gonna be even longer. It was like,
three years is what you said. So why what's heartbreaking from my end is women who don't know that and who go off. But imagine if you had gone off right when you wanted to try? Exactly, I always think you have had three years,
Kate Kordsmeier 1:05:44
I would have been so devastated. I mean, that would have been three long, hard years of probably miscarriage and you know, taking a while to even get I mean, who knows, I mean, it's possible, like, maybe I wouldn't have had an issue we'll never know. But I just like based on all of the stuff that was going wrong with my body when I first came off the pill and all these things that, you know, had just been masked for so long. Yeah, I'm so glad that I trusted my gut on that. And I don't know where it came from. I had no, I had no information about any of this, I didn't, I didn't even know there were four phases to your cycle. Like I knew nothing, but I just had this voice inside of me being like, don't go back on that pill.
Lisa Hendrickson-Jack 1:06:28
Well, and again, this isn't about a scare tactic. This is about strategy. So the practical strategy, then. And my recommendation is, you know, when you're planning to have a baby, like at some point in the future, when you get to that kind of like two years out type of, you know, if you have that much time, then it's not a bad idea to consider, you know, when am I going to come off of the pill, I would say that, generally speaking, it's ideal if you can give yourself at least a year off of it, just so that your body can kind of sort itself out. And so I mean, come off a year when you still are actively avoiding. So you still have to find a way to avoid pregnancy, you're coming off before you want to have a baby. But just so that you can give your body some time. Yeah, totally different mindset when your body like so some women come off the pill and they get there, like they oscillate Two weeks later and get their period right away. That is not the majority, though. Some women it takes a month, some women it takes to someone it takes for some women, it takes five, but there's a small percentage of women. So okay, I would say that you're not in the large majority here. But there's a small percentage of women for whom their period doesn't come back for like, you know, eight months a year. And again, you would be more likely to be in that category. If you had issues before. So I know that you were in that category, then two years would be my recommendation. So that you can have a buffer, it's much better to be sorting out your cycle, when you're not also trying to have a baby.
Kate Kordsmeier 1:07:49
And nobody tells you that it's had so much stress and stress is the last thing you want when you're trying to conceive especially I mean, stress last thing we want ever but yeah, I'm, I'm so glad that you said that. And, and the other thing I'm thinking too is like, I kind of knew that something was going to be wrong, because I was having other symptoms. Like I said I was having digestive issues, I was having thyroid issues. And when I went on the pill, it was to, quote unquote, fix a problem. But a lot of girls go on the pill, when they're a teenager, for just birth control, everything's normal, and they just start going on the pill for birth control, and then they stay on it for a decade or so. And it's like, so you might not even know that you have an issue, if you didn't have it when you were, you know, basically a child. And so I just, I I'm always like such an advocate for just like, even if you don't want to have kids, but you're like, just go off of it and just see what happens. And to bring this kind of back to like a business perspective, especially like, entrepreneurship is the biggest, like case study for personal development ever. Because you're constantly having to address your limiting beliefs and work through like imposter syndrome and figure out like, What do you want? And what is your calling and get into your intuition. And you can't do that. If everything is being blocked and suppressed. And doing this cycle thinking I think what has been so powerful for me about this, and I haven't even I've had one period in three years because I had I got pregnant in December 2017 I nursed until August, and then I had one period and I got pregnant again. And and now here we are. So I've only had one period. I'm not even like truly cycle thinking, but I am following the phases of the moon and I am like tuning into my body every day. And I feel like that process has allowed me to access intuition that I didn't even know I had because we have so many other voices coming at us all day. So I just like I feel like if you are if you own a business, if you want to own your business, own your own business, like this is one of the most powerful things you can do as a female business owner.
Lisa Hendrickson-Jack 1:10:12
Well, it's so you know, I, I do business coaching, I'm part of the mastermind, right? Like, it's not all vaginas around here, but it's a lot of vaginas mythologize right here. And one of the things that was really important to me when selecting, you know, business coach, and really getting that support, you know, from that business angle was somebody who really focused on the whole thing. It's not just about like piles of money and like, productivity, right, I had to unfollow and, and listen, stop listening to a lot of male influencers, because they didn't have the same challenges necessarily that I did. They didn't also have to figure out how to get the laundry done the food cooked, the children, you know, clothed and fat, like all the things, all of them,
Kate Kordsmeier 1:10:54
even though they own homes that have children, they're not
Lisa Hendrickson-Jack 1:10:58
that there was one, I shouldn't say that, but I just did, but not always true. Yeah. But I just facing different challenges. So I guess my point is that, you know, in order to be an effective business person, I think you have to be an effective human being. And that means that we have to acknowledge, like, what it means to be a human being and, and as women, it's like, what it means to be a human being in a female body, what it means to have a cycle, what it means to have this, you know, to have children and to have these different seasons of life. And the the additional stress like so if you think about a business strategy, for example, you know, many entrepreneurs have specific business plans and goals for, you know, a quarterly, yearly, you know, three or five year plan, you know, I know I do. And I, and so why don't we do the same thing with our lives? What this information, this is not about judgment, this is not about like, there's only one way to do it, this is not about the pill is horrible and dedicated. It's not about that, it's about strategy. It's about what do you want in your life. And so if children are part of that, and you want to be in control of like, when and how it's like setting yourself up for success, and this is what people don't talk about. So, you know, there's one of the ways to do that, is to really educate yourself about hormonal birth control. So that if you're taking it, you're really aware of, you know, the possible limitations, the side effects because a lot of women are on it, and they don't, they've never been told about the long list of side effects. So, you know, depression, anxiety, nutrient depletion, you know, delay and the return of natural fertility, even sexual side effects like low libido, painful sex, recurrent yeast infections can happen. And if you do have a tendency toward like, IBS, or gut problems that can exacerbate them, like that was clearly in the research. So there's a lot of specific things that you don't know about. So this isn't about judgment, it's not about pro or anti pill or any of that it's literally about, okay, so I'm taking this medication, and I am an adult human being. So I should be looking into what the side effects are looking at the effects so that I can make that informed choice about how long I want to take it. And when I do want to have a child, you know, just like I strategize for business, like what can I do to optimize my body and my cycles prior to that, and so, you know, my suggestion recommendation is to, to really consider seriously consider coming off a minimum of a year, my recommendation in the fifth vital sign is 18 months to two years. And that's because some women, you know, some women are at a higher risk of having some challenges. Other women are not some women, like I said, if you had totally normal cycles, you cycled for five years, it was always pretty even keel, you didn't have any problems, and you went on the pill, when you were like 20, something or after many years of cycling, you're at a much lower risk of having a delay in the return. Unless something has happened. health situation has changed. Right? During that time, right? People don't know that. You know, right, exactly. This is why we say,
Kate Kordsmeier 1:13:58
Yes, I'm so glad we are. And think about like, well, what's the worst case scenario? If I go off, you know, a year or two before I'm actually ready, and my cycle comes back right away, like, Okay, well, great, then, you know, and like the worst case scenario is now you need to figure out what you're going to do for birth control for a year or two, or whatever, which you
Lisa Hendrickson-Jack 1:14:19
record, you would have had to figure out anyways, because if you're coming off the pill, you still have to figure out what you're going to do for birth control. Right? Exactly.
Kate Kordsmeier 1:14:28
So worst case scenario is actually like pretty great. But imagine worst case scenario, if you wait to come off until you're like, Okay, I cannot wait to have children. I'm so ready. And then it's going to take two years like that worst case scenario is so much worse. So it's like what do you have to lose by coming off a little too early, and being able to make these conscious choices moving forward. So, okay, we've gone way over, but I can't stop talking to you. I'm just loving this conversation. I don't want to do Check in you have like five to 10? more minutes? More like five. Okay, five, okay, we'll be quick. Okay, so if you, since we're talking about this aspect of birth control right now, if you come off and you, you either are like I'm done having kids, I never want to have kids, whatever, but I don't want to be on hormonal birth control. What do you recommend?
Lisa Hendrickson-Jack 1:15:21
Well, so again, it's a personal choice. I think what's interesting, you don't really think about this, I suppose until after you've had your kids. But the most common method of birth control is actually sterilization. Just for the record, I'm not recommending it or anything, I'm literally just stating a fact. Yeah, so at that point, you know, every couple has to make those decisions for themselves. So you know, the options if you and I think for a lot of women, after you actually come off of hormonal contraceptives, and get pregnant and start having kids, for many women, it's the first time that they've really been in their body, like having a baby you into your body, and you start to experience the fullness of your sexuality, it's no small thing that hormonal contraceptives, so the the mode of action by suppressing testosterone, your natural estrogen and progesterone, many women do find that they, they do have less of a libido when they're on it, and the sensation and things are reduced. And so for many women, you know, coming off of it, they really get to experience their full access to their own meaning and their full power and all of that. So I think it's really common for women, you know, to not necessarily want to go on birth control, after they've had kids, and especially looking for a permanent solution for this challenge. So I mean, certainly that's an option. Many couples look into that whether, you know, I think the men getting snipped type of thing, but, you know, as a teacher of their time, right. But you know, as a as a practitioner of the fertility awareness method, I mean, certainly for for many women, it's becoming more and more common. So it is possible to prevent pregnancy without hormones by understanding your cycle, and using that in combination with other hormonal methods. So for some women, that's going to be the best option. And in that situation, you don't necessarily have to have like a procedure done a surgical intervention. So as you can see, there would be a lot of personal differences, like what's going to be comfortable for you and your partner. Certainly, you know, the copper IUD. So there's pros and cons as a copper ID, as I'm
Kate Kordsmeier 1:17:23
considering that full full disclosure.
Lisa Hendrickson-Jack 1:17:24
Well, there's pros and cons, you know, so a good candidate for the copper IUD is somebody who really does not have heavy or painful periods. So the copper IUD does cause some degree of localized inflammation in the uterus. And so if you did have, you know, so what typically happens is that you may have heavier periods. And if you did have some cramping during your cycles, you might have more. So for women who have already difficult periods, certainly it's just not like I wouldn't say I would say no, just not probably the best option. But for women for whom it works, it works well. Right. So that's certainly something to consider. Just know,
Kate Kordsmeier 1:18:04
copper, copper, the way it works is that copper basically like kills the sperm when it comes in, is that correct?
Lisa Hendrickson-Jack 1:18:12
Yeah, one of the modes of action is the spermicidal qualities of the copper, right. And then another mode of action is it causes a certain degree of irritation slash inflammation in the in the uterus, so it makes the uterus less hospitable. So it's not really a good fit to implant. Okay. And then you get to keep cycling, so you get to keep having your, you know, oscillation and keep having your period. So certainly, that is an option. Right? And then, of course, there's all the non hormonal methods, but I don't really recommend I provide information, and then I feel like each individual person would rather make okay with what makes most sense for us.
Kate Kordsmeier 1:18:49
Yeah, that makes sense. Okay, I want to quickly I hate to gloss over this, because I do feel like it's so important. We can finish up here with Can you talk about access? And what you're mentioning about that in the beginning?
Lisa Hendrickson-Jack 1:19:03
Well, when I said that, I think there's an interesting kind of ideology around having conversations about hormonal contraceptives. And what I mean by that is that it's like if you talk about the side effects, people think that you're anti feminist anti woman, anti birth control. Because, you know, in some parts of the world, of course, there are these conversations around, you know, is birth control funded is our Do you have access to it? Is the government trying to make it so that women can't have access to birth control, like those types of questions? And so I always just want to be really clear, like, it's, it's a line Sure, a fine line. But, you know, again, my version of feminism involves an informed choice. My version of feminism does not gloss over the, you know, thousands of peer reviewed scientific papers that clearly show that birth control is not without side effects. And there are women who don't Every year, you know, because they take it. And it's a fact like, people don't want to say that out loud because they don't want to dissuade women from using birth control. But I think that we still have to acknowledge that when I eat like chicken, I don't have an increased risk of deep vein thrombosis. So it's really important for us to just lay out all the information facts, treat us as women as adults, and let us make the decisions that are best for us. And like I said, Some women are going to choose to use it for just as long some women are going to choose to modify their use, and other women are going to choose not to use it and that all of those decisions are completely okay.
Kate Kordsmeier 1:20:36
Right, right. I love that. You said that. Thank you. Okay, I know you have to go, I could talk to you forever. Thank you for just sharing so much. And this was so powerful. Where can people learn more about you,
Lisa Hendrickson-Jack 1:20:50
and follow along? Thank you so much. For them having me this has been a great conversation. I love that I got to talk a little bit about business because I don't always get to talk about that. So it was really fun. Yeah. So for more information about me, you can certainly head over to the fifth vital sign book calm and you can get the first chapter of the fifth vital sign for free so if you enjoyed today's conversation, you'll really love because all of the topics that we talked about, you know, except for the business stuff, but the you know, the cycles and the birth control aspects all those things are in the book, so I need it really appreciate that. The book is available on Amazon as a paperback ebook and audiobook. And I have a podcast the fertility Friday podcast, you can just type in fertility Friday in your favorite podcast player and you'll find it. I'm like up to Episode 300 and something it's been Oh my god. So it's it's been it's been a ride. So if this topic interests you, you'll just rabbit hole awaits. And I'm also on Instagram at fertility Friday. I post a lot of interesting things as you can imagine. So it's fun over there, too.
Kate Kordsmeier 1:21:49
I love it. Thank you so much, Lisa.
Lisa Hendrickson-Jack 1:21:51
Thanks again for having me.
Kate Kordsmeier 1:21:57
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