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"Lazy Ovaries" - Anne's Healing Journey

I’m sharing this story with the wish that it will support women on their path to reconnecting with their menstrual cycle.

"I had been struggling with my periods since the very start of my menstruation. A traumatic event and an eating disorder during my teenager years further complicated my menstrual health, to the point that I did not bleed for about 5 years. After 5 years of not bleeding and staying quiet about this, I started to seek help. I visited a doctor and she prescribed the pill, which I took for 6 years. My bleeding came back, which was a relief, but I hardly had any feelings with it.

At the age of 24, I decided to stop the pill, because I wanted to rediscover a natural cycle.

After stopping, my periods became very irregular and a source of discomfort. I looked healthy again, but my irregular periods and deep aversion towards my feminine forms lingered on and on. I had completely lost the connection to my female body. When I brought this up during my first visit to a gynecologist, she replied that resuming with the pill would help and that my ovaries were simply “lazy”. She also said, that I did not have to worry about it as long as I wasn’t planning to become pregnant. But I did not feel well and struggled mentally.

Around the same time, I responded to Julika’s announcement that she was starting to offer womb yoga and menstrual cycle coaching. I felt inspired and started working with her. I had been working with a therapist for a while before starting the cycle and womb work. The therapy sessions had cleared away a great deal of the heavy mist of traumatic thoughts in my head. But, even though my thoughts towards my female forms were becoming more loving, I only started to embody this love after working with Julika. In the beginning I often felt frustrated because I was not able to recognize any patterns in my cycle and kept bleeding irregularly. Mentally however, I managed to make a major shift with Julika’s support: I started sending love and care to the feelings of blaming myself for my menstrual issues.

One year later, I moved to Nepal to continue my studies. Soon upon arriving, I started bleeding more regularly, once every 2-3 months. I also started to better recognize the different “seasons” of the menstrual cycle that Julika taught me about, which allowed me to adjust my daily schedule more to the needs of my body. Around the same time I started joining an online group for women. We talked about our menstrual cycle and the seasons like I had learned from Julika. It was very touching to be with Nepali women, and hearing nearly half of the group sharing about having very irregular periods like me, and that they suffered from intense PMS. I was both sad and relieved to hear their stories. It was the first time that I met women with similar cycle patterns who were all able to recognize the different seasons of the cycle, but that they just lasted longer in our case (especially the Premenstrual phase is very long usually). I felt incredibly supported.

Since coming to Nepal my periods became more regular than ever before without the pill, with an interval of 5 to 8 weeks. It felt like a miracle, although the amount of days of bleeding was quite short with only 3 days. Nevertheless my body seemed to have found a comfortable rhythm and I was feeling much more aligned with the inner seasons. I realized for the first time, how much my cycle is contributing to my health. I was feeling so much more in tune with my body, kinder and I started to trust my body's wisdom more. I had never had such a regular cycle before in my whole life without pill. I started to enjoy being by myself during lockdown and was able to take plenty of rest. Also, I had plants on my rooftop. One of the plants didn't want to make flowers. I gave it the water with my menstrual blood on the first day (from rinsing my washable cotton pads) and after a while 3 flowers started to slowly bloom. It could have been a coincidence, but something made me also think that my offering supported its growth.

After about one and a half year I became sick and it took me 3 months to recover. During that time, I did not bleed, and ended up thin, weak and feeling a little lost. The allopathic doctors told me that there was nothing they could do, that I needed to be patient. At the same time, a friend advised me to visit a Tibetan doctor. I wasn’t sure how to talk about my menstruation to a male doctor, but just by observing my pulse (the diagnostic tool in Tibetan medicine), he was able to prescribe herbal medicine that I started taking 4 times a day.

This was life-changing. Soon after starting the medicine, I started bleeding and my periods turned to a 30 to 40 day cycle. The premenstrual period has became less intense and overwhelming. I’m feeling relieved every time I bleed - and I even enjoy it.

All of this has made me doubt the story of my "lazy ovaries", what the gynecologist had told me and about the pill being the "only" solution. There is so much more to explore in our bodies and other forms of alternative medicine.

Ups and downs still come, and when I overdo myself, I tend to miss a month of bleeding, or the bleeding is very short. But I continue to visit the Tibetan doctor and take his medicine. I also realize now how important it is for our well-being as a woman to connect with our cycles and adjust our lifestyle as much as possible to the needs of our body in each particular phase of the menstrual cycle. It’s an amazing gift after many years of struggling.

Julika helped me to restore this connection. She helped me to experience how the female cycle can be an inexhaustible source of wisdom, when we restore our connection with our inner goddess.

Anne, Belgium - Menstrual Cycle Coaching Client

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