Ovulation Hell – Men should read this too!

by Anna

Today I am feeling just fine. I have ovulated. This I know a) because my thermometer clearly indicated this morning that my basic body temperature had finally risen to 36.7 C and b) because I am feeling normal again.

I began measuring my temperature a year ago on advice of my acupuncture lady who critically yet concerned proclaimed that my temperature is generally too low wich is bad. “Very bad”, she had said.

I didn’t really think it was that bad until I read about it in a book (Cellular Awakening, by Barbara Wren) where she said that when she started nursing 40 years ago the average temperature was a whole degree higher than what it is nowadays. Further she concludes that we are getting physically and emotionally colder and that it is due to a chemical imbalance within our body. No wonder with the kind of food we consume today. Even if it is “healthy” we don’t know for sure how and under what condition it has been grown.

During a year of regular acupuncture sessions my temperature slowly climbed to new heights each cycle but still stayed temperamental and easily distracted by other influences. My mood in the pre-ovulation phase was low, very low. I had an actual physical sensation in my gut telling me that something was very, very wrong and I regularly consider that suicide would be the best way to opt out of this hell.

A “normal” cycle, or rather the “average norm” for the female cycle, lasts for about 28 days. My cycles range from 37 to 56 days with 50 days being the norm for me. Today is day 36 which means that there will be another week or two until another cycle of hell begins again.

Why does it do that?

I believe that it began with the first day I decided to go on the pill. I wish I never started it! I was 17 and until then I enjoyed a healthy and regular cycle without any problems whatsoever. With the first day of taking the pill came the pain. Cramps, heavy periods. After six months I was put on a different pill and yet another one after another few months after which I decided that I didn’t want any foreign hormones in my system and stopped taking it. This alone is enough to upset anyones natural balance. That’s when I developed a mild acne aged 21. Also I had developed an unnatural relationship with food over the years, either bingeing or not eating at all.

Years later I thought it would be a good idea to start again to take the pill since every doctor said that all my symptoms could be “cured” by recommencing it. However, after another couple of years I once again went back to realising that these hormones weren’t mine and that I didn’t want them crusading my system.

Another reason why my cycle went completely berserk aged 26 was because due to an unhealthy relationship which shook my core believe about myself and during which I lost a lot of weight unnaturally quickly which really isn’t recommended for anyone’s body especially the reproductive system.

Paired with an unhealthy amount of daily anxiety and a predisposed lack of function in my ovaries I was stuck where I was and didn’t know what to do. At that time I didnt’ know when and why I was depressed and how I could control it. At first I didn’t even realise that there was a connection between my mood swings and my period because it came and went at any random day of the week. There was no system.

My GP referred me to have counselling before considering depression and a work colleague suggested to request a scan to rule out the possibility of  polycyclic ovarian syndrome. The scan showed that there were a few cysts on my left ovary but the following consultation ruled out any medical condition so I was once again left to my own devices. The consultant however suggested to stick to a low G.I. diet, maintaining a stable blood sugar, due to a insulin resistance associated with this condition. This was a secret eye opener to me because prior to that I had already come to understand that I don’t agree with cane sugar.

I can only recommend the basal body temperature measurements every morning right upon waking before getting up. That way you know what day you are on and how or why you might feel accordingly. You can find charts to download for free on the internet. Day 1 is the day of the first bleeding. Around day 14 the temperature should raise above 36.6, indicating the day of ovulation, and stay above that for the next two weeks. On the next day of bleeding it will go back down to about 36.

What I found out by checking my temperature was that around day 14 my temperature attempted to rise but plummeted again the day after. It tried again to rise a week later and with a bit of luck it would stay up. Sometimes it needed yet another attempt. This explained my varying mood swings. A week before my ovulation I would get low in mood and very temperamental. You can imagine that if my body tried to ovulate about three times in three weeks how much up and down that equates to…

I am glad that I understand that part of it and the system behind it and interestingly it is my partner who is first to recognize the warning signs and he becomes my rock when I go afloat again and go up and down on yet another ride on the “dinosaur tail” as he calls it. I do wonder how he puts up with it!

There are moments when all my feelings for my partner are gone, hidden by a big layer of anxiety and probably hormones which conceal any hope and happiness that may have been there before. I once read someone else’s story about PMS and she compared it to Jekyll and Hyde, which I think is quite a good comparison. It honestly feels like I have become a different person. I can’t differentiate between my real and my hormonal emotions. And although I do realise when the hormonal wave has taken over I also still remember what it felt like the last time it happened and what thoughts I had while I was riding it. And the next time I go down I carry on where I have left. I once jokingly said to my partner that I was about to buy a train ticket and leave, no matter where to. I didn’t, but I worry that one day I will because in that state I have nothing to hold on to other what I remember the last time I was in it. So if the last thing I remember was a train ticket, the next one might be the boarding of a train. It might be comparable to sleepwalking.

With this blog I hope to reach others who are affected and their partners and to give them hope that it really is just a phase and not necessarily the real state of being, regardless of whether it feels real. Of course it feels real. We are real. But it isn’t what we would be like “normally”.

I wish I could give you a recipe to conquer this state. But I have yet to find it for myself. I don’t think there is only one solution. And even if your GP will make you believe that the one solution will be hormonal treatment, it will in the end not work on the original cause. Other hormones will simply cover up what lies beneath and make it more difficult to get to the core problem.

As I explained previously, my problems only started when I began taking the pill and it was made worse by emotional abuse and an unhealthy relationship to food. So my suggestions to getting close to a solution would be to maintain a healthy emotional state, maybe even consider counselling if you feel you would benefit from it. I have and I also strongly recommend EFT which helped wonders! Look it up! The latest is called EFT Matrix Reimprinting. Fantastic! Acupuncture helped too if you can bear the needles. Really not so bad at all! Then obviously stick to a balanced diet with as little sugar as possible and as much vegetables, grains and fruit as possible. Look into foods with a low Glycemic Index (GI). And drink water, lots of water instead of fizzy drinks.