About Me

Dr Lara BridenI’m a naturopathic doctor and women’s health activist. For my official bio, see my Media Page.

This page provides a little more detail about my education, qualifications, and approach to my clinical work.

I first worked as a researcher and evolutionary biologist at the University of Calgary.  I then went on to graduate from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM).

My love of science and the natural world informed the way I worked with patients. From the beginning, I viewed the body as a logical, regenerative system that knows what to do when it’s given the right support. Nutrition and natural treatments can provide that support, and in my more than twenty years of practice, I’ve learned that period problems respond incredibly well to simple lifestyle changes.

My mission is to empower women to have easy, symptomless periods and join the worldwide “period revolution.”

My book Period Repair Manual provides practical period solutions and alternatives to hormonal birth control. Now in its second edition, Period Repair Manual been an underground sensation and has worked to quietly change the lives of tens of thousands of women.

Thank you to all my readers and to my patients who entrusted me with their stories of PCOS, endometriosis, perimenopause, and many other period problems. I dedicate my blog and my book to you!

A few more details about me: I have a Bachelor of Science (BSc) from the University of Calgary and a Doctor of Naturopathy (ND) from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM). I graduated from CCNM as part of the class of 1997 under my unmarried name Lara Grinevitch.

I currently have consulting rooms in Sydney, Australia and my plan for 2020 is to open new rooms in Christchurch, New Zealand and Calgary, Alberta.

I live in Christchurch, New Zealand with my husband.

183 thoughts on “About Me”

  1. Hi Lara,
    What do you think about Chinese medicine for PCOS? I just started a few weeks ago and definitely feel better energy-wise but we’ll see if I get a period or not. I’m doing acupuncture twice a week and drinking this really intense tea twice a day that has what looks like a lot of different kinds of bark and goji berries in it. I boil it for a long time and then drink the tea.

  2. Hello Dr. Briden, I have been using Vitex for about 6 months or so to regulate my progesterone (after discovering that I had low progesterone which caused some long periods and other symtoms such as several years of hormonal acne and spotting between periods).

    I am 42 and we have three children.

    Long story short, I think I am pregnant and about 4 years ago I was pregnant & lost the pregnancy around 8 weeks. I am unsure why but we did not pursue and were fine with not having more children.

    If I am pregnant it would be a huge surprise due to my age (my gyn tested my egg reserves a year ago, said they were quite low & said that based on my blood work and symtoms, including two cysts on the lining of my uteris, I was going through menopause).

    My question is whether I should continue to take the Vitex to support the pregnancy & keep the progesterone levels up?
    The Gaia label on the Vitex says it is not yo be used during pregnancy and lactation but I am finding variable opinions online but should I need to keep my progesterone levels up (maybe the reason I had a misscarriage in the past) it seems like the best way to do so (beyond diet).

    Thank you for your insight.

  3. Dr. Briden,

    Thank you so much for your blog and book! I’ve learned a lot from the book and really appreciate the specifics you offer on supplements and hormones. I have just started taking micronized progesterone for the heavy bleeding I’m experiencing in perimenopause, and it seems to be helping. In fact, I feel so good during the 10 days a month I’m taking it, I’m curious about supplementing all the time. Wondering if I could try using an over-the-counter progesterone cream during the other days of the month, and how to find a good one.

    As I’m winding down my periods, I have a 10 year old daughter who is approaching her first. I’ve noticed a pretty sudden shift in her explosive emotions recently, and was wondering if you have suggestions for helping teens weather the hormone changes of puberty. Are there supplements that can help with their changing physiology, or do we just support them in all the other ways (reassuring, giving space, etc.)?

    Gratefully,
    Lindy

  4. Hi Lara, I’ve stumbled across your blog, I can’t believe the wonderful information you have regarding the choices with the pill vs the Mirena. I’m really struggling with my daughter starting the pill. Combined pill gave her migraines, knocked her motivation, made her eat like nothing on earth. The mini pill cezarette, knocked her flat, made her depressed, wants to fall asleep all the time and so so moody. And has now lowered her immune system so her tonsillitis problem we had under control is now back. She’s been on antibiotics for 3 wks.arrrrrgh!!!
    I was thinking a Mirena might be the answer but I needed to know if it has a lower dose of progesterone than cezarette otherwise there no point going ther because her body can’t handle it and she will get recurring tonsillitis.i like what yourve said about Mirena.
    Grace isn’t immunised, and has been brought up pretty healthy, and her body doesn’t like this foreign medicine. She doesn’t want to stop the pill again because she doesn’t want her painful periods back. She also gets quite a few spots, which aren’t too bad at the moment because she’s on antibiotics for tonsils. I really don’t know what to do. She has a boyfriend so needs to be safe but is happy using condoms at present, because of antibiotics. I would fly grace down to consult with you, you sound amazing. And we love and trust natural remedies, grace would giv anything a go. Just to get rid of painful periods and spotty skin. We tried go healthy hormone harmony for graves periods and skin, her skin was super clear, but the period pain worsened and she started to get blurry vision and migraine like headaches with her period & bad pains.i really hope you get to read this letter.fingers crossed. We live in Taupo.
    I really want to buy your book.
    Kindest regards Carla klein

  5. Thank you for your blog I’m considering trying vitex I have had hormone problems since I started my period and am on a journey to learn about my body. I’ve been married for 8 years and haven’t conceived and have been trying but because I’m having horrible irregular periods I don’t think I’m ovulating. My dr prescribed me progesterone for 10 days which seems to help I don’t think I have pcos my dr just did an ultrasound on my ovaries and said all looks normal so my goal is to get my hormones on track and ovulate get pregnant hopefully without horrible long periods I tend to bleed for a month sometimes if you have any thoughts or recommendations about this I’d be happy to hear thanks again for sharing your wisdom. -Cerissa

  6. Hi :
    I have had fibroids for over a decade and have practised watchful waiting.Upon a recent ultrasound a peritoneal inclusion cyst was discovered in the adnexal region.
    My question is,could this cyst be from the fact I have a contraceptive implant?Im 46 and going through perimenopause however…
    Thank you for reading my comment

  7. Lara, I haven’t read your book, but I’m already on the same page : ) I have also seen a study I believe it was in England on using 50 mg iodine to cause apoptosis in cancer cells of the breast more than likely it was estrogen sensitive breast cancer. I wish more studies would be made on this as a replacement to tomoxifen. I was on it for 2 mths and stopped. I didn’t like what i read and didn’t like the side effects. I’m hoping that the iodine I take will protect me from future breast cancer. It definitely helps the fibrocystic pain. I was on 25 -50mg for several years and for about the last 5 mths reduced to 12 mg. Pain started up again so I’m at about 40 mg now. Would be nice to know that sweet spot. It’s greater than 12 mg for me.

    Kathy Gardner

  8. Good afternoon I have been recently following your blog and just realized you have a book. I tried to purchase the book (Amazon.ca) using your 2 dollar off code and it doesn’t work, is it still valid? I am wanting to get the paperback copy because I am very old school and love to have as a resource to write in or highlight important areas in the book relevant to me and my girls.
    Also do you accept overseas patients – I am in Canada and I notice you received your schooling here – so if you did accept a patient from overseas would it be covered under my insrsnce because you are Canadian graduate – or does your license need to be active in Canada ?
    Also my period stopped a few years ago due to health issues – histamine – low thyroid funcufin etc – I am now 48 and three years no period ,….would it be a bad thing to try and recover it? I have bio identical progesterone cream from my doctor and wondered if I should use it – maybe a low dose ? Thank you

    • Hi Anya, sorry, the code was for the Createspace store which now redirects to Amazon. I have no way to offer a discount code for Amazon.
      And you’re right, I’d need to reactivate my Canadian license to treat patients there. (Which I hope to do in the next few years as I hope to move back there.)
      And as for having periods at 48, do you know your FSH reading? If you’re not menopausal, then yes, you would want to have periods.

  9. Dr. Briden,

    I wanted to thank you for sharing your knowledge through your blog and book. I finally feel like I am getting some answers to questions that my physicians, including several gynecologists, have been unable to answer or have outright dismissed for the last twenty years. Without your book, I wouldn’t have known to ask for specific blood tests that have helped to identify my issues (I literally went into the doctor’s office with your book in hand – and my doctor was reluctant to test for certain hormones until I referenced your book!). If only I had found your book in my 20s!

    Best,
    Shannon

  10. I just read your blog about long term antibiotics and weight gain. My 15 year old daughter went on doxy for acne and gained 11 pounds in a 6 week period. It’s like her body just ballooned out!! She is a ballerina and this change has been absolutely devastating emotionally. We have tried probiotics with little results. Your blog was wonderful to read, but we are desperate for help. What can we do for her? Is this a permanent change that her gut flora will never return to normal? Anything you could advise would be greatly appreciated.

    • Hi Lara, I am reading your blog and first time ever I feel like someone can give me the answer. I am almost 28 and Am suffering from hair loss and acne for 6 or 7 years. It started from day to day and I do not know why. I took some contraceptive pills to prevent the cysts on my ovaries that time, but I think 7 yrs is eough to recover (what’s more I took them just for few months as they did not help). Since then, my hair loss stopped three times. First when I took antibiotics for helicobacter, second when I was pregnant (logically) and last time, again, when I was taking antibiotics. Hair loss stopped, acne diminished… Please, I would be very thankful if you could give me some hint. Thank you in advance. Have a nice day (sorry for my English, Am from Slovakia :))

      • One more thing, seborrheic dermatitis also comes with the problems and this also diminishes when taking antibiotics….

  11. I’m reading your book and now your blog. This is the first I’ve encountered anything that makes sense in relation to my health problems. I’m pretty much at my wits end. I wish I could come to your office for a consultation but I live in the US. Can you please recommend a Naturopath Dr. near me from your network? I’m willing to drive over an hour if need be. My US zip code is 44413. Thank you for publishing the Period Repair Manual. It has been a great help to me. I just need more help!

  12. Hi Lara, I have been reading a lot of your blog and would love to have the chance to reach out to you. I lost my period 2 years ago after a body building bikini comp and have never got it bacj except for once when I did the hcg diet (have you heard of hcg diet? What are your thoughts?)
    I have restricted major carb sources and calories (around 1500) for a long time and over the past 2 months have increased carbs and calories to see if it would make a difference. I haven’t seen any change except weight gain and i dont know whether to stick it out or try something different. Just a week ago i was diagnosed with pcos ( lots of ovarian cysts and amenorreha) and now im wondering if I have insulin resistance or not and whether the increase in carbs is good (for a period) or bad if im resistant.

    Sorry for the long post im so stuck at what to do. My partner is about to do a round of hcg and i said i would do it with him to support him -do you think this will make anything worse or not really affect me if i go straight back to normal eating habits afterwards?

    Thanks so much in advance for reading!
    Emily

  13. Hi Lara, I’ve been following you silently for a while now and was wondering if you could help me please. I get hormonal breakouts next to the corners of my mouth without fail a week before my period and they last for about 2-3 weeks, which means just as they disappear, they come back again on the other side in time for my next period! I get about 2-4 deep under the skin spots that rarely come to a head. Can you please shed any light on how to overcome this? I’m not on any birth control pill (never have been and never will be), I have coeliacs disease, and am also lactose intolerant. My diet is very very healthy with lots of vegetables and fruit, lean white meat, and whatever sweet things I eat is what I make at home with coconut sugar or raw sugar. I’m at a loss and these breakouts not only hurt my face and stop me from yawning fully, but they scar as well. Looking forward to hearing from you 🙂

  14. Hi Lara,
    Your blog is awesome! I have found more common sense from reading it than from visiting with my doctor. I will definitely buy your book as well! I hope you read my comment and provide some guidance. I am 34 yrs old, have a 2 and 7 yr old children. I was on Mirena for 3 yrs prior to having my second child. After that I went on paragard IUD. I have had hair under my chin since I was around 23 yrs old and thought it must be normal for some women to have. I never had acne problems until my early 20’s as well but my acne was always cystic and under my jawline. Here the last two or three months, I have been experiencing vaginal dryness every month, dry eyes, mood swings, and my hair is very dry. I went to the Dr. and she ran some tests and it turns out my testosterone is 106 ng/dL and my estrogen is 15 pg/mL. I was put on the Pill (Trinessa) and Spirinolactone. I am reluctant to take them because I feel like this is just a patch and I’m not fixing the root of the problem. My periods have always been regular around 33 days apart but here lately have been more like 35-40 days apart. Please shed some light. Thank you in advance.

  15. Hi Laura,
    I am 30, vegan and weigh 116 pounds, I thoiught i was healthy, have regular cycles (except for the month of June) had a baby 11 moths ago and I was just told i have two small fibroids, a small cyst in my left ovaries and a possible small polyp in my uterus. Last month I had (for the first time) a period that lasted 4 weeks, my uterine lining is at 20mm & my testosterone came back slightly higher than normal. My MD said that i most likely have PCOS. My bloodwork, thyroid, etc. came back normal (except for slightly high testosterone).

    I am so scared and am hesitant to use an IUD as i have never taken birth control in my life. Is there any advice you could offer me. My main goal is to stay healthy for my son and i have read terrible things online regarding my symptoms.

    • A uterine lining like that means you hadn’t ovulated in a while. If you can start to ovulate and make progesterone, then you should be fine. One thing to consider is ZINC. It is a key nutrient for ovulation and almost impossible to obtain from a vegan diet. Please read 7 Ways Zinc Rescues Hormones

  16. Hi Lara!
    I bought your book and I was wondering how you recommend taking Peony and Licorice. I live in France and there are no women natural health specialists.
    Thank you
    Cecile

  17. Hi Lara, I’ve been diagnosed with pcos. Dr wants to put me on metformin but I haven’t started as yet.. I suffer from really light periods (1 day period of bleeding). Occur every 26 days. My dr can’t tell me why.

    • Do you ovulate? If not, do you know why not? Please consider reading my book Period Repair Manual (if you haven’t already)

  18. Hi Lara,
    I read your article on Insulin Sensitivity and found very interesting and relevant. I could relate it to my life style and changes happened. I thank you for such a beautiful research and guidance article you have give to us. I will definitely share this one with my known ones. God bless you.

  19. Dr Briden,I feel terrible!!Irritable,unable to deal with stress,angry,tired and unwell.I hope to dear God what I read in your blog today helps and heals me.God bless you.

  20. Hi Dr. Briden, I just found your blog it’s fantastic! I have a complicated “hormonal” history. I have a benign pituitary tumor (prolactin secreting which causes low estrogen), short literal phase (10 days) endometriosis, history of infertility and recurrent miscarriages (6), interstitial cystitis, menstrual migraines (with ovulation and menses) and now a thyroid gland that is double in size what it should be (borderline hyperthyroid but “normal”). Other than these issues which *all* seem related to hormones I am super healthy. But these all take a major toll especially the IC. I’m sure there are dots to connect but my doctors just don’t see the correlation. Any ideas of where I should start? None of these are new issues but I’m 41 and wanting to go a more natural route. My dr is suggesting anti seizure meds as a preventative for migraines that are clearly hormonal. I had to put my foot down at that. I would appreciate any feedback you have. Thank you! Your blog is just amazing.

  21. So what do you suggest a woman do when she took testosterone for 8 years and has had a total hysterectomy? I suffer with hair loss on my head yet hirsutism on my face, daily growth. I’m so tired of shaving it. It do matter what method to shave I use I will get breakouts from it

  22. Hi Lara, I have recently purchased your book “Period Repair Manual” and have few follow-up questions. Can you pls. share your email address?

  23. Just read your article on antibiotics and weight gain. I have Chronic Lyme Disease and have been on antibiotics for a year and a half. The last couple of months I have noticed a weight gain. Never have been over weight and am hating it. Take really good probiotics, eat well and exercise as much as my Lymes allows. ‘Please’ tell me there is more that I can do!

    • I wish I had a simple answer. My experience is that long-term antibiotic use causes weight gain. I help my patients to avoid antibiotics as much as is possible, but I understand that sometimes they’re required.

  24. Hi Dr. Lara,

    I learn so much from reading your blog, thank you! I hope you consider writing another article on hair loss, or share stories of women you’ve worked with who have overcome hormonal related hair loss/thinning by naturally supporting the body with diet and supplements.

    I have been suffering from hair loss and texture changes for the past 14 months since I stopped birth control, and probably a few months before that (my hair seemed to have miniaturized a bit while on the pill, but I only noticed in retrospect.)

    My post-Pill sebum overdrive has finally stopped for the most part, but I am still struggling with thinness and brittle, lackluster strands. I’ve been using an anti-androgenetic scalp treatment for 5 months, and I have been supplementing with the advice of my naturopath for almost 3 months–zinc, copper, B12, thyroid support, and iron bis. No improvements in texture of fullness whatsoever.

    I get regular, painless periods, and eat a healthier diet than I ever have. (low on sugar and dairy, high in protein and veggies and grains).

    Do you think my hair is a hopeless case? I’ve been treating it in different ways for 6+ months, and it has hardly changed at all.

    • when it comes to hair, 6 months isn’t very long. And you won’t have yet had a chance to see the results from the 3 months of treatment from your naturopath. I would give it a bit longer before changing treatment.

      Yes, I’ll think about writing another hair loss post.

  25. Hi Lara,
    Love the information on your website! Some backstory, I’m 54 severely allergic to grass and live in a hay meadow. I get weekly allergy injections that have given a bit of relief. 20 months ago I was accidentally overdosed with 10x what I should have gotten. I immediately went into anaphylaxis and was administered epinephrine and a large dose of solumedrol. I also had a delayed reaction 24 hours later and was administered the same drugs again along with a med dose pack of cortisone. I had not had a period in over a year, after this experience I bled for 18 months straight. Fell into complete fatigue and depression. ( at 49 I was put on the vivelle dot with very little intermittent progesterone). Fully frustrated I finally found a bioidentical hormone Dr. That gave me testosterone pellets with estrogen and 400 mg of progesterone. I’m also hypothyroid and on synthroid and naturethroid. I’m finally feeling much better. I’m due for my fourth round of pellets tomorrow but I’m very concerned with the hair loss that has come on in the last 4 months. Don’t know what is the lesser of two evils. Any thoughts. Thank you for your time.

  26. Hi! I am 10 months post partum and really feeling off. I went to a licensed acupuncturist that also did applied kinesiology on me. She confirmed what I suspected, that progesterone hormone is way off. She also said that my body responds very well to estrogen (I am not sure what that means) and that I have plenty of estrogen. I am gaining weight even while being very careful about my diet and exercise. I also feel foggy sometimes and just really out of it. My periods are around 40 days apart. She told me to take Vitex. I am trying to do a little more research before jumping into taking a new supplement. I have always suffered from pretty intense PMS and after both pregnancies have had a really hard time getting back to feeling normal. Do you have any advice regarding taking Vitex to start? Or should I start with Zinc? Any help is so appreciated. I am grateful to have landed on your website in my search!

  27. Hi Lara,

    My name is Mariana I am 27 years old and was diagnosed with PCOS since my first irregular period when I was 16. I took birth control pills for about 7 years and came off the pill about 5 years ago. I had a miscarriage in June 2016 and I just started trying again in January 2017. I started charting for the first time in January but my bbt charts show regular temperatures. i think i have low progesterone but I am not sure since I cant really understand my own temperatures. My cycles are usually 36 long days and I tested on day 23 of my cycle for progesterone and it came 5.69 ng/mL. I am thinking on going back on day 28 to test again since thats what I read on your progesterone post. Is there someone you recommend in San Diego California to help me get pregnant. I am going crazy thinking i will have a miscarriage again and not know what is happening.

    Thanks alot for helping us! I loved your blog!!

  28. Hi Lara- I am 41 and for the last few years have I have spotting for about 5-7 days, then bleed for about 5 days followed by another 2 days of spotting. I go about 2 weeks and then the whole process starts again. I have had ultrasounds, and a uterine biopsy which were all negate with the exception of a small uterine fibroid. My doctor has recommended birth control pills but I don’t wan to take them because of a prior history of migraines. She also suggested a uterine ablation which I don’t want either. Instead I decided to just deal with the nuisance and consider this “normal” for me. I don’t have any other health problems other than a under active thyroid. But lately I was wondering if there are negative health effects of this type of frequent and prolonged cycle. I was researching whether the problem could be low progesterone have been thinking this problem could be related to low progesterone and was wondering if progesterone supplementation is worth a shot. Any thoughts you have would be appreciated!

    • Under-active thyroid is a common reason for the spotting you describe. In fact, I describe a patient story quite similar in my book (Rachel on page 79). The best treatment is probably to optimise your thyroid treatment.

  29. Hi Lara
    I would like to speak to you regarding my 17 year old daughter could I call you sometime and if so what is your phone number, do you live in Christchurch or Sydney.
    Many thanks
    Lauren

  30. Hi Lara, I was recently diagnosed with PCOS and came across your website while doing some research on natural remedies for PCOS and irregular menstruation. I was really excited to read that you completed your education in Toronto and specialize in dealing with patients with PCOS. I realized later on however that you are currently practicing in New Zealand. I am actually looking for a naturopath such as you in the Toronto and Greater Toronto Area. If there is anyone you can recommend please let me know.

  31. Lara, I have your e-book and, as a result of recent blood tests, believe I have post pill PCOS. I’m curious as to if there is a certain brand of peony and licorice you may recommend? Thanks and I love your book! P.S. I’m New Zealand born but Canada is my home 🙂

    • Down her in Australia and New Zealand, we have a peony and licorice tablet called “T-clear”. I haven’t yet been able to find something similar in North America. Are you in Toronto, by any chance? You could see Dr Fiona McCulloch who is there.

  32. I am either in menopause or post menopausal. I have struggled with adrenal fatigue from stress, recently started taking bio identical estrogen & progesterone. I have gained 30 lbs in the last 3 years and I’m pretty sure I have insulin resistance.
    Have you ever written about what to do about hormones in menopause? Can you recommend where to find correct information on hormones at my age?

  33. I need so much help I haven’t had a period since April.. I was once diagnosed with pcos. Then another doctor said I didn’t have it. Recently diagnosed again with pcos I stopped birth control a yr ago because my period had completely stopped while on it.. now I want to conceive and can’t. Please help me..

  34. Hi!

    I am 33 and 2 years ago have been diagnosed with both PCOS and primary Sjögren Syndrome. I can´t help but thinking there must be a connection. I was considering trying Vitex and DIM. Have you had any experience of patients with both PCOS and another autoimmune disease like mine (meaning Sjögren/SLE or RA)?

    All the best,
    Aelxandra

  35. I am a 71 year old very healthy active woman! I dance 4 to 6 hours a week but I have pelvic floor problems and was advised by well known endocrinologist and infertility expert to take estrogen! I love the way it makes me feel alive and even more energetic and sexual but it bothers my stomach and gives me palpitations! I am afraid of a heart strack or stroke! But I am so dry vaginally it is horrible! Can u help me?

    • Are you taking a vaginal bioidentical estradiol? (Vagifem) That’s the best way to take estrogen, and it shouldn’t cause side effects. If it does, it might mean you need a lower dose. Please speak to your doctor.

  36. my wife she does not ovulate any more that’s why she never fell pregnancy
    what type of tablet should she need to ovulate so that she can get pregnancy?

    • Autoimmunity is one theory of endometriosis, but it is controversial. There was a 2013 review paper of 137 research papers: “Is there an association between autoimmunity and endometriosis?”

      It concluded:
      – Endometriosis fulfills most of the classification criteria of autoimmune disease.
      – Autoantibodies are present including antiendometrial antibodies.
      – Evidence supports the concept that endometriosis is a multiple antibody autoimmune condition.
      – The potential use of immunomodulators should be further investigated.

      I have the entire paper if you want it.

  37. Hi there, Dr. Briden. I think it’s my outdated computer, but when I click on your email icon, I cannot access an email address for you. I’d love to reach out to ask you some questions. I’m very happy to pay you via Paypal to establish a doctor/patient correspondence. I have my blood test results and am charting my cycles and have just been prescribed progesterone by an MD, but I’m interested in other alternatives. . . .Thank you for your reply!

  38. Hi Lara,

    Thank you for amazing blog. I am 60 years old with diabetese. No other health issues.
    I went through menapose with no symptoms at all. I am currently taking Metformin 1000mg a day and my sugar is NOT under control. In the past I took insulin shots which was making me gain wight like crazy and the insulin did not help at all, It made me more resistance and I needed to take more and more of it so I stopped it. I am on Keto diet no sugar no grains and no starches I exercise twice a week, cardio and wight training. Do you have any thought of how can I help myself? Thanks a million. mar

  39. Hi Lara,
    This blog is really helping me to understand my hormones and body much better. I am from India and will be definitely getting my hands on your book asap. Where can I private message you and is there any way to consult you? Really looking forward for help to control my symptoms. Thank you!

  40. Hi Lara,
    My beautiful 18 year old has just had a blood test and ultrasound for the detection of PCOS. Her symptoms are painful irregular periods, weight gain and hair growth on her midline, upper lip and abdomen. What questions should I be asking the doctor before accepting any diagnosis and treatment?

  41. Hi Lara, great blog with a ton of information. I have a query where I cannot seem to find a proper answer anywhere.
    I live in South Africa, I’m a 44 year old female. I use the Mirena IUD (on my 3rd one) and up till now I’ve been problem free. I can only imagine that my hormones are shifting a bit with age as I just don’t always feel like me. After reading up on estrogen dominance and balancing estrogen, I started taking Metagenics Estrofactors. Although I’m not in menopause and don’t really have many physical symptoms, this product makes me feel really really good. I have tons of energy and my mood is great. HOWEVER, I cannot seem to shake this worry that this product might interfere with my Mirena. Although unlikely, I really cannot think of anything worse than an unplanned pregnancy at the age of 44. Please can you give me your thoughts on whether Estrofactors can interfere with the Mirena?

  42. Hi Lara,
    I love your blog it has been an eye opener for me. I came across your blog searching for ways to deals with PMS/cramps and I was researching vitex. I’ve been off of my bc pills for a year due to feeling ill. (Hot flashes and pain in stomach/lower back) I never really like the pills but thought it was my only option after taking with my doctor since I’ve suffered from having two ovarian cyst. However I know my hormones are out of whack . I have adult acne which I never had ance before, painful periods, low sex drive, and irregular periods. When I push for my doctor to test my hormone levels she has told me I’m too young at the time. I thought of buying hormone testing saliva. What are your thoughts? I wish I could find Naturopathic doctor like you in the U.S. that focuses on woman/ homone health. Any suggestions for me to search for a doctor in the States that focus on hormones?

  43. Hello Lara,
    My name is Eleni and I live in Greece. I am 46 and suffer with heavy periods due to fibroids. I had a D&C and a hysteroscopic myomectomy. I am looking for some natural treatment or what to eat in order to help get rid of my problem. If you can offer any advice it is more than welcome!! I was also given DIM and vital but I changed my doctor and the new DR is not in favour of herbs and vitamins. However I will anything naturally to avoid having a hysterectomy in the near future!!
    Please let me know if you have any help.
    Thank you very much!!

    Eleni

  44. i am 62 and value your input to issues in that age group but also have a 30 y/o with significant menstrual dysfunction and welcome all related information regarding her issues also. We have both read and re-read your book!! Most sensible, honest and intellectual information we’ve ever read! We greatly value your holistic approach. Bless you and thank you for all of your work and research!

    • Thanks for your feedback Diane. Post-menopause is quite a different situation, and yes, I do need to blog about that soon!

  45. Hello Lara, I follow your blog with great interest and was wondering if you have any plans to practise from a Christchurch-based clinic?

  46. I’m looking for information on premature ovarian insufficiency, or premature menopause. My doctor has put me on hormone replacement therapy to give me hormones. I was still having a period but getting hot flashes. I’d love to talk further about this

    • I’d love some info on this too! I have searched all over the Web and there is not much info on it and certainly not anything natural.

    • Are you still having a real period? As in, after ovulation? Or is it a withdrawal bleed from the HRT?
      Generally, the best strategy for premature ovarian failure is to use bioidentical estradiol and progesterone.

  47. I had a bilateral mastectomy following oestrogen positive breast cancer,no other treatment except naturopathic and tamoxifen for two years ‘something’ now seems to have given me uterine hyperplasia! Whilst not cancerous at the moment it’s the type that could change .the gynecologist wants to put me on three months of strong progesterone.reading the horrendous side effects including don’t take with breast cancer I have decided not to take it ,nor the tamoxifen.I am taking liquid agnus castus instead ,with increased vit e,b6 and progesterone cream to try to redress the balance ,any advice please ?

  48. I feel relief that there is someone that really understands PCOS however I am not sure what category I fall into and would love to seek treatment with you. my periods are like clockwork to the hour but I am polycystic 25 right, 22 left, and I shed my uterine wall/cast in one go every month. I think its called a decidual cast, it is beyond painful. Is this covered in your book? I am an ectomorph body type and most specialists cannot advise what the issue is…there have been many! I also have melasma. I’ve had high prolactin, low vitamin D. wondering if you could offer some advice or a Skype consult. thank you!

    • Polycystic ovaries are not enough to diagnosis PCOS. With your elevated prolactin, I might be looking at other possibilities.
      And no, I don’t discuss uterine cast in my book. It’s unusual to have it happen every month.
      I might be able to offer a Skype consult. Please send me a private message.

  49. Hi Lara, I am interested in your thoughts on Premature Ovarian Failure or Early Menopause. I am 26 and have been diagnosed and could have had this even as early as 13 years old. I have been through medical treatment for Crohns Disease and am interested in what your thinking is for treatment. I started bc as a hormone replacement as my doctor says I need it to not get hot flashes and osteoporosis.

  50. You are AMAZING Lara! I have been looking to find someone with this kind of information for years and years and wish I’d known about your blog sooner! I am about to end the very long term relationship I’ve had with the contraceptive pill for reasons I’d always suspected until now I know are true. I believe my mental health and physical well-being may have been compromised my entire adult life by the pill. I’m going to try the hormonal iud because as a teenager I had very heavy bleeds and I worry going off completely could bring that back and also my husband and I have not used condoms in years, we never liked them and I don’t trust my checking body temperature for contraceptive! Thank you for helping me in my decision, I hope it suits me otherwise I’ll be back reading your blog for another option…maybe the copper one although that did always concern me about copper levels.

    Sincerely,
    Bx

  51. Do you think that having high testosterone will protect someone from bone loss if they have high cortisol also? Thank you.

    • Great question. Unfortunately, testosterone doesn’t seem to be that protective. According to a fairly new 2014 study (Bone mineral density in women with polycystic ovary syndrome), PCOS-sufferers have worse bone mineral density than women with normal menstruation cycles. They think that it’s progesterone of a normal menstrual cycle that mostly benefits bone. But PCOS-sufferers do have better bones than women with hypothalamic amenorrhea.

  52. Hi dr I recently after suffering bad acne and excess hair on my face went to my doctor for him to tell me I have higher androgens.. He seemed unsure about treatments so on not sure if this is because he is male? Anyway I dont feel to confident with him he has given me dianette pill, Im a young girl this is really distressing and people dont seem to take it seriously. Can you suggest anything to help ? Can this problem go away on its own or will I always be like this? And do you think the pill he has given me should work? Panicking here!! Thankyou

  53. Hello,
    I have always had some form of irregular periods and tried to conceive for a year before I fell pregnant. I had a healthy pregnancy and gave birth to a beautiful little boy. After him for about 9 months I had a normal calculating period and then fell pregnant again. This pregnancy was healthy. Was borderline diabetic and got puppp, but ended up delivering anot her beautiful baby boy.
    My husband and I decided for me to have a tubal ligation 4 weeks after my second. They used fallope rings..around 2012 I was diagnosed with pcos, because I went to the doctor for irregular periods. I’ve been trying to better myself he put me on the pill. I decided I didn’t want to be on it and stopped July 2015. He said as long as I can have a normal period I wouldn’t have to go on it again.
    I cut out a lot of sweets and don’t eat as much, I can’t seem to lose weight. After my second child I never lose any weight from pregnancy. Thenot I gained 14 lbs now I can’t lose anything. I’ve missed November’s period completely and now I missing February’s as well.
    My doctor said there could be a chance of pregnancy and I took a test but it was negative. With this pcos I don’t know if it was too early and I still can be pregnant? I’m so confused! Help me if possible.
    Concerned will self

  54. Hi Lara! I have been reading your blog for a while now and love the advice and openness about birth control pills. I wanted to know your thoughts on androgen deficiency post pill, and even being off it for years. As I understand some pills (esp low dose estrogen/drospirenone) will increase the sex hormone binding globulin and decrease overall free testosterone. In your book do you talk about low labido/energy/muscle tone from this effect, and are there natural remedies and herbs to bring these levels back up safely? Also, this may be a tough topic, but do synthetic estrogens effect other binding proteins (like thyroid and cortisol) and end up changing our thyroid and adrenal functions? I have been struggling to understand these interactions but mostly find a lot of info on androgen excess online. Thank you for any advice or insights!

  55. Hi Lara. I heard you on the Primal Shift podcast and was really interested in your advice and suggestions. I am currently having period problems: pretty much constantly bleeding (average 20 days out of 28) with dry days not necessarily in one block but scattered throughout the month. It has been this way for about four years now and the doctors can’t tell me why. I am only able to control my bleeds by doubling up on hormone contraceptives, so am currently “implanted” and taking an oral contraceptive, which is obviously not good and I would like to stop taking any pills and maybe opt for the coil – but I cannot get that with my current level of bleeding. Do you cover ‘overbleeding’ or menorrhagia in your book at all? I’m desperate to get this sorted before I go away travelling this November. I eliminated sugar and grains last year but after listening to you on the Primal Shift, it sounds like I may have to also avoid dairy too. As a vegetarian I do worry I might find that hard. Is this something I might find answers to in your book or do you think I need to find a natropath / gyneocologist / specialist here in the UK and go see them personally? Thank you for any advice or suggestions.

    • Hi Tami, My book would be a good starting place to help you make a plan. But first of all, please understand that as you are on hormonal birth control, you are not actually having real periods. You’re having breakthrough bleeding on hormonal birth control. When was the last time you had real cycles or periods? What were they like? Please send me a private message.

  56. Hello, wondering if someone can help me. I have been diagnosed with PCOS for almost 10 years now. I was diagnosed by ultrasound (shock horror) but my
    Hormone tests have always been ok….apart from once it showed slightly elevated prolactin.
    I am not overweight (high end of normal weight range) but I have very long cycles (60-120 days). My periods did become normal for about 4 months after having my son last year but they quickly went back to their old ways.
    Please can someone advise? My doctor just looked at me like I was crazy when I suggested that the pill wasn’t the best way to treat this! I haven’t been on the pill since I was 16, I refuse.

    • Hi Caley, Clearly something is not right if your cycles are that long. If you don’t have elevated androgens, then it may not be PCOS. Has your thyroid been checked?

      I encourage you to read my book Period Repair Manual to consider all the different possibilities of why you are not ovulating.

  57. Lara, I am a 18 year old high schooler. A few years ago my doctor diagnosed me with pcos by testing my blood and finding that I have high testosterone and low insulin. Since then I have had very little treatment and I am tired of being overweight. I was wondering if you could help me with finding a health care provide that could help me with this problem. Thank you for your posts, Keddy Kemple

  58. I have been on Lutera for a few years and eventually got hair loss and thinning on the crown of my head. I have a small bald spot but didn’t know I have had this for a year! Will my hair ever grow back? Is this forever? I am 39 and got biotin shampoo and conditioner and toppik color spray that covers my bald spot. I stopped taking Lutera in late September. Help!

  59. I have recently stopped taking Birth Control and am now experiencing terrible hair loss! I am wondering what natural things I can do to help with this? I have had blood work and everything is normal! Would love to hear what you think could help with this!

    Thanks,

    Jerica

    • Any kind of sudden hormonal change can cause temporary hair loss. If that’s the only cause, then it should return to normal on its own. But you want to make sure you have adequate iron, thyroid hormone, estrogen and progesterone. Please see my latest hair loss post: 9 Things to Know About Female Hair Loss.

  60. Hi Lara, hope you can help…

    I wanted to use AC for my PMS symptoms.

    So I took it for 14 days starting from day 1 of my cycle as I’m always regular on a 28 day.

    I’m now 4 days late on my period but wit a negative pregnanct test. Today is day 32.

    Could I still be pregnant 🙂

  61. I have been advised to use maca for my PCOS hormone regulation, but I have read a couple of studies where it increased serum testosterone. Any advice on that?

  62. Hi Lara,

    I came across your articles on female hair loss due to the birth control pills. I just stopped taking the pill six weeks ago after being on Microgynon 30 on and off for over three years. I have noticed that my hair has become extremely thin on top of my scalp in the last few weeks, so much so that it’s obvious I’ve lost hair when my hair is wet. Is the hair loss permanent? Will it fully recover in time?

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    Ashton

  63. How excited that I found this blog!! I have learned so much! I have even ordered your book….can’t wait to start reading. However, until that comes just wondering your thoughts on DIM. I have been suffering from to much estrogen (anxiety, breast tenderness, heavy bleeding bad cramps, and ovulation spotting). I starting taking DIM almost two years ago, and my symptoms have lessoned but still are there. Have I taken DIM too long? shoukd I take a break and try something else? Any thoughts would be welcomed.
    Thank you so much for you knowledge!!!
    Rose

    • Yes, I discuss DIM in my book. As far as I know, long term use of DIM is okay. That said, I find that most of my patients do not need it long term, because their estrogen excess improves with diet changes and other supplements.

      • Thank you so much for your reply! I have been reading your book and boy there is a lot of info to process, I think I have to read it again! I have been doing some things right like exercise and eating healthy and cutting back on dairy, wheat and sugar…but can do better. That being said I learned that DIM is good for heavy periods (Which I have), but do you think it would be a good idea to add Vitex to the mix to help with PMS symptoms. Or do you think that cutting out dairy would be a good first try? I do suffer from bad headaches just before my period (not migraines though) breast tenderness and mood swings and was thinking vitex would help? I know you mentioned in your book that iodine/selenium helps with breast tenderness, but I am taking 75 mcg of iodine and 125 mcg of selenium. Maybe I should increase my iodine and skip the vitex? I am 41 and I think I’m in peri-menopause (or that’s what my doctor tells me!)Thanks again for all your knowledge! It’s been very helpful….more then the doctors I’ve been to! Their answer is always birth control! UGH!

        • Reducing normal cow dairy would be a good start, and don’t forget about the “magic mineral for periods” (as I discuss in my book). Hands down, magnesium is my favourite supplement for PMS generally, and for premenstrual headaches in particular. You may also want to consider low dose natural progesterone (best to to speak to your practitioner about that).

  64. Hi Lara, I am very interested in purchasing your book on fixing menstrual issues but before I do I’d like to know if you specifically addressed my issue in it. I was on BC for 10 years but stopped 4 years ago and have been trying to conceive for over 2 years. My cycle is very short now; 23 days with only 1 day of moderate/mild bleed and very early ovulation confirmed on day 9. My hormones have been tested and estrogen is on the low side (scanty menses) but other hormones are low/normal with no other apparent issues. Please tell me if Vitex can assist in balancing out my hormones as I’ve read that it usually helps the luteal phase and nothing is ever mentioned about it helping/lengthening follicular phase and estrogen production.
    I really appreciate your help!

      • Hi. I’m 37. FSH is 4.6. It was confirmed by a RE that when I ovulate on day 9 my egg is immature and lining is thin.

        • Hi Trish, Was that FSH is 4.6 on day 2 of your cycle? If so, then you’re in good shape, and I might not read too much into a short follicular phase. I’ve seen plenty of women become pregnant with a follicular phase that short.
          That said, there are ways to improve egg quality and to boost estrogen. I wouldn’t say that Vitex is one of them. My first thoughts: Look for any causes of estrogen deficiency such as soy or vegetarian diet. Get tested for gluten antibodies as gluten is a common cause of estrogen deficiency.
          Please also see my latest blog post: The Ups and Downs of Estrogen. Part 1: Estrogen Deficiency.

  65. I have not had those assessed and have an appointment this week so I will bring this up. I do yoga and we do exercises for adrenals and pituitary (I am always massaging my big toe which supposedly stimulates the pineal gland.) Will read up on DHEA etc. Thanks for taking the time to reply.

  66. I read your article on sleep disruption due to hormone imbalance. I am trying to balance my hormones with the help of my doctor using bio identical hormones. My question to you is, why do I get terrible insomnia from using progesterone in all forms, including sublingual lozenges, when it is supposed to be calming? I am at my wits end trying to figure this out. Is it possible that it causes this in the beginning but then settles down once my body gets used to it? I have fibromyalgia, so getting sleep is critical for me to manage this condition. Thank you! Jane

    • Generally progesterone is calming, but at high dose progesterone does convert to cortisol and testosterone (which are stimulating). You could talk to you doctor about trying a lower dose.

      • Thank you for your reply Lara. I am only taking 1/4 of a 100 mg lozenge, so don’t know how I can go any lower than that? Would taking Vitex/chaste tree be a better option for me then?

        • It’s unusual for 25 mg progesterone to be stimulating. Are there any other hormones in the lozenge? Also, you might want to think about what extra ingredients are in the lozenge–like aspartame. It can cause anxiety. But I think you said you’ve also tried progesterone in a cream (transdermal) form?

          • Yes I have tried the cream and prometrium and both caused me to not sleep at all. Not sure how I am supposed to get my progesterone levels up (recent blood tests show they are low), when I keep having this side effect. Is it possible this is due to the progesterone initially exciting my estrogen receptors, in which case, this effect should go away with use? If I am indeed converting all of the progesterone into cortisol, then is there really any point in my continuing to take progesterone? Finally, would taking estrogen with this help at all? I am low in that too. Thanks Lara.

          • If you are post-menopausal, then Yes, you may also need estradiol, which can be extremely helpful for sleep (I discuss in my estrogen post). However, doesn’t explain why you had paradoxical reaction to progesterone.

  67. Hi im just wondering if u could help me i have had 4 children and got a condition called melasma of have battled it for years now tried everything its so depressing please if u could no how to help.

  68. I really appreciate your scientific approach and clear explanations. I am a perimenoapsual 52yo in pretty excellent health. I have a symptom, though, that four different doctors, including a naturopath, cannot seem to help me with. I feel wired all the time, like I’ve had several cups of coffee, especially late in the day. I am taking 200 mg of bioidentical progestrone at night which helps me sleep, along with magnesium (a really wonderful thing magnesium). In the morning I take kelp for iodine (low thyroid) and B12 sublingually. My newest doctor wants to add estradiol into the mix and started me on very low dose even though I am having regular periods while taking the progestrone every day.

    But none of this seems to help the wired feeling. Do you have any thoughts? I have several excellent books about perimenopause but I cannot seem to find this symptom mentioned anywhere.

    • Have your doctors assessed your cortisol rhythm or levels of DHEA (adrenal hormones)? Menopause puts a strain on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (or HPA axis), and many women benefit herbs and supplements and lifestyle to support HPA health.

  69. Hello, does your book help with Congenital Adrenal Dystrophy (non classic) as well as PCOS? I have the latter, my daughter the former. Thank you, Yvie Wagner-in Doha Qatar

    • Hi Yvie, Do you mean congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH)? I did not include that in the book, but I hope to write a blog post about it sometime soon.

  70. Hi Lara, your output on PCOS is by far the most detailed and knowledgeable I ve come across, ever. Thank you!
    I am getting desperate because I ve tried everything to smooth out PCOS, with no success whatsoever -four years now, no problems during teen age.
    I have had gluten lactose and sugar intolerance removed with the Naet method, but have not reintroduced them in my diet (been off them for 2 years now). I exercise regularly, eat most of my food organic fresh and balanced (I m kind of a nutrition freak), took vitex for 3 months. I m so desperate to clear my skin and stop the hear shedding that i m considering getting on the pill, although i know deep down it s not the answer. Could you please help?

    • I m based in Europe so I cant come to your practice, otherwise I d have booked already an appointment!! Many thanks for your help

      • I can now offer phone/Skype consults to people in Europe and Australia (not USA or Canada)

    • Is it possible that you’re too strict with your diet? For example, do you eat enough starch, fat, and protein?

  71. Please Please help me. I am a 47 year old woman. I have had an ablation in the past but my doctor thought my progesterone was to low so she put me on 200 mg prometrium. I started experiencing tremendous hair loss that I attributed to the stress in my life. I have been through physical and mental abuse ending in divorce in the last three years and I attributed my hair loss was due to that. I clearly don’t think that anymore. I have lost 75% of my hair and it’s not stopping. I am trying to get into a specialized doctor but can’t get any referral’s because the doctor’s think it’s stress. I cry myself to sleep at times and I’m tempted to shave my head because I feel like I’m sick. Please help me

    Sue

  72. Hi Lara, I am thrilled to have come across your website! I love everything I am reading here! My daughter was recently diagnosed with PCOS (ultrasound and blood test). She has suffered with depression, lack of period 9 mos +, anxiety, inability to sleep, always cold, hair loss, insulin resistance and a very high stress level (nursing school and driven to keep a 4.0 plus some other things that have added stress to her life). I believe her onset is from insulin resistance as well as stress. Her doctor recommended BC, but with our hesitance she suggested we might consider a form of progesterone. With all that I have read, it seems that taking progesterone in either cream or pill form and following a sugar free, dairy free, gluten free, low carb diet is what will help turn her around. We also are considering taking the drug Metformin to help with the insulin resistance. Do you have an opinion on combining Metformin and Progesterone? Also which form of progesterone is best? My daughter is 18 soon to be 19 and is taking a year out of school to get a handle on her health. I want so much to help her and get her to a point where she is healthy and happy again and able to return to nursing school and be able to cope with the stress,. I could really use some advise. Thank you!

  73. Is there a doctor that shares your philosophy in the United states? I’m not getting much cooperation for my gynecologist and I’m extremely frustrated. I don’t feel that my PCOS has to be a lifetime sentence of birth control pills.

  74. Hi. I went off of birth control after 13 years to have a baby. Three months later my hair was falling out at a pace of a out 400-500 a day (yes, I counted). I have fine hair to begin with so this was a huge loss. I got pregnant in May 2014 after about 3 months of shedding and 6 months off the pill. My hair grew back while I was pregnant, of course. I’m 4 months postpartum and have been shedding for the last month. It’s getting increasingly worse each day. I’m taking a hair, skin and nail supplement and got back on birth control hoping it would help and realizing I could be a slave to the pill forever. I’m currently having one of the worst yeast infections of my life and I’ve always had recurrent ones (more than 4 a year). My question is, could the bc play a role in these recurrent infections? I’m scared to get off the pill again because I have yet to read a story about anyone who regained hair growth after experiencing loss due to getting off bc. My dermatologist refused to believe there was a connection with hair loss and bc and chalked it up to genetics and prescribed rogain. There is no history of female hair loss in my family. I did not use the rogain. Is there any other type of doctor you would recommend?

    • She talks about this a lot in her book. I highly recommend it! Its very educational and gives many tips and supplements that can help as well as basic timelines.

    • Hi Stephanie, first the easy questions: Yes, the pill causes yeast infections.
      Now, as to hair loss when coming of the Pill: Yes, it’s tricky to get through, but I do find that long term recovery is possible for most people (as long as you start to ovulate and have regular periods). See my post: 9 Things to Know About Female Hair Loss.

  75. Came across your blog by accident! You are helping so many but your theory of retrograde menstruation has been disproven time and time again so I’m told by physicians and experts in the field. As you can imagine I’m more than a bit confused. I instinctively have known that dairy bothers me for some time so I have been gradually weaning. Sounds like the next step is to eliminate gluten. I’m in the states and although there are no excision specialists currently in CN I think your integrative approach is refreshing and long overdue here. Would you be willing to travel to DC to speak at the Endomarch in 2016? Please consider this an invitation! It’s all volunteer but you certainly can sell books and you would touch so many lives. Please consider it. I’d love to stay in touch! Thank you! Judy

    • Hi Judy, Thank you so much for your comment. I do state in my book that retrograde flow is not likely to be the explanation, and I need to correct that in the post. What is current best theory of the origin of the lesions? That they are laid down during embryologic development?

      Thank you for inviting me to Endomarch 2016. It’s a long way from down under, but I’m pretty tempted to come! I’ll send you an email.

  76. Hi Lara,

    I’ve written to you before. I’ve read your book twice and am taking supplements as you recommended as well as eating healthy and exercising.

    One issue I have that just doesn’t seem to go away is pre-menstral bloating. It’s terrible. It doesn’t hurt, but I look pregnant and I”m not!

    Do you recommend a supplement to help with this? I know you recommend several for PMS in your book, but is there one particular one that specifically targets bloating?

    • Great question Tara. You’re right, I don’t cover that specifically in the book.
      For how many days before your period do you feel distended? Do you also experience general fluid retention, or just abdominal distension? Is it all day? or only after eating? and do you also experience it at other times in your cycle?

  77. Hi Lara, I just stumbled upon ur site when I was googling and i am so glad i did.
    I have had massive problems with my periods ever since I got them however it has been gettin worse over the past few years-to the point where I am having to take days off work because they are so heavy, painful, irregular-lasting for 2 weeks and lots of clotting, non stop vomiting, having to change every hour, weight gain and hair loss.I have been to see doctors and gynos, had scans and tests where they have all told me its normal and to go back on the pill or get an injection to skip my period. I have been on the pill for 5 years previously which i think has made me worse. It is so refreshing to find someone who says to get off the pill and to stay off it. And not use the pill as a band aid.
    I cant wait to read your book. I hope it helps in my journey to recovery and to be ‘normal’ again.

  78. Hi Lara,
    I was just watching a show on TLC and they mentioned the reason she had so much facial hair and weight was PCOS. I was diagnosed with PCOS 3 years ago after stopping the pill and via ultrasound because none of the bloodwork showed anything to be off. I was on the pill for about 7 years straight. Even before I started the pill my period was never regular (one period every 4 months or so). After watching this show I got worried again that if I stop the pill all these negative effects will happen again. I can’t be on the pill for my whole life. Then I read your article. I’ve had Celiac’s disease for over 20 years. My grandmother had it also. Up until the last few years I was pretty rebellious and didn’t want to be the one left out eating what everyone else was and convinced myself the pain and damage wasn’t that bad. I’ve had so many negative health problems over the years and what I like to call my weird freak illnesses ranging from vertigo, to arthritis, to lymes disease like symptoms. I’m really wondering now if everything is linked together and the damage I did when I was younger has contributed greatly to the PCOS and other symptoms. Your information made me almost cry to know maybe I’m not crazy and maybe I won’t have to live my life in fear of many of the problems I’ve had. I do want to get pregnant one day so hearing there may be hope is such a relief. PS I wish I lived in Australia. I’ve had so many doctors here not want to diagnose anything.

    • Hi Kimberley, thanks for sharing your story.
      Yes, celiac disease is a common reason for period irregularity. I actually included a patient story about this in my book Period Repair Manual. Sounds like you are finally strictly off gluten, which is very important, but you may also need to do some “gut repair”. As in: further diet changes and supplements to repair intestinal permeability.

  79. Hi Lara, I had mentioned to you yesterday in a post that I was on 100mg of progesterone to cause a withdrawal bleed. Then the doctor I am working with wants me to do a female hormone panel saliva test. If I am not truly ovulating is this $350 out of pocket test even worth it?
    Ariann

    • I rarely use saliva tests for female hormones because I find that they’re not that useful. (However, I do use saliva tests to test cortisol.) I usually use blood tests to assess ovulation and reasons for anovulation. Possible tests: FSH, LH, androstenedione, thyroid, fasting insulin, and serum progesterone. Progesterone test should be done about one week before your period.

      • I don’t have a period on my own so I’m assuming to wait on the progesterone test and just do the others you mentioned in your post.

        • Your main goal is to figure out why you’re not ovulating, and to correct that. there must be some explanation. You might also want to have a celiac (gluten) screen (blood test), if you haven’t already done that.

  80. I wish I lived near you! I was diagnosed with stage 3 endometriosis about 8 or so years ago from exploratory surgery (they couldn’t remove it all). At the time I was about 27 and had been dealing with the pain for years. I was on and off the pill because of the side effects (migraines, nausea, and weight gain). I’m without insurance and honestly, I’m not sure I want all the medications they would try to put me on. I’ve had two children (while in my 30’s) and gained a good amount of weight with each. I was told I’m in osteopenia and very close to osteoporosis at 37. I’m about to order your book The Period Repair Manual. Hoping to see some change. I’ve began taking calcium and I started running (I can’t tell you how bad it hurts my bones to run) as well as cut out most of my dairy intake. Any other articles, books, or blogs you have written and can suggest?
    Thank you so much!

    • There’s a section about endometriosis in Chapter 9, and those treatments should help the pain. Your osteoporosis is worrying. It can be caused by the endometriosis drug Lupron (which it doesn’t sound like you used…). Your first priority is to figure out why you have osteoporosis. Unexplained osteoporosis can suggest a gluten problem.

      • Hello Lara, Thank you for the reply. I went about 7 years ago to look into the Lupron study but I was kicked out and didn’t ask why, they didn’t tell. I later found out that it was due to low Calcium. I attempted to be part of a study for another drug for endo but was kicked out of that one as well due to low calcium and that is when I found out about the reasons for no qualifying for the last study as well. I did get a bone scan and blood work and they provided me a copy. My Dr was explaining to me that endo is a autoimmune and it can deplete your body of calcium. That was the explanation I received. I can’t wait to get the book and see what other steps I can take to get this under control. Thank you.

  81. I am so sad that you aren’t in Canada still. I have been going to Doctors for three years now and no one has been able to help me with my PCOS. You blog has opened my eyes to a lot of things and hopefully I can find what I need through this website. If you are ever in Winnipeg or Calgary, I’d love to meet you! Going to go buy your book ASAP.

    Thank you for your work.

  82. Hello, HELLO!! Sorry to yell, but I have been reading your posts this morning, starting with the one on the 4 types of PCOS, & I am *really* pleased to ‘meet’ you! I’m also excited to learn you practise in Australia, but rather than give you a blow-by-blow account of my health history in a comment, I am wondering (& crossing my fingers) if you can recommend a naturopath (preferably North America-trained, or additionally medically-qualified) with a similar scope of expertise in Adelaide, South Australia? Although I am tempted to book in to consult with you at your Sydney practice. Do you by any chance offer Skype consultations?

  83. Hi Lara – we’ve also stumbled across your blog today. We’d like to talk to you about OvuSense fertility monitor (off-line) and send you our Clinical Support sheet. OvuSense is an extremely accurate fertility monitor and here in the UK, Europe and USA women with PCOS are finding success with it as we measure ‘core body’ temperature (inside the vagina) with extreme accuracy (not LH or basal body like other methods – which are unreliable for women with PCOS as you probably know). As someone who likes to keep up with science and technology, we thought you might be interested. We will soon be distributing OvuSense in Australia (and Canada) as a regulated, medical device. Can we have a chat? http://www.ovusene.com

  84. Hi Lara, tonight I was on the cusp of making the decision to start retaking the contraceptive pill after being diagnosed with PCOS and experiencing hair loss. I have been off the pill for 12 months after taking it for 12 years! Reading your articles, which are presented in a very informative and easy to digest manner, has given me the strength to trust my body and say NO! to franken-hormones. I sincerely thank you for your dedication to advocating true health. I wish I had information like this 12 years ago. I am greatly looking forward to your book!

  85. Hi Lara, my name is Asanti, i live in melbourne, i’m currently in year 11 about to go to year 12, and i was just wondering what did you study in year 12 as a prerequisite subject to become a naturopathic doctor? this has been my dream since day one and im losing faith fast in whether i can work as a naturopath here or if i should leave my family and move to the states which i really don’t want to do. I don’t know. Oh and i’m currently studying biology, chemistry, methods, enlgish, health and human and text and tradition.

    • Hi Asanti, I studied all the sciences to gain entry into the biology program at university.
      You can train as a Naturopath in Australia, but the Australian training is less extensive than the North American Naturopathic Medicine degree.

  86. Hi Lara,

    Do you have any naturopaths you’d recommend in the Calgary area that have experience treating PCOS? My cousin lives there and would like to go the natural route to treat her PCOS.

    (P.S. stumbled across your blog while looking into berberine treatment for acne – great posts!)

    Thanks,
    Meagan

      • Hi Laura, I’m a pcos sufferer and have been researching my condition for a long time. In the past five years my skin has become oily, Drs have prescribed everything under the sun accutane, antibiotics …which has only made things worse this ended in 2013 since then I’ve been seeimg a natropath to help get my health back. second natropath…has me on polyfem amd other supplements to help liver. Blood tests show everything is normal which is surprising as suffer all the classic pcos symptoms apart low progesterone being thin. Glucose came back as normal. So my question is will these supplements such as polyfem actually clear up my skin?? Or am I just wasting a lot of money? Have u ever seen any case of pcos acne clear up? I also eat healthy, exercise, take omegas, vit b, vit c…I don’t know what else to do. Appreciate your advice..

        • Yes, skin can always be cleared (PCOS or not). Most people need dairy-free sugar-free diet, as well as zinc, berberine, and the supplement DIM. If you haven’t already, please see my acne post.

  87. Dear Lara,

    I feel so blessed to have been a part of your research and work. You stand apart from other health professionals in that you listen and absorb with your eyes, ears and mind; all wide open. ( heart too) Your information is always intelligent, sensible and thoroughly researched. We are all lucky to have your experience and dedication at our disposal. My years of sessions with you have lead me to trust and respect you very much.

    With Much Sincerity, Linda

    • Hi Linda,
      thank you so much for your warm feed-back. You have been a pleasure to work with over the years.
      Lara

  88. Hi Lara

    I stumbled across your website, it is wonderful to say the least… I can relate to many of the articles due to my own health issues and continuous reading to try and solve these the past 20 years.

    I wish your clinic was in Melbourne!

    Best Wishes, Karen

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