Why I am delighted my period is an inconvenience

I have had a rather stressful week in terms of my doctorate. I was dreading all the things I had to get done and all the things I had committed to, one of which was running staff training in a school I do not know to prepare the teachers to deliver the intervention I am testing for my thesis research – eek!

So Monday morning I am up at 6am after a restless night to find I have come on. Not great timing, but two paracetamol and lots of padding later, I am out the door and the week has begun. Roll forward to Thursday night. I can finally breathe out. I survived the week and on the whole everything went to plan. The training was well received and I am confident I have given my research the best start I could. All the other stuff went OK too.

Lying in bed last night – I reflected on how much I now take for granted that my period although an inconvenience, will not interfere with my daily plans. Yet, only a few or so years ago the thought of being able to do all the things I did this week, whilst on a period would have been inconceivable. Some days I was in so much pain I vomited for hours, and you don’t want to know what was going on at the other end. I am not even sure I would be doing this doctorate if it weren’t for Agnus Castus.

So it was timely that I was thinking about how much Agnus Castus has changed my life and how I much I now take this for granted, when this response came into my message box.

I would just like to say how much Vitex Chasteberry (agnus castus) has changed my life. I’m 34 yrs old and a mother of 7 (2 that are bonus children 🙂 ). I’m from the US and just like you mentioned where you live there is no support from OBGYN or doctors concerning PMS or PMDD. Everyone just wants to hand out antidepressants, prescription drugs. I spent many years with my homes in turmoil, bad relationships, divorce. After my 5th child, I had severe postpartum depression and could not hardly work or handle my busy demanding home life. I finally started researching and found help for my anxiety and severe mood swings. After a combination or GABA calm, Magnesium/Calcium, Fish Oil, and Vitex Chasteberry made by “Natural Factors” in Canada. I’m a whole new mom and woman. You do have to be very careful with herbs (as they are very potent) and on the right does and it’s trial and error but, after being on the Chasteberry for 6 months now I have experienced myself with it and without, and when I stop taking it even for a few days the horrible PMS mood swings start again/anxiety etc. It was my hormones all these years.. I can’t believe after all the doctors I sought help with, not one recommended something as cheap and simple as this.

My personal experience was I started on two 80 mg capsules starting out for the first 6 months (1-morning, 1-night), my cramping improved dramatically, bleeding much better, and my PMDD only occurred a day or two before (severe depression, mood swings) I started my cycle and was still so much better than it had been. ( I had results within a few days, a week maybe) I was so much better and happy, the only thing that started to happen was my sex drive was really low and my periods started to act premenopausal. I was kind of emotionally “robotic” I would say. Then dropped back to only 1 chasteberry a day and this corrected this. I believe was taking too high of a dose, for whatever reason I didn’t have enough hormones releasing. I also use essential oils as well, Clary Sage and I believe this helps balance my moods as well. I’m glad you are sharing this message, It changes homes, marriages, our children! This is affected me so much I want to get the word out and help anyone I can. I do believe a person should find a good herbalist or naturalist to begin with that can help find the right combination though.

God Bless!
Jennifer

Thank you Jennifer for sharing your story. And I agree – it is unbelievable that despite the evidence for Agnus Castus and the fact (certainly in the UK) GP’s have been sent guidelines on PMT (from the National Association of Pre-menstrual Syndrome) which clearly states that Agnus Castus should be tried before anti-depressants, this is still not happening and many women are needlessly taking anti-depressants with their well documented side effects.

I guess it is up to us to spread the word. Thanks for reminding me.

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4 thoughts on “Why I am delighted my period is an inconvenience”

  1. Hi,
    I’m not sure this is the right place to comment, but I couldn’t work out how otherwise to message you (techno dinosaur here!).
    I came across your blog the other week whilst researching details about PMS/PMDD and agnus castus.
    I’m 49 years old (50 this year) and until recently have had what I consider a fairly easy ride as far as things go with the monthly cycle. All of a sudden over the last couple of years I’ve come crashing down. Some months are worse than others, but these days, mentally it’s been horrific!. 2 weeks before menstruation the depression kicks in, panic attacks, suicidal thoughts, fear, anxiety, chocolate binges, sleep binges, and all the physical stuff as well.
    Following suggestions on your blog and other reading I’ve done, I decided to give the agnus castus a try, but I have one or two questions I wondered if you could help with:

    1. Is this stuff effective if the symptoms are related to the menopause as I suspect mine most probably are.

    2. One side effect listed is a decrease in sex-drive – is this a significant amount? My husband would not be impressed.

    3. Other websites I’ve looked at suggest that the agnus castus should only be taken for a maximum of 4-6 months. What happens after that? Does it actually ‘cure’ the PMDD or do you have a break from it then start again etc etc?

    Thanks for your help
    Regards
    Tina

    1. Hi Tina, in answer to your questions: 1) not sure, but it seems to work for me 2) Dreading my periods and having sore boobs was a bit of a turn off, so I guess you weigh up the relief against the potential reduction in libido. 3) I have been taking it for over 5 years with no obvious ill effects and every time I stop it the symptoms return with vengeance. However, I do suggest you seek advice from a herbalist to be sure.

  2. Thank you very much for your response, and for your very informative blog. I came across it a few weeks ago whilst I was searching, (in desperation) for something I could take to reduce the depression and suicidal panic attacks I was going through. The two weeks between ovulation and menstruation had, over the last few years, gone from being dreadful to being intolerable. The week following menstruation was like crawling out of a black hole, effectively leaving me only 1 ‘good’ week per month.
    I expected the agnus castus to take a good few weeks to start working, and was fully prepared to have a couple more bad months before it did. HOWEVER – I started noticing a difference after 9 days!! Two weeks in, and in the run-up to my period I would normally be in the depths of despair, waking in the night panicking and unable to ‘switch off’ feeling hopeless, despairing and just wanting to sleep all the time. NOT THIS TIME. I feel fantastic, both physically and mentally. I have to admit to being just a little bit nervous – expecting the old symptoms to return, but, so far, nothing. I’m absolutely amazed at the effectiveness of this stuff.
    It’s no exaggeration to say it truly has made a totally unbelievable difference to my life.
    Thanks again.
    Best wishes
    Tina

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