My Excess Hair + Product Review

My Excess Hair + Product Review

Dealing with excess hair has been tough on me-physically and mentally. There have been several ways that I have tried to control it over the years with varying results.

In this post, I will be talking more about my hirsutism and giving my review of a product I recently tried for the condition.

My PCOS diagnosis

Since I do not have a popular blog by any means, no one who might see this post will know my back story. Because of this, I will start off by talking about how I came to get a PCOS diagnosis.

When I was around 11 years old, I started getting horrible acne and oily skin. It was mainly on my forehead at first, then eventually it was just all over the place. It was really embarrassing because none of my friends seemed to have acne.

In hopes of controlling my acne, I was prescribed several different things. A couple of them worked, a couple of them did not work. I had to keep taking/using something though because my skin was so bad.

At 14 years old, I started developing hair on my upper lip. I didn’t really notice it at first until my mother pointed it out and said that I needed to get that area waxed. This was another embarrassing thing for me!

All of the acne, oiliness and excess hair continued on past high school. It wasn’t until I was about 21 years old that I found out about PCOS. I realized that my symptoms aligned with that diagnosis. I was ashamed that I could have something like that so I decided to stop thinking about it.

I was given Spironolactone for the acne and hirsutism but was not given a PCOS diagnosis with it due to there being a series of tests that needed to be done first.

At 23 years old, my hairiness got worse. This made me decide it was time to go in for an official diagnosis.

I had to have four different appointments (gynecologist and endocrinologist) that included two consultations, blood tests, an ultrasound and a cortisol level check. My blood test results were all normal but my ultrasound showed cysts all over my ovaries and I met the other characteristic criteria (hirsutism and acne).

I stopped taking Spironolactone shortly after my diagnosis because I felt it wasn’t really doing much for me. From there, I just tried to control my acne with various skin care products and got my upper lip waxed once a month.

My hirsutism now

A week of no shaving would have me looking like this!

After I got pregnant and gave birth, my hirsutism came back with a vengeance (did not grow face/neck hair during pregnancy) and has kept getting worse. Because of the severity of it, I have been shaving instead of getting it all waxed and plucked off.

For a while I could still get away with shaving once a day or once every other day. Unfortunately though, for the past four years I have had to shave my face/neck twice a day. Since the pandemic happened and because I stay home all the time, I sometimes will go a day without shaving because no one but my immediate family will see me.

The hair that I get shows up on my chin, upper lip, jaw line and neck. In true hirsutism form, the hairs are coarse and noticeable. They are there in the morning and then they pop up again in the evening.

The razors I have been using

For quite a while I was using a women’s facial hair remover. It looks like a little vibrator but it did work well! What made me stop using it was the fact that my hirsutism got worse and it could no longer get the hairs very well.

I was really hesitant at first to start using a razor. This is because I know the burn and bumps they can leave on the body. It is not something I want on my face either!

After mulling it over, I decided to start using razors despite the burn risk. The excess hairs were really bothering me and I wanted something that could get them off. I wanted to use a separate razor for my face than I use for my body so I started using the Schick razors that I have pictured above only for that area.

I was nervous the first time I used one of the razors. After just moving it careful over the hairs though, I realized that I could indeed get them off without getting razor burn.

Success!

I have been using the razors ever since then. The only thing that I don’t like about them is that it doesn’t seem like it can pick up the really fine hairs on my upper lip that are left over after shaving the coarse ones off.

Am I annoyed that I have to shave my face? Yes, of course I am. I don’t like that I grow hair in these places and sometimes I get really down about it. Fortunately, I know how to manage it and it is not like people are going to be seeing me up close (except for my immediate family) for the foreseeable future.

Hair removal product review

So, I did try a new hair removal product recently. It was the Hydro Silk Touch-Up razor picture above. Although the other razors I talked about work great, I just wanted to try these out and see if they work for the fine hairs that get left over on my face.

I am happy to say that they really did get rid of the fine hairs! I used it all over my face which made it really smooth afterwards. It was unable to get the coarse hairs but I wasn’t really expecting it to.

The one thing I will say about these is that you can’t let the razors’ “cute” look fool you. They may be able to cut you if you are not careful with them. Just glide them gently across your face and you will be fine!

I highly recommend this product for anyone that has a bit of peach fuzz on their face they are looking to get rid of on a regular basis.

Hirsutism can really suck

Most people who deal with hirsutism don’t like it and have problems embracing it (some can though!). The fortunate thing is that the condition can be managed in various ways. I am glad that I found the Schick razors as they are cheap and effective for me to use.

If you deal with excess hairs like I do, how do you handle them?

Thanks for reading!

#hairremoval #shaving #razor #hirsutism #PCOS #hormonalproblems #Schickproducts #face

What I Learned From Tracking My Health

What I Learned From Tracking My Health

Months ago, I created my very own book that combined a health tracker and daily planner all in one. I did this because I wanted to be able to do these two things daily without having to get two different books.

I am coming up on a year of using these and it has been pretty eye opening for me. In this post, I will be discussing what I have learned about myself in the past five months.

What health stuff I track and why

Ever since about two weeks after I had COVID-19, I have experienced many different symptoms that can be attributed to post-viral syndrome (I have a whole post about that). I am also really sensitive to hormonal fluctuations which has caused uncomfortable symptoms. These two things combined have greatly disrupted my life.

After a couple months of the post-COVID symptoms, I decided that I was going to start tracking how I felt each day. I began tracking my mental/physical status, the food/supplements I consumed and what day I was on in my menstrual cycle. I have kept up with doing this since then.

The reasoning behind tracking everything has been to see if there are any correlations and/or causations. Finding any may help me figure out how to fix things or be able to anticipate things happening so I am prepared.

What I have learned from tracking my health

As I stated above, tracking has been eye opening. Looking over these five months and analyzing everything has made me realize that I am not out of the woods yet with the post-COVID and menstrual cycle issues.

Here are the things that I have learned:

Post-COVID/general-

  • May-June were horrible overall. I had lots of bouts of my post-COVID crud (GI, neurological, respiratory and heart issues). I guess I was too proud to admit that the symptoms didn’t totally go away.
  • I am groggy on days without vitamin B12.
  • Allergy-type symptoms (itchy nose, swollen throat, itchy skin) are a regular thing for me. I believe this is another post-viral annoyance combined with a mast cell issue.
  • I will randomly have actual cold-like symptoms about three days out of the month. I have gone to get drive-through PCR swab tests but they are always negative. This must be a post-viral thing, too.
  • I was taking turmeric and Aspirin because I read that they can have health benefits that are needed during the pandemic. Things were going good with them for a while but within the past few months they started to mess with my GI system. I am no longer able to consume them.
  • My mental state consists of being happy and motivated most of the time.
  • I have developed heat stroke symptoms whenever I try to mow the lawn for some reason.

Menstrual cycle-

Before I start with the list, I wanted to give an explanation of the “GI and mental distress times” that you will see on it. This is when I get extremely anxious, upset, worried and experience horrible stomach issues (pain, bloating, nausea and sometimes loose stool) all at the same time.

Here are some general things about my menstrual cycle symptoms:

  • Since taking the full dosage of Claritin everyday starting in early July, my GI and mental distress times have reduced greatly. They don’t last for more than 1.5 hours and I am able to just breath through them most of the time.
  • Any hormonal nausea I do get that is too intense for me is taken away by red raspberry leaf tea and half of a Meclizine tablet.
  • The length of my cycles switched from 27 days to 31 days and then back to 27 again. I am not sure why this happened. PCOS maybe?

My last two cycles yielded pretty much the same symptoms on all 27 days of them. Here is a play-by-play of what I experienced during them-

  • Days 1-4: Menstrual cramps (days 1-2), fatigue, mild headache, low appetite, post nasal drip, happy and focused.
  • Days 5-8: Itchy eyes, post-nasal drip, happy, motivated, focused and bloody gums.
  • Days 9-11: No physical symptoms, happy and motivated.
  • Days 12-15: Leg aches, bloating, appetite increase, lightheadedness upon standing, ovary aches (day 14), GI/mental distress time (day 15), happy most of the time and bouts of sadness.
  • Days 16-19: Appetite increase, good energy for workouts, irritable at times, happy at times and easily startled.
  • Days 20-23: Lightheadedness at times, irritable at times, happy most of the time, some bloating and not enough energy to workout on day 22.
  • Day 24-27: Tender breasts, nesting, neck aches, nausea (day 26), smell of blood in my genital area, insomnia, some bloating, rumination, irritability and night sweats.

The main takeaway

What I take from all of this information is that I have some health issues that I probably won’t be cured of. All I can do is keep managing my symptoms so that my life is not disrupted further. Things have been going pretty good lately and I want that to continue on.

Do any of you track your daily health symptoms?

Thanks for reading!

If you are interested, you can find one of my health tracker/daily planners here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0915M7S3B

#journalsandplanners #health #women #nonbinary #pms #pmddtreatment #postviralsyndrome #COVID19 #symptoms #mentalhealth #physicalhealth #hormonalproblems #pcos

Current Supplement Stack (Summer 2021) + Ideas for You!

Current Supplement Stack (Summer 2021) + Ideas for You!

I have been a supplement junkie for some time now. As good or bad as that may be-it just is what it is.

Over the years, I have taken many different supplements that I thought would help various physical and mental things. Some of them helped, possibly helped, didn’t help at all or made things worse.

Since I switch up the things that I am taking on a semi-regular basis, I decided to do a post on my current stack!

Getting into supplements

What got me into researching and taking supplements was reading about the benefits of different types of herbs at my local library. There were a lot of books on them and I just found it all so interesting. This led me to eventually reading about vitamins, minerals and antioxidants as well.

It wasn’t until sometime in college ( about four years later), that I actually began taking supplements. The first one I ever took was vitamin B Complex. This was recommended to me by the therapist I was seeing at the time. She said that it may help with my mood so I rushed out to get it!

The vitamin B Complex gave me a noticeable mood boost plus a little bit of physical energy. I took them daily for a while but then stopped.

After I really started getting into fitness, I became interested in supplements that were marketed for fat loss and physical performance during exercise. I tried quite a few different products by different brands.

After using the fat loss and physical performance products for a while, I began to get interested in supplements that could possibly extend my life. I then dropped the other supplements and started taking these ones.

I eventually slowed down on taking supplements to where I was only taking one or two daily. That all ended when the pandemic started. I was (and still am!) terrified of this virus so I started taking things that I thought would help prevent and treat it if I got it again.

My current supplement stack

I dealt with post-COVID symptoms for a long time. I am not sure if all of the supplements helped or if time did. Since I got my Moderna shots and started to feel back to normal, I changed around what I take.

Here are is what I take now and why (will also include OTC medications):

  • 6,000 IUs of Vitamin D3- I take this to hopefully boost my immune system, treat a deficiency I may have and to help out my bones.
  • 1,000 mg of Vitamin C- I take this just for the antioxidant benefit.
  • 100 mg of CoQ10- I take this for the heart and blood pressure lowering benefits.
  • 1000 mcg of B12- I first began taking this to help with some post-COVID issues such as tinnitus, possible nerve issues and my mood. I don’t know if it has actually helped me but I will continue to take it anyway as it is not hurting me. The one I take is time-release because those don’t hurt my stomach at all.
  • 50 mg of B6- I take this because it is great for women’s health- PMS in particular. I do notice a difference when it comes to breast pain leading up to my period.
  • SuperGreen Tea Immunity- I drink three cups of this a day for the immune system benefits.
  • 1,100 mg of ginger- This is for my stomach issues but I honestly don’t think it really helps. After this container I might not buy anymore and just get ginger from the tea I drink.
  • Tummy Tuneup probiotics- I take these probiotics to help out my gut. I will be doing a review on them soon.
  • 40 mg of Pepcid- This is for my Mast Cell issue. It is to help my GERD and GI issues.
  • 5-10 mg of Claritin- This is also for my Mast Cell issue. Taking this has really helped with pain, itching and hives that I get frequently.
  • 1 cup of Welch’s Grape juice- My family and I drink this everyday to prevent stomach viruses. We have been doing this for years after reading about it on a parenting blog.
  • 1 Brazil nut- I take this to meet my daily selenium requirements. I take this because it could possibly help with PCOS. After I finish the bag of nuts, I will probably not buy anymore as it really isn’t necessary.

If you are reading this and have kids, I thought you would be interested in reading what I give to my son. The following are what he gets on a daily basis:

  • Echinacea syrup- I just started giving this to him in hopes that it will boost his immune system. He loves the taste and takes it straight but other kids would probably do better with it mixed into their drinks. I give him 30 drops a day.
  • Smarty Pants vitamin gummies- My son absolutely loves these! They are packed with a blend of great vitamins and also include omega-3s.
  • 1 packet of Culturelle Probiotic powder- I mix this into my son’s juice in hopes that it will help his gut and immune system.
  • 1/2 tsp of liquid colostrum- I mix this into my son’s juice in hopes that it will help his immune system.

Some ideas for you

I do realize that it is best to get all your nutrients from food. It can be hard to do so however. Plus, I think some people need extra of certain ones than others do.

The following are some delicious foods that you can eat on a regular basis to get some of the nutrients that I take:

  • Omelets with mushrooms-This gives you a good amount of vitamin D, B vitamins, selenium and more.
  • Regular yogurt with fresh or frozen strawberries- This gives you some good probiotics for your gut along with vitamin C and CoQ10 from the strawberries.
  • Chicken and lentils- Recipes using these two ingredients will provide a lot of B vitamin goodness! This Moroccan chicken and lentils recipe is a good one to try.
  • Ginger tea- Instead of buying capsules, you can make tea using fresh ginger. Just slice some up and boil it on the stovetop. You can add honey to it if you want. This drink may help with things like nausea, cold symptoms and possibly menstrual cramps.

So, there it is!

This is what I am taking right now. I will probably make some changes to my stack but most of it will always be there.

Do you take any supplements? If so, which ones?

Thanks for reading!

#supplements #health #fitness #womenshealth #covid19 #supplementstack #immunesystem

*Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, so therefore I am not here to diagnose and treat anyone. These are just supplements I have made the decision to use. Always consult with your doctor if you want to start taking supplements.

*I have linked affiliate products on this blog post. This means that if you click on them and make a purchase, I will get some money out of it.

Should You and I Quit Caffeine?

Should You and I Quit Caffeine?

How cute is this?!

If you are like me, caffeine is a daily part of your life in some way or another. You may not be able to imagine a life totally without it.

If you are like me, you also may have women’s/non-binary’s health related issues. Could caffeine be making these issues even worse or actually causing them? Those are two questions I was interested in having answered.

So to answer them, I did some research and decided to put up a post about what I learned!

A little bit about caffeine

Caffeine is actually considered a drug but it is accepted and used by many in various forms. It is a stimulant that affects the central nervous system.

It was first isolated in 1819 from mocha (coffee) beans. From there, the usage of caffeine really exploded (it had been gaining popularity since the 1600s). Coffee beans aren’t the only things that it is found in as things like tea, cocoa, Yerba Mate (plant), guarana (plant) and more have it too.

Some things that don’t have caffeine naturally in them, have the extraction added to them. This is the case for energy drinks, energy patches, pre-workout mixes, supplement/vitamin blends. There are also caffeine pills that just have it as the active ingredient.

Caffeine content is generally reported in milligrams. The following is a list of the amounts of caffeine in various commonly consumed things-

  • Kola nuts: 10-50 mg per serving (2-3 nuts).
  • Coffee: 80-130 mg per 8 ounces.
  • Energy drinks: 80-100 mg per 8 ounces.
  • Soda: 30-58 mg per 12 ounces (Pepsi One has the highest amount).
  • Puerh tea: 60-100 mg per 8 ounces.
  • Black tea: 40-50 mg per 8 ounces.
  • Yerba Mate: 85 mg per 8 ounces.
  • Oolong tea: 35-75 mg per 8 ounces.
  • Green tea: 20-70 mg per 8 ounces.
  • White tea: 10-60 mg per 8 ounces.
  • Hot chocolate: 5-18 mg per 8 ounces.
  • Chocolate candy: 0-60 mg per serving.
  • Caffeine pills: 100-200 mg per pill.
  • Pre-workout mixes: 150-375 mg per serving.

These numbers are just estimates. There are different variables and factors that go into the actual amount of caffeine that something contains.

Positives and negatives of caffeine

Consuming caffeine can have good and bad effects. The effects that one gets depends on how much they takes of it and how their individual body responds to it.

Here are some of the pleasant as well as uncomfortable things one may experience when putting caffeine in their body:

Positive-

  • May wake you up to be less groggy in the morning.
  • May increase strength for weightlifting workouts.
  • Increase in cardiovascular performance: You may be able to go for longer and/or push harder during cardiovascular work.
  • Fat burning: It may increase your fat burning ability.
  • Increase in memory and alertness: It may help your memory and the ability to be alert for work tasks and learning.
  • May prevent diabetes.
  • May provide a mood boost.
  • May treat headaches and migraines.
  • May decrease the risk of Parkinson’s.
  • May stimulate growth, stop loss and thicken hair.

Negative-

  • Causes unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when you try to quit or reduce intake. These include GI issues, insomnia and headaches.
  • May make mental conditions worse.
  • May cause anxiety and nervousness.
  • May cause irregular heartbeats.
  • May have a laxative effect and/or cause urine frequency.
  • May change how fast your body breaks down medications.
  • May block the effects of medications.
  • May mess up blood sugar levels.
  • May cause dehydration in your body which in turn may give your skin an aged appearance.
  • May increase blood pressure.
  • May deplete necessary nutrients such as vitamin B6 and B12.

Even though there are benefits to caffeine, taking a lot of it only increases the chances of experiencing the bad effects. Experts say it is best to not take more than 400 mg per day.

Caffeine and hormones

There is some evidence that caffeine can interact with our hormones in negative ways. Here are two hormones that caffeine can effect:

Cortisol-

One of the hormones it may have an effect on is cortisol which is a stress hormone. Caffeine has shown to increase the hormone which then causes an increase in blood sugar levels. Having high blood sugar can lead one to experience things like nausea, increased hunger, headaches and brain fog.

Estrogen-

One thing that has been seen with caffeine is that it can actually last longer in the body when one is taking estrogen treatments or birth control. This is not a good thing as it may be messing up one’s sleep cycle.

Another thing is that it can change estrogen levels especially if too much is taken. The direction that the estrogen level goes in, seems to be dependent on ones race. In Asians and blacks, a rise in estrogen has been seen. This is in contrast to whites in which a decrease in estrogen has been seen.

Variations in estrogen level can lead to things like hormonal imbalances, endometriosis, osteoporosis, breast cancer, ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer.

Putting it all together

As you can see, caffeine can have negative effects in regards to women’s/non-binary people’s health. It can:

  • Make anxiety and irritability that is experienced with PMS/PMDD, worse.
  • Mess with one’s sleep cycle which can worsen mood issues (among other things).
  • Raise blood sugar which in turn adds to and/or makes PMS/PMDD symptoms worse.
  • Cause a hormonal imbalance which in turn can cause worse PMS/PMDD, lower sex drive, irregular periods, worsening mental conditions, headaches/migraines, weight gain, hair loss, ovarian cysts, insomnia, fatigue, brain fog and heavy bleeding.
  • Deplete B6 which helps regulate hormones.
  • Deplete B12 which can cause things like mood swings, fatigue, brain fog and memory problems.

Not every woman/non-binary person will experience these things. If one is experiencing a lot of mental and physical discomfort during their cycles, it may be a good idea to look at how much caffeine is being consumed. Quitting or reducing it may be the answer to feeling better.

My caffeine consumption and hormonal issues

I am guilty of having a higher than recommended maximum dosage of caffeine. Each day, I take in around 450-480 mg of caffeine. Yikes right?

I used to get most of my caffeine in the form of coffee, special coffee drinks (caramel macchiato to be exact!) and tea. Now it is mainly just caffeine pills and tea. I typically take 200 mg from the pills in the morning, green tea in the afternoon and another 200 mg from the pills before working out in the evening.

Since upping my intake of caffeine, I believe that I have had worse PMS/PMDD symptoms. When I look back at my health tracking journals, I experienced a lot of severe symptoms up until starting Claritin. It was like I barely ever had a good day.

While things are better, I still have my bad days (bad moods and extreme GI distress) and I think that maybe reducing the amount of caffeine may help me. My plan is to try and get my intake down to 300 mg for a while and see how I do at that amount.

I know that there will be always be some discomfort I feel due to my hormones and life itself but if reducing caffeine can help me in any way- I am willing to take less.

It is your decision

It can be hard to break up with caffeine-either part of the way or all of the way. For some people though, it may be a good idea to be more mindful about how much is being consumed. In terms of women’s/nonbinary health issues, it may be making them worse or it could be the cause of them.

How much caffeine do you take in each day?

Thanks for reading!

#caffeine #caffeinemolecule #womenshealth #nonbinaryhealth #pms #pmddtreatment #hormones #coffee #tea

Be Careful With Supplements: Vitex (Chasteberry)

Be Careful With Supplements: Vitex (Chasteberry)

For the past six or so years, I have been continuously trying to figure out how to deal with hormonal issues. This has led me to read about many different supplements and medications that have helped other women who go through the same things as I do.

Vitex (a plant) is one of the things that some women swear by when it comes to dealing with their menstrual cycle issues. Upon learning about it, I decided to try it. Needless to say, my experience with it was not good.

In this post I will be talking all about vitex and specifically how it affected me.

Women’s hormonal discomforts

Many women and non-binary people experience varying levels of discomfort during their menstrual cycles. This can be due to their hormones being out of balance and/or because their bodies are sensitive to hormone shifts. Either way, it is very common.

Some of the things women deal with are as follows:

  • Physical PMS/PMDD symptoms: Acne, bloating, increased hunger, joint aches, headaches/migraines, lightheadedness, breast pain, insomnia and more.
  • Mental PMS symptoms: Sadness, depression, anxiety, irritability etc.
  • Mental PMDD symptoms (more extreme than PMS): Sadness, depression, anxiety, rage, mood swings etc.
  • PCOS: Acne, oily skin, hair loss/thinning, weight gain/difficulty losing, bloating, fertility issues and more.
  • Heavy periods.
  • Irregular periods.
  • Endometriosis flare ups- Abdominal pain, nausea, painful periods, pain during sex and more.
  • Infertility.
  • Menopause/perimenopause- Hot flashes, vaginal dryness, mood swings, weight gain and more.

There are some other things women and non-binary people go through but these are the most frequently talked about things. Not all women have it bad or experience much of anything though.

Women who want to treat these issues usually end up taking/doing the following things:

  • Birth control: May balance hormones.
  • Diet and exercise: May help to balance hormones and is goes toward an all-around healthy life.
  • HRT: Replaces hormones during menopause.
  • Spironolactone: Blocks androgens and reduces blood pressure.
  • Pain relievers: Tylenol, Advil, Naproxen etc. for aches and pains.
  • Antidepressants: These may help the mood issues some women get during their cycles.
  • Acne products: These can include creams, antibiotics, gels etc.
  • Hair growth products: These can include serums, oils and shampoos/conditioners.
  • Fertility medication and IVF
  • Alternative/Traditional medicine: Some examples include herbal teas, plant extracts in capsules, vitamins etc.

These treatments effect each person differently so it is best to look into them as much as you can and consult with your doctor.

Vitex as a women’s health supplement

Vitex is the name of a plant that is used for women’s health purposes. It is also known as chasteberry and vitex agnus castus. This plant is native to the Mediterranean region which includes Italy, Greece, Spain, Tunisia, Syria, Monaco and Libya.

Vitex needs to be grown in hot and dry conditions with full sun. The tree can grow to be about 10 feet tall and looks great in one’s yard/garden. It is very pretty with violet flowers and berries. Just like most other plants, it contains flavonoids, essential oils and fatty oils.

In traditional medicine starting in the 14th century, the leaves were used for suppression of the libido in men and women. It was eventually found that the leaves and fruit possibly provide hormonal benefits for women. Since this finding, it has been marketed for this purpose.

Its use for women’s hormonal health is due to how it can alter hormone levels. Vitex has been shown in some studies to increase progesterone levels, regulate prolactin levels, increase estrogen levels and lower testosterone levels.

Because of the effects on hormones, some studies and anecdotes claim that it treats the following ailments:

  • Breast pain/tenderness: This is something that commonly occurs around ovulation and shortly before one’s period starts.
  • Bloating: This is something that commonly occurs before one’s period starts and sometimes lasts throughout it. For some women it also occurs during ovulation day.
  • Mood issues: Women who experience PMS or PMDD tend have mood related problems. With PMDD, the mood problems are more severe.
  • Hot flashes: This is commonly seen in menopause but some women also experience it shortly before their periods.
  • Insomnia: This is something that happens shortly before one’s period starts and during menopause.
  • Acne: Some people are plagued with acne before their periods start or the whole month due to a hormonal imbalance.
  • Infertility: Some people have a hard time getting and/or staying pregnant. This can be due to not ovulating frequently and/or progesterone levels being off. Infertility is commonly seen in people with PCOS and endometriosis.
  • Heavy bleeding (menorrhagia): Some people have periods that include a lot of bleeding. This involves needing to change a pad/tampon every hour and passing large clots. These types of periods may even last longer than the usual range of days (2-7 days).
  • Headaches/migraines: These commonly occur shortly before one’s period and during menopause.

Even though the medical research done on vitex isn’t considered as providing the strongest evidence of efficacy, there were some positive results for these issues shown in them. Also, if you take a look at reviews and women’s health forums, you will see that many people have been happy with the supplementation of it.

Despite some people getting good results, there are also many people who have gotten bad results from it. Because of this, it has been found that vitex can cause the following undesirable effects:

  • Worsening headaches/migraines
  • Mood issues
  • Bad acne
  • GI issues
  • Rashes
  • Insomnia

As you can see, taking vitex may lead to uncomfortable side effects. It can potentially add new symptoms or make current ones worse.

Another thing to be aware of is that vitex can interact negatively with certain medication and conditions. Below are some precautions that comes with vitex supplementation:

  • May interact with birth control.
  • May interact with antipsychotics.
  • May interact with Parkinson’s medications.
  • Should not be taken if you have breast, ovarian or uterine cancer.
  • Women with PCOS and endometriosis should think twice about taking it.
  • Should not be taken if you are receiving fertility treatment.
  • Should not be taken by someone with Parkinson’s even if they are not on medication for it.

If one does decide they are going to take vitex, there are quite a few brands that sell it as a supplement. You can find it in capsules, liquid drops and teas. There are even some women’s health related supplement blends that contain it.

Dosages of up to 40 mg of the concentrated fruit extract and up to 1000 mg of the dried fruit are recommended. It is said that supplementing with vitex may take three months of consistent use to start working.

My experience with vitex

I had read about vitex helping some women on a reddit forum. It sounded like it was worth a shot at the time.

Instead of doing research into it, I decided to just buy some right away (not a good idea!). I went with capsules that contained 400 mg of the dried fruit in each one and planned on taking two of them a day as the label stated to do.

I was hoping for the vitex to help me with the bloating, acne, headaches and low moods that I get before my periods. Balancing my hormones with birth control was not something I have ever been excited about so I thought that this could possibly be a good alternative.

Unfortunately, vitex was not a good alternative for me. Yikes!

Every possible negative side effect that one could have from it- I experienced. This meant that the issues I was trying to fix got worse! The nausea, horrific rashes on my back, ice pick headaches etc. were unpleasant to say the least.

The silly thing is that I took vitex for a few weeks because I thought things would get better. Of course they never did so I have no one else to blame but myself for feeling miserable. I should have stopped taking it after a couple days.

Clearly, vitex was and is not for me. You live and you learn I guess. I am really glad that it works for other people though!

In conclusion

Vitex is a hormonal health supplement option for those that are into plant based treatments. There are some benefits that have been seen from it as well as some risks. As with everything, it is best to do some research on it before trying it.

It was disappointing that it didn’t work for me. Since then I have continued to search for ways to make my menstrual cycles go better. All I can do is keep reading and trying things out.

Have you tried taking vitex? If so, what was your experience with it?

If you are interested you can check out my other post about a women’s health supplement (evening primrose oil).

Thanks for reading!

#womenshealth #menstrualcycles #nonbinary #supplements #chasteberrysupplement #vitexsupplement #menstrualcup #periods #pms #pmdd #hormones