How To Embrace Your Body & Your Cycle: An Interview With Lauren Curtain
Lauren Curtain’s passion is to provide the missing dots for women to help better understand their bodies and bring balance back into their lives. A practitioner of Chinese medicine, I’ve adored Lauren’s in-depth knowledge on all things women’s health from a Chinese medicine perspective. Lauren’s successful blog raises topics we all want to know more about, such as, postpartum hair loss and BBT.
Enjoy this interview with the incredibly wise and funny (love her memes) Lauren Curtain on the menstrual cycle, fertility, PMS and so much more!
What started your passion for helping women with their menstrual cycles and fertility?
I have always had a fascination for all things menstrual cycles, periods, pregnancy, birth and motherhood, since I was a little girl. I couldn’t wait to experience all these things myself! When I began studying Chinese medicine I naturally assumed I would love working with women and supporting their menstrual health, however it wasn’t until I was practising clinically and hearing so many women’s stories I understood how needed this work really is. This absolutely further drove my passion and continues to all these years later!
Have you personally always felt hormonally balanced? Or has this developed over the years?
Definitely not! I took the pill from teens into early 20s. Prior to starting the pill my menstrual cycles were quite predictable and relatively symptom free. After stopping the pill was when I really ran into hormone issues whilst my body was recalibrating. This was such a key learning time for me experiencing hormone issues as I was also studying Chinese medicine at the time. I was able to put into practice for myself what I was learning as well as understanding what was actually happening to my body and how to best support moving through that time.
Can you explain in more detail what basal body temperature (BBT) is and how it can help women?
Basal body temperature is your body temperature at rest. By charting daily BBT you are able to track menstrual cycles as well as uncovering deeper information about your health. Our BBT rises after ovulation, so by charting BBT we are able to understand where in our cycle ovulation is occurring, as well as gaining deeper information such as the length of our pre ovulatory follicular phase and post ovulatory luteal phase, metabolism, thyroid function and more!
Our PMS support + hormonal balance tea contains red clover and chaste tree berries to help offer relief for PMS symptoms, such as headache, constipation, breast tenderness, irritability and mood changes. Do you often refer herbal teas to clients and do you drink them yourself?
Absolutely! Many herbs used in Chinese medicine are brewed as decoctions which is a larger amount of herb matter simmered for a longer period of time. However many herbs are also taken as teas such as Goji berries, peppermint, ginger and red dates plus many more. Herbal tea is a definite staple for quick kitchen medicine. I often encourage patients to incorporate herbal teas into their routine and drink herbal tea daily myself.
Is it true you can have a symptom free period, without any cramps for example?
I absolutely believe this is possible for the vast majority of women. I have seen complete transformations take place not only with my own menstrual health but for the hundreds of women I have worked closely with in clinical practice. The key is understanding that symptoms arise for a reason, rather than randomly or spontaneously. And there is no one size fits all approach, finding out what is the cause for you as an individual then leads on to solutions specific for you.
When are women actually fertile? How can we work with our own cycle that will help our fertility?
Not every day as a lot of us have been led to believe! Eggs have a lifespan of up to 12-24 hours after ovulation and sperm can survive for up to 5-6 days giving us a combined fertile window of approximately 6 days per menstrual cycle. One of the most important things to support your own fertility is to understand your menstrual cycle, your ovulation and your fertile window. So many of us don’t get this education growing up and are trying to learn all of this for the first time when trying to conceive. Knowing how to read your body, how to make the most of your fertile window and understanding when you aren’t fertile in your menstrual cycle is information every woman trying to support her fertility needs to know!
Is there anything we can do to prevent/minimise postpartum hair loss?
A lot of postpartum hair loss is hormonal and totally normal, although annoying! However postpartum is a time that is so easy for mamas to become depleted and hair loss can be a sign of this. Making sure to eat regularly as much as possible throughout the day and bolstering your diet with abundant protein and healthy fats to support hair growth can be a way to support this, as well as overall health! One of my favourite nourishing herbs is nettles which are so mineral rich as well as being supportive for hair growth.