Menstrual Musings: Allergies and the menstrual cycle
Updated: Dec 4, 2021
Cycle day: 28 | Phase: Pre-menstruation (Inner Autumn) | Moon: Waning ↓ (9%)
Do you experience allergies, specifically hay fever?
Do you experience hay fever only during the Spring season, when the pollen count is high?
Or like me, do you experience hay fever ALL. YEAR. ROUND!?
I refer to myself as a chronic hay fever suffer as it does not appear to only be during Spring time. I also have been experiencing hay fever since my early teens; in fact, when I reflect on when my hay fever started being chronic, it was around the time I started my first period (menarche).
When I would experience an episode of hay fever (2 -3 times a month), I would sneeze and blow my nose so often, I would quite easily go through an entire box of tissues IN A FEW HOURS. My eyes were so itchy and red, and all I wanted to do was retreat from the world.
For many (too many!) years I would take anti-histamines, with little to no relief. And when a doctor prescribed stronger anti-histamines (also prescribed for sleeping difficulties), the single dose worked - for a little while, until I built an immunity and was found myself having to take the maximum daily dose ( 3 tablets) to get some relief. It would leave me feeling drowsy and foggy, and given their strength, I'd sleep for hours. Not ideal.
I never quite understood why I was experiencing hay fever all. year. round! My GP was at a loss as to why and would keep prescribing anti-histamines; and I'd keep taking them for some sort of relief. It wasn't until I begun seeing my naturopath (3 years ago now), and connecting with my body through tracking my menstrual cycle and journaling, that I had an 'a ha' moment.
There appeared to be 2 distinct points in my menstrual cycle that I was experiencing hay fever; around ovulation and just before my next period. When I discussed this with my naturopath, her response: "you're experiencing a hormone allergy" 😳 in other words the offending allergens, my own hormones!
Since this 'a ha' moment and discussion with my naturopath, I have successfully managed my allergic reaction to my hormones through prescribed supplementations for immunity and gut health. I have been able to manage my symptoms effectively and experience far less episodes of hay fever (now it seems to be contained to Spring time allergies).
Why I am sharing this insight with you?
The last couple of months my cycle self-care has waned and taken somewhat of a back seat for various reasons; and the first sign that I needed to up my cycle self-care was when I started to have episodes of hay fever again around ovulation or a day or two before my period. After a chat with my naturopath and a slight change to my supplementation dosage, I was able to get myself quickly back on track. If I hadn't healed my relationship with my menstrual cycle and created an intuitive relationship with my body through practicing menstrual cycle awareness, I would have once again, been reaching for the anti-histamines.
This is why I believe in menstrual cycle awareness as a lifestyle framework and practice. There are so many 'a ha' moments to be had, wisdoms and wonders to be discovered through creating an intuitive relationship with your body.
Not so fun tidbit is you're TTC: (as shared with me by my naturopath)
~ anti-histamines can decrease your cervical mucus (just like they dry up the mucus in your nose); and cervical mucus is your cervix's liquid gold to transport the sperm to the egg for fertilisation.
For your information & consideration:
The above blog post 'Menstrual Musings: Allergies and the menstrual cycle' is a personal share of my lived experience, insights and reflections of allergies and my menstrual cycle.
It is for general information purposes only, and not intended to diagnose or treat.