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Are You Micromanaging Your Cycle?

Did my LH surge today?

Did I see cervical mucus?

What was my BBT?

Am I cramping?

Are my breasts tender?

Am I ovulating?

Did I have sex on time?

Is my progesterone rising?​

Are these PMS symptoms or pregnancy symptoms?​

WHEW! These are important things but it’s also a LOT.

Do you find yourself constantly nitpicking everything your cycle did or didn’t do?​​​​​​​​​​​​

In this video I talk about micromanaging your cycle and how you can let go of some of that. Take a half hour for YOU today and let’s work together to shift your focus from what isn’t working to what IS.

Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that I am not a medical doctor. I have been a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine for over 17 years and I will be speaking from my clinical experience helping thousands of women conceive. The office of Aimee E. Raupp, M.S., L.Ac and Aimee Raupp Wellness & Fertility Centers and all personnel associated with the practice do not use social media to convey medical advice. This video will be posted to Aimee’s channels to educate and inspire others on the fertility journey.

PLEASE SEE BELOW FOR FULL TRANSCRIPT OR CLICK IMAGE FOR VIDEO

Live did not go live, so I’ve just restarted it. We are here talking about whether or not you are micromanaging your menstrual cycle and how to take back the power over that. So again, my job is to teach women how to live in their bodies again. That is what I see my main job as, how to connect to you again, how to listen to your body, speaking to you, how to interpret what your body is saying and how to use that information to maximize your health and therefore your fertility. So it’s a double edged sword, because I want you to pay attention. I want to know a lot about your body. I want you to be able to read the signs and symptoms, but then I also want you to accept that you are human, that you are not a robot and that every single menstrual cycle can be different.

We are looking for consistency and frequency. Even in what I teach and what I recommend, I am not looking for perfection in your diet, in your supplements, in your mindset. I am looking for consistency and frequency. Not every menstrual cycle is 28 days. Not everybody ovulates on cycle day 14. Not every cycle comes with juicy, juicy, egg white, cervical mucus, or a juicy, juicy sex drive. Some ovations are more intense than others. Some periods are lighter than others. Some periods are heavier than others. Some periods are more painful than others. A lot of that is us to learn about our environment. Huh? What did I do differently this month? Did I exercise less? Did I sleep less? Was I more stressed? Was I following my diet? Did I take my supplements? Did I do air travel? Did I have less sex, have more sex?

Did I lose weight because I got a bad cold, and did that throw off my cycle, which is what happened to me this month, but I am not in this space of freaking out. I rather went to my doctor, asked for some blood work just so I could tune back into my cycle and also took the understanding that, okay, my cycle is off because I dropped like seven pounds in a week and I had 104 fever for four days. That makes sense. That makes sense. That compromised my cycle. But in all the learning about ourselves and tuning into our body and how our digestion is, and how many bowel movements, and how formed are they, and what is our skin doing and how rested do we feel and our energy levels. It’s almost impossible to not also start to micromanage your menstrual cycle.

So a one thing I like to teach is, after I teach you all the things to do and kind of the best way to do them, if you will, the best way to manage your cycle, to manage your diet, to manage your supplements, to understand your body, then I want to add in this element of ease and relief and flexibility and compassion, and that you can then become your own detective. So my cycle was different this month. Why? What did I do differently? Are the seasons changing? I’m not a robot. Can things in my outer world be impacting my inner world? 100%, and we know that for a fact. So instead of seeing every single, I suppose, symptom that comes up … Of course, when we’re trying to conceive and we’ve tried to create a baby, whether using fertility treatments or trying naturally at home when we ovulate, we do go into our two week wait looking for symptoms, right?

We’re constantly on high alert. If we’ve ever been pregnant before, we compare to what it felt like the last time we were pregnant. Do I feel that way now? And if we haven’t ever been pregnant before, the second we see premenstrual symptoms, we automatically assume we’re not pregnant, when that doesn’t have to be the case, but we go into micromanagement mode. I see it as women go into micromanagement mode from the looks of their menstrual cycle. My cycle was lighter this month, or it was heavier this month, or I had more clots or less clots, more pain, less pain, flags, flags, flags. All of a sudden, is that a bad thing? Is that a good thing? What happened? What happened?

Then micromanagement around ovulation. I only saw one or two days of cervical mucus. I normally see five days. We only had sex this time. Did I miss the window? I had a lot of pain. This cycle. Is that a bad thing? Is that a good thing? Then we go into the [inaudible 00:04:48] phase. My boobs feel tender. My boobs don’t feel tender. I feel cramping. I don’t feel cramping. I got a pimple. Does that mean anything? So it’s every single symptom is a high alert.

I don’t want to say that you have to stop doing that because I think that’s impossible, but could you instead just kind of sit back and talk to yourself about, oh, well that’s interesting. That’s a change. Is that a positive change? Is that a not so positive change? Looking back over the month, what have I done differently? Reminding yourself that you’re not a robot, that every month is different. Maybe you worked more this month. Maybe you were on vacation last month. So maybe it was an easier cycle. Maybe you had less sex. There is science showing that one orgasm a week helps shift our hormones. Maybe you didn’t have an orgasm this month. Maybe that’s the reason why.

There are boatloads of reasons. Maybe you switched up your supplements. Maybe you ran out of a key food that you were eating on a regular basis and you just kind of skipped it this month. So it’s important to be in your body. It’s important to be connected. It’s important to note those symptoms, to pay attention to them. But then it’s also equally important to give yourself leeway, to allow yourself to be human and imperfect. Especially when it comes to trying to conceive, to allow yourself to be human and imperfect, and fertile, and still able to get pregnant. Even if it looks different than a cycle where you did get pregnant or it looks different than a cycle where you thought you got pregnant, or it looks different from a cycle that you just had and now you’re worried that you’re less fertile than you were last month. We all have more fertile months, regardless of our age than other months. That is, again, scientifically proven.

We go through, we have cyclical changes. AMH and FSH are typically just indicators of ovarian potential for that month. Especially if you’re doing assisted reproductive techniques. We change month to month. Women’s hormones change week to week, but we are different. And every three months, we’re completely different cellularly. So are you willing to allow yourself to be different month to month, cycle to cycle? Or are you looking for reasons to be mad at yourself or mad at your body or expect failure and alternatively, on the upside, are you looking for reasons to celebrate the effort you’re putting in to say I see a big difference when I take … For me, when I am on my fish oil on a regular basis and I’m taking upwards of three grams, two to three grams of fish oil a day, my skin is amazing. When I’m off of it, it’s not, and that does impact my cycle. It’s very interesting.

That’s just my body. I’ve learned it over time. So why on earth would I deviate from my fish oil when I know how good it is for me? I don’t know. Sometimes I just do. Sometimes I just forget, or maybe I run out of a supplement or … because I’m human, I’m human. So it’s just starting to accept your humanness, allow for it, but then also be in this state of discovery. Oh, isn’t this interesting. Isn’t this interesting. Ovulation was a little different this month than last month. Maybe that’s a good thing. I said to a woman yesterday that I’m coaching, which she had a pregnancy quite a few years ago, ended in a miscarriage. She hasn’t had a pregnancy since. In that pregnancy, she had low back pain … or she didn’t. Sorry. She did not have low back pain. Premenstrually she gets low back pain. So every month that she gets low back pain, she expects failure.

Not going to get pregnant this month, because I got the low back because the month I was pregnant, however many years ago, I had no low back pain. Then we talked that through and I reminded her. I said that pregnancy didn’t work out though, right? You miscarried. I’m like, so maybe a pregnancy with low back pain is actually in the cards for you. Maybe it’s going to show it’s a healthier pregnancy. That was like a light bulb went off for her. I was like, just because there was no low back pain … and also I’ve seen women. I’ve worked with women and I myself have had multiple pregnancies. Everyone is different. Every pregnancy is different for the exact same woman because you are not the exact same woman every couple months. You change. So can we allow ourselves to be different cycle to cycle and still be healthy and still be fertile and still working towards a goal?

So I think things to really think about here aren’t  clockwork. These women are like, I have a clockwork cycle. I ovulate every month on cycle day 14. I get a period on cycle day 28. That’s awesome. There are women like that, but then there are women, and I’m one of them. I basically go 28, 32, 28, and I’ve been doing that my whole life. So it’s consistency and frequency, not a big deal. One ovary just is more efficient than the other. That’s how I explain it. I don’t judge it. I’m not mad at it. It just is what it is. I’m in touch enough with my body to kind of know that rhythm. That’s my rhythm. That’s how my body flows. So tuning into that and then trying not to judge, but rather discover, rather looking at it like, huh, isn’t that interesting.

Then also, as you’re on the path of trying to conceive and, if you’re following me, then chances are, you’ve read some of my books and you’re making some of the changes I recommend. Are you getting your period, but maybe is it improving? Do you have less PMS? Do you have less ovarian or ovulatory intense symptoms? Maybe you just get a little breast tenderness, or maybe you see more of a sex strip or more cervical mucus. Maybe your period is a brighter red blood now and less clotty and less painful. Could we celebrate that? Could we find reason, even in the sadness of getting our period when we’re trying to conceive, to celebrate the improvements, to cheer ourselves on, to encourage ourselves about how much we are taking control over our health and our fertility.

Then also, could we tune in to just our flow? This is our flow and, just like the flow in your day to day routines, which can be the same, can be different. I think it really comes down to this micromanaging when I see it, and believe me, I hear about all the things. Last month I saw there was a yellow tinge to my cervical mucus. Does that mean I have an infection and I’m not going to get pregnant this month? This month I saw this huge clot. Does that mean I was pregnant and I miscarried, even though I got a negative test? My husband has X, Y, and Z. Does that mean this month I’m not going to … I felt back pain. I didn’t feel back pain. I got breast tenderness. I don’t have it. I saw discharge. I didn’t see discharge. I felt pain. I didn’t feel pain. I got a pimple. I didn’t get a pimple.

All of it. I hear about all of it because I work with women who are just, it’s their nature to micromanage their cycle. Part of it is what I’ve taught them to do. So some of it I take responsibility. Some of it’s my fault. I taught them to do it. I’m teaching all of you to do it because I think it’s really important to know our bodies, to know our systems, to know ourselves, to be honest with ourselves, to hear our bodies speak very clearly to us. Then the other side of it is okay, how much weight are we giving these symptoms? Are we using them as an excuse to beat ourselves up or to sabotage ourselves or to remind ourselves of the failure that’s probably imminent? Meaning our periods coming and we’ve failed again at getting pregnant.

Can we give ourselves more grace and space and compassion? Every cycle’s different. I’m not a robot. I’m learning more and more about my body. My body shifts and changes every month based on how I nourish and support it. Isn’t that fascinating? Wow. Could it be a way for us to learn more, to get closer versus a way for us to nitpick and criticize and bully ourselves? So just trying to see … I think it’s beautiful to be super aware of our bodies. What space is it coming from? Is it coming from a place where you’re being critical and you’re micromanaging to the point where it’s stressing you out and you’re losing sleep and you’re picking fights with people you love. You’re short at work, you’re frustrated, or could it be, oh, isn’t that interesting? I’m learning more about my body.

I’m not denying the frustration that comes with trying to conceive in it not working. That is super frustrating, and I do think when you get your period, and especially does help with the micromanaging piece. When you get your period and you are trying to conceive, that you give yourself time to grieve. Every month, you should give yourself time to grieve. Yeah, day one of my cycle. So, to all of you that got your period this month and didn’t get a positive, did you give yourself some time to grieve? It can be a few moments. It can be a journal entry. It could be a good workout. It could be a good cry. Did you give yourself that time to grieve? Okay, this is sad because I’m working towards something and it didn’t happen for me this month.

I’m sad about that. I feel frustrated. I feel let down. Are you mad at your body? Do you want to talk that through? What the fuck, body? Why are you not giving me what I want when I feel like I’m giving you everything? I’m supporting you so much. Where is my end of the deal? Why are you not coming through for me? You need to express that frustration. It needs to come out, because it’s a letdown. It’s sad, no matter how you slice it. Someone said to me just before my group, I want to reform the thought that things could go wrong. So she’s had a pregnancy. It ended in a miscarriage. Things went wrong. She’s eager to get pregnant again. She’s worked through a lot of the trauma, but this thought keeps coming up that things could go wrong. I said, I don’t know that you need to reform that thought.

I have this activity that I have my students do about shifting their beliefs. We use the word reform. I said, maybe you just need to accept it. The truth is things could go wrong again. That’s the truth. Don’t deny it. Accept it. But also understand that you’re here and you’re making a choice. You are still trying. You are still in the game. You still are willing to take the risk that things could go wrong because things could also go right. So even in the micromanagement of the cycle, yes, that cramping could mean that you’re implanting. That spotting could mean pre-implantation spotting. It could also mean you had no variances that ruptured and you’re not going to get pregnant this month. I think you’d have a lot of pain if you had a cystic rupture, but I’m just giving you an example.

Could you look at it from both sides? Could you be willing to say yes, it might not be this month, but I’m still in it because I’m in the game, and I believe. I actually do on deep level. Call me crazy. I believe this is going to happen for me. One of these months, it’s going to happen, and it might feel exactly the same as it’s felt. It might feel dramatically different. I’ve had girls that, the second day implant, they’re like, I feel nauseous. In my head, I’m like, there’s no possible way because HCG isn’t that high yet. I don’t deny how they feel, but in my head I’m like, I don’t know that makes sense. I believe them. I honor it.

I have girls that are five weeks. They’re a week late and they’re just like, no, I definitely feel like my period’s going to come any day. I’m getting the cramping. My boobs don’t feel tender. All the things. I’m not taking another pregnancy test because it’s driving me insane, and they’re pregnant. I’ve had girls get negative pregnancy tests and have a positive beta. I’ve had girls have a negative beta and get a positive pregnancy test. I have seen all of it. The truth is a lot of times it doesn’t look much different than your period. The more we tune in, the more we’re going to see or feel or notice differences because we’re human. Not because we’re broken. Not because we’re we’re barren.

We’re different. We change all the time. So can we accept? That’s the biggest piece here of the micromanaging is this sense of tension and anxiety and control. If I get a perfect cycle, then I will get pregnant. Bullshit. That’s not how it works. It’s never worked like that. Nope. Nope. I’ve seen plenty of imperfect cycles make babies and I’ve seen plenty of perfect cycles not make babies. It’s not about that. It’s about observing, discovering with compassion. When you have those feelings come up, those feelings of anxiety, those feelings of needing to control, can you also just say, okay, where am I not nourishing myself? How can I better support you? This is trauma coming up. This is fear coming up. This is my control coming up because this feels so out of my control and that’s scary.

So come back home to you. Am I using this micromanagement tool, this slight shift in my cycle as a means to cheer myself on or beat myself up. I think sharing too, finding a community of people that you feel comfortable sharing your experiences with asking questions, knowing that every pregnancy can look different, knowing that every cycle can look different. That doesn’t mean it’s an infertile cycle. It doesn’t mean that it’s a cycle that’s not going to render a child. You can ovulate late one month and still make a baby. You can ovulate early one month and still make a baby or not. But remembering too your choice in the game.

I mean this from the bottom of my heart, with so much love. You are still choosing to show up every month, to pay attention, to look at your ovulation, to time intercourse or do fertility treatments or seek more information or talk to more people, get more clear on what it is you do to support your body. So you’re still working through all of that because you want to be here, because you’re willing to show up for yourself and to try to make this baby. So instead, just kind of, if you can, be along for the ride, instead of trying to find every single little thing that could potentially be wrong. Then knowing that … this is the story you tell yourself, that if you fix all those things that are wrong, then you’ll get the baby.

That’s controlling too. So I do think the goal is acceptance, peace, doing the best you can to make your body feel the best it can feel, and loving yourself along the way. So just take a moment right now and repeat after me. Even though, at times, I micromanage my cycle and I stress about whether this is right or this is wrong, I love and forgive myself because I am allowed to be imperfect and get pregnant. I can be fertile with an imperfect cycle. I love and forgive myself. With that, I’m going to hop. I love you guys. I’ll see you next week. If you want more of me, head to my website, aimeeraupp.com. See you later. Bye Instagram.

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