Sunday, 28 September 2014

How stress can impact on your hormonal balance

I have recently come back from 12 blissful days in the lush green warmth of Ubud, Bali with my fiancé. However prior to leaving I went through a very busy and stressful period.

This I have to admit is mostly my own fault! I have a tendency to “bite off more than I can chew” in life. Sometimes I find myself wrapped up in the excitement and ferocity of a fast-paced life and forget how to say that simple little word “No”. I’m sure that many of you will recognize this in your own lives.

During these times, excess amounts of the stress hormone cortisol, which is released from the adrenal glands, circulates through the body. High cortisol levels have been shown to:

  • Suppress the immune system
  • Lower sex drive
  • Lower sex hormones, such as oestrogen and testosterone
  • Cause mood swings; including anxiety, depression and irritability
  • Cause fluctuations in the hormones which control ovulation
  • And this can all lead to irregular and or painful periods and PMS

At first the initial stages of this fun, fast-paced lifestyle can be very rewarding, but after a time when you start to put out more than you take in your stores begin to drain. Personally, I know when I have hit this stage because I am over-tired but I still can’t seem to get a good nights rest, I start at sudden sounds and I have this constant feeling like I’m forgetting something when I leave the house!

Something else that happens, and I only know this because I use the Sympto-thermal Method for contraception, is I stop ovulating. This can be deduced clearly by the lack of fertile mucus mid-cycle and following this my basal body temperatures don’t rise. When the stress levels are still moderate I will still have a bleed (though my cycles will become longer); these bleeds are not true periods however because there is no ovulation taking place.

If I continue to lead the busy, over-worked and stressful lifestyle my periods simply stop. I imagine that if they had a voice they would say, “That’s it Shirley, I’m going to stop, until you do too!” My body gave me the warning signs and I didn’t listen, so my body deemed me too over-worked and therefore unfit for the task of being able to nurture another life within me.

When I was in Bali, I ovulated for the first time in months and I was so pleased! I felt like a woman again! And after a 58-day cycle my period came soon after returning home. This has been a very reassuring process for me for 3 main reasons:

  • The Sympto-thermal Method is a great tool for helping you pick up on the warning signs your body is giving you to cut back and take a break.
  • How important is was to me to have adequate levels of hormones that were in balance so that they can do their job
  • And lastly how helpful the Sympto-thermal Method was, as it allowed me to work out why my cycles where lengthening and then why I missed a period. Since I started charting my cycle I have learnt so much about my body and its own unique pattern.

If you would like to know more about using the Sympto-thermal Method please come along to the next free Naturally Not Pregnant Information evening tomorrow evening (30th September). It will most likely be the last one for the year. You can’t make it but would like to know more or would like to make an appointment to come and see me please email: or call 9662 1311.

So what warning signs do you notice when you get stressed? Are they related to your menstrual cycle? How have you learnt this? I’d love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below if you too would like to share.

Dr Shirley Rigoni is a Chinese Medicine Practitioner and worshipper of women's hormones and the menstrual cycle. If you are interested in being notified when a new blog or free information session is taking place please email your name to:

Melbourne Natural Wellness
Level 4, 178 Collins St, Melbourne
For appointments please call: (03) 9662 1311

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Free Information Evening - Tuesday 30th Sept 2014

Dr. Shirley Rigoni – Chinese Medicine Practitioner

Naturally Not Pregnant
- Contraception for every woman -

Learn how to achieve contraception naturally!

     No pills!
     Nothing implanted in your arm!
     Nothing placed inside your cervix!
     No synthetic hormones at all!

Studies show that contraception using the Sympto-thermal Method is between 97% and 99.8% effective. This is just as effective as “the pill” and more effective than condoms alone!

Tuesday 30th September
7:30 – 9:00pm

On the night we will talk about:

  •   How to connect with your menstrual cycle
  •   How the Pill and other forms of synthetic hormones effect your body
  •   What your cervical mucus changes mean
  •   How to record your BBT 
  •   How to start charting your menstrual cycle 
 Please note this information sessions are intended to guide and instruct only at a base level. For correct and accurate implementation of the Sympto-thermal method further instruction via private consultation is necessary.

To register for these FREE information sessions either:

Please include your name, phone number and email address.

Friends and partners welcome! Although we will be focusing on the woman's fertility predominantly, the Sympto-thermal method is something that many guys are very interested in knowing more about. Let the guys be a part of the process and you will both be pleasantly surprised by the outcome!

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Supporting happiness and health in your relationship

Have you ever thought about how contraception can impact on your relationship? There are many different types out there and studies have shown that couples who use natural methods and who follow the natural rhythm of fertility become closer and are happier.

   When choosing which form of contraception suits you there are many factors that may influence your decision. Your lifestyle, relationship and health concerns are common considerations. Perhaps you haven’t really thought about it that much?

   Most understandably many couples, particularly when in the heat of the moment, don’t like the bother of condoms and therefore feel that the pill or some other type of synthetic hormone is their best option. And believe me, I understand how annoying it can be fiddling with a slippery bit of rubber that, most inconveniently, can only go on one way!

   But taking synthetic hormones can seriously impact on your health.
Did you know that the synthetic hormones used for contraceptive purposes are way above the normal amount produced by the body naturally? They have to be in order to override the body's natural reproductive cycle.

   To have a loving and trusting relationship it is important to be open and to share responsibilities. So what about the responsibility a couple takes on where contraception is concerned? Is it fair that women should take upon all the responsibility of preventing unwanted pregnancy? Especially if this means we may be putting our health and femininity in jeopardy?

   What other options do we have? I see a lot of women that are disheartened by the options available to them; they feel trapped. I was once one of those women. I thought, if it's not synthetic hormones all the time, then it's barrier methods all the time. But that was before I discovered that there is another way and it’s called the Sympto-thermal Method.

   This is what I teach alongside treatments using acupuncture and herbal medicines to balance women’s hormones. I love this technique so much because of the happiness it has brought to my own life. I have learnt so much about my body and what it's trying to tell me since starting to practice the Sympto-thermal method. Not only that, it has brought my fiancĂ© and I closer together.

   The Sympto-thermal method requires that the couple approach their potential for fertility with knowledge and appreciation. Fertility is precious, and life is a miracle. Speak to any couple that has been trying to conceive for over 2 years and has been given the diagnosis of “infertile”. Even then you can only begin to imagine how deep their desire and desperation for the miracle of life is.

 Today, it is your turn to take some time to reflect openly upon the following two questions: 

1)  Do you honour your body’s incredible power to bring life into this world?

2)  Does the form of contraception you reach for in the bedroom reflect the quality of care, love and shared responsibility you expect from your relationship?

Dr Shirley Rigoni is a Chinese Medicine Practitioner and worshipper of women's hormones and the menstrual cycle. If you are interested in being notified when a new blog or free information session is taking place please email your name to:

Melbourne Natural Wellness
Level 4, 178 Collins St, Melbourne

For appointments please call: (03) 9662 1311