Female Hormone Hacks to Keep Your Period on Track

Let’s face it. Being a girl isn’t always easy. Especially when it comes to that monthly visitor that seems to show up at the most inopportune times. And when she brings her friends that drag down your mood and make you reach for the heating pad and a few Advil, it’s time to make some changes to your choice of company!

How Your Menstrual Cycle Works

Although there are lots of moving parts and a variety of hormones that have multiple job titles, here’s the simple breakdown of how it works. During the first half of your monthly cycle, estrogen, which is produced by your ovaries, will gradually increase until it reaches its highest level around day 12. During this time, the follicle, which holds the egg, is bathed in estrogen, helping it mature and become stronger and stronger, hopefully, ready for fertilization.

At the same time, estrogen is also priming the uterus in preparation for possible implantation by a fertilized egg. In order to have a nice comfy spot for a “maybe baby” to call home, estrogen helps the uterine lining grow, making it thick, spongy and ready to accommodate a growing embryo. 

Once the estrogen spike occurs somewhere around day 12, another hormone is released (Luteinizing hormone or LH) which does two very distinct things: a) it triggers the release of the egg from the ovary (ovulation) and b) it stimulates the production of progesterone from the corpus luteum which then begins the second half of your cycle.

The final 14 days of the menstrual cycle, known as the luteal phase, is when progesterone begins to thicken the uterine lining, ensuring sufficient blood supply to support a growing embryo. If the fallopian tubes deliver an unfertilized egg, the uterine lining begins to slough off, and menses begins once again.

Where Things Begin to Break Down

Instead of a regular 28-day cycle, some women find themselves having longer (or shorter) cycles, which creates an imbalance in the way the two primary hormones interact with each other, resulting in a myriad of unpleasant symptoms. When the first half of the cycle is too short, there won’t be enough estrogen to form a healthy follicle or prepare the uterine lining. Conversely, if the first half of the cycle is too long, the prolonged exposure to estrogen can cause an overbuilding of the uterine lining and subsequent heavy bleeding or cramping during menses.

And as you might expect, the health of the 2nd half (luteal phase) of the cycle is entirely dependent on how well things go during the 1st half (follicular phase) of the cycle. So if ovulation doesn’t occur until day 18 (should be on or around day 12), there isn’t enough time for progesterone to prepare the uterine lining for implantation. Mood and energy changes can occur along with disruptions in sleep and food cravings.

If ovulation occurs too early in the cycle (before day 12), the egg doesn’t have sufficient time to ‘ripen’ under the influence of estrogen which can lead to a prolonged exposure to progesterone during the 2nd half of the cycle and of course, more unwanted hormonal side-effects.

3 Ways to Support a Normal Menstrual Cycle

Fortunately, your body has all the tools it needs to support a normal menstrual cycle. All you have to do is find the targeted support your body needs and then allow your body to reset its hormonal timing.  Periods will then be a breeze!

1. Be consistently kind to your liver

As your primary filter, the liver has the important job of regulating hormones that circulate through your entire body. But the liver can only do so much, especially if the detoxification pathways are all gummed up. The good news is that with a little attention and the right nutrients, your liver can begin filtering out excess hormones that may be increasing the thickness of the uterine lining and causing other disruptions within your cycle.

Include at least one serving per day of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and kale. Spanish black radish, garlic, and onions can also get things moving along nicely. Some of the best herbal choices include schisandra and milk thistle. Once you get the liver detoxification pathways working well, excess hormones will be a thing of the past.

2. Clean up your cosmetics

Your skin will absorb anything you put on it, including xenohormones, which are found in a large number of cosmetics and personal body care products. These hormone-like chemicals are used to enhance the way the skin looks and feels, often promising the reduction of fine lines, smoother skin and being a virtual “fountain of youth.” Despite clever marketing tactics, these ingredients will wreak havoc on an otherwise normal menstrual cycle. Cosmetic companies are not required to disclose on the label whether the product contains hormones or not, so further investigation is required.

If you suspect this might be part of the problem, start by switching out your products. (Check out ewg.org for more information on companies that provide organic cosmetics and body care products.)  Once you’ve found something cleaner, add in some liver-supportive foods and herbs to help your liver clean up and eliminate these endocrine-disrupting chemicals as quickly as possible!

3. Encourage normal cycle timing

Although it’s easier said than done, making sure your menstrual cycle runs on a 28-day rhythm with 14 days for each phase can dramatically reduce unpleasant symptoms. One of the most widely used herbs for the treatment of menstrual-related disorders is chaste tree. This amazing herb helps reduce breast tenderness, supports dopamine and melatonin production, and most importantly, improves normal cycle timing. But in order to be effective, the herbal product must contain a sufficient amount of diterpenes (one of the most important phytochemicals in chaste tree) in order to confer these benefits.

With the right kind of support and a little time, your menstrual cycle should return to normal within a few months. If you find that it’s not happening as quickly as you want, or you have a more complicated situation, there are other herbs and nutrients that can help correct the underlying issue. Remember that your body is 100% capable of maintaining a normal menstrual cycle, as long as it has the right kinds of food and quality herbs to nudge it along.

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Hello! I just want to say that you are truly a healer! After leaving your office last Monday, I was more able to breathe, truly breathe - after having suffered all weekend to take a deep breath due to a "rib out of place" OK - if you say so....all I know is that, though I continued to have a bit of pain in my upper back and neck for a day or two, I could take wonderful, glorious deep breaths thanks to your treatment. Thanks again for all you do! Even if I do make many sound affects while you are treating me - "OUCH!!! Hmmmph!! Ughhh!! Really???" I truly appreciate your healing touch....


I have had Parkinson's Disease for 8 years.  I have developed arthritis in my back and hips. The stiffness of the Parkinson's and the arthritis has caused me a lot of pain. Because of that unrelenting pain I was unable to exercise. Exercise is an important part of pain management for Parkinson's.  Since I have been seeing Dr. Krapf I am feeling much better and his care has allowed me to begin exercising again, which has improved my overall well being. In the past I have been treated by physical therapists and orthopedists. Dr. Krapf's chiropractic manipulations have had an amazing impact on my health and happiness. I highly recommend Dr. Krapf to anyone who needs excellent chiropractic care and the many alternative therapies he offers. I would say he is magical!

When my friend received excellent care from Dr. Krapf, she recommended him to me. I have had gastrointestinal problems for nearly 50 years that have recently been diagnosed with celiac disease with lactose intolerance. All that, including unrelieved stress had made me unhappy and unhealthy. Today I am a different person with the help of Dr. Greg. The Gastro issues are practically nonexistent, my stress levels have plummeted, and my body is changing. I am so grateful for Dr. Greg and his healing hands.

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Our family have been patients of Krapf chiropractic for a few decades. We have several success stories archived. The most recent event involves our youngest son who is completing his senior year of high school. He has been a patient of Krapf Chiropractic (KCA) since birth. He has been an avid soccer player since the age of four and has sustained numerous injuries over the years. Dr. Krapf has successfully assisted in every recovery.

Most recently, he began complaining of his feet hurting while playing soccer. Both feet hurt - particularly the balls of his feet while running and cutting. He came to Dr. Greg with his complaint as this was seriously affecting his game. Dr. Greg evaluated the situation and decided a foot scan should be done. The finding was dropped arches. My son was fitted for orthotics. They arrived within days and he wore these as directed. Within a few short weeks he is now playing full games pain free.


I first called Krapf Chiropractic when my back was so bad that I couldn't get up off the floor. It's been a blessing to have Dr. Greg help me with my overall wellness and health! I find this to be a place where you are not a number and everyone cares. Mollie is always cheerful and reminds me to come. Erin is always smiling and helps relax me when I'm in pain. I would not be functioning if I did not have Krapf Chiropractic to keep me going. As I get older my appreciation deepens, especially when I see people around me who are suffering with back problems. If they only knew how helpful this is. I believe Dr. Greg treats the person not the symptoms. Thank you

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I've been lucky to have exceptional health care from the beginning. At the beginning, seventy-six-plus years ago, Hugh Rodgers brought me into the world in mother and dad's second-floor bedroom in our dairy farm home. Hugh's son, Hugh, Jr., practiced with his dad and beyond caring for my parents, he, also, cared for hundreds of others and me. Roughly forty years ago, a friend suggested I make an appointment with Richard Krapf for help with back-pain. Richard treated the pain that, often, was debilitating, and on Richard's death, his son, Greg became the second second generation to help me from one place to another. I'm grateful to Hugh, Hugh, Richard and, perhaps, most of all, to Greg.


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