Lunaception: How the Moon Can Balance Your Hormones and Make You Fertile

by Ann Marie Michaels on December 6, 2011

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Sometimes women are compelled to do crazy things. Things their husbands will never understand. Thank goodness my husband is out of town this week.

I just spent an hour duct-taping 18 black trash bags over my bedroom window. And yeah, it was Hello Kitty duct tape. Because this is a girl thing, ya’ll.

The sun went down a little while ago. I just walked into the bedroom to check it out and it is so amazingly fabulous in there. As black as the deepest, darkest bottom of the ocean. There was only one little sliver of light coming in through the crack under the door, which will be rectified with a towel.

Look, I know black trash bags are ghetto. But I am a woman possessed. I went to buy some blackout curtains today but all the ones they had at Target were too short. So I have to wait and order them online.

But I can’t wait one more night. I must have complete darkness and I must have it now!

Why, you ask, am I suddenly obsessed with sleeping in total darkness?

Lunaception: How the Moon Can Balance Your Hormones and Make You Fertile

It’s called lunaception.

No, not lunatic-ception, as my husband would probably call it. LUNA-ception, meaning the moon + conception.

The book, Lunaception was published by Louise Lacey in 1974. The concept is that women’s menstrual cycles have traditionally been synchronized with the phases of the moon. According to Lacey, we should menstruate with the new moon and ovulate when the moon is full.

Katie Singer, author of The Garden of Fertility and Honoring Our Cycles, writes:

In the late 1960s, Louise Lacey, a writer, realized that being on the Pill took her body away from its natural rhythm. She went off it, and subsequently had very irregular cycles. She began reading about circadian rhythm and the sexual cycles of some primates, which suggested peaks of sexual activity relating to the lunar cycle. Lacey wondered if the moon’s cycles relate to human reproduction, and if so, how? She wondered if artificial lights interrupt the moon’s effect.

A newspaper article that reported the effects of night-light on the menstrual cycle then caught her attention. John Rock (the Ob/Gyn whose experiments with giving infertile women synthesized progesterone led to the creation of the Pill) and physicist E.M. Dewan found that women’s menstrual cycles became regular by sleeping in complete darkness Days 1-13, sleeping with a 100-watt bulb burning all night (under a lampshade in their bedroom) Days 14-17, and then returning to sleeping in complete darkness until the new period began.

Thrilled by the possibility that she could return to healthy cycles, Lacey tried variations on the above experiment, beginning in 1971. She also began to chart her temperature. She found that sleeping in complete darkness except for three nights each cycle (when she slept with a 40-watt bulb under a lampshade or with a 75-watt bulb beaming a shaft of light from a nearby bathroom (essentially mimicking full-moon light) triggered ovulation. She called the technique Lunaception, and found that it could be used to direct her fertility — and that of her women friends. By avoiding intercourse on the days they slept with light, Louise Lacey and 27 of her friends developed regular, healthy menstrual cycles, and used Lunaception to avoid pregnancy effectively until menopause. (Source)

Lacey says that when women practice lunaception, their cycles naturally sync up with the phases of the moon. She says that lunaception “optimizes your reproductive health”.

Why Practice Lunaception?

Even if we aren’t trying to get pregnant, we can use lunaception to prevent pregnancy. We can use also use lunaception to balance our hormones.

And who doesn’t want to do that? Who out there doesn’t suffer from PMS or hot flashes or what-have-you?

I personally want to try it because as many of you know, I’ve been trying to eradicate insomnia (it’s almost completely gone but I know that producing more melatonin can’t hurt). In addition to that, I have a strange thing happening with my period. I have light spotting for 5 or 6 days, then I have a very heavy flow with painful cramps.

I also have lots of other symptoms of low progesterone. I’ve looked into progesterone cream, and I think it can be a good thing but I’ve heard negative things about it as well. I’d rather try a more natural approach if I can.

And, last but not least, we are hoping to try for another baby this year. I’m 43, so who knows. It may be too late. But if it’s possible, we’d really like to have another child. Fellow Weston A. Price Foundation chapter leader, Maureen Diaz, sweetheart that she is, hugged me at the recent WAPF conference and whispered in my ear, “I had my last baby at 45.”

According to Katie Singer, controlling the light when we sleep can help women in a variety of situations to strengthen their cycles:

  • Women with anovulatory cycles have become ovulatory.
  • Women with unclear mucus readings develop discernible, healthy mucus build-up.
  • Cycles that had been very short (26 days or less) or very long (35 days or more) become 27-31 days long.
  • FSH levels become healthy.
  • Spotting at various times during the cycle is significantly reduced.
  • Progesterone levels are strengthened.
  • Women with a history of miscarriage(s) are able to sustain pregnancy.
  • Premenopausal women develop a more discernible mucus pattern; and the intensity of their premenopausal symptoms, including hot flashes, sleeplessness, and mood changes are reduced.

(Source)

Model Severine Pregnant Photo 4 B&W

Getting Back in Touch with Mother Nature

This whole thing makes perfect sense to me. Think about it. A full moon looks like a pregnant belly. Just like an egg, which is the very symbol of fertility.

I think it so cool to think that Mother Nature, in her infinite wisdom, has it all figured out. I can imagine a native American riding home on his horse, looking up to see a full moon and thinking to himself, “It’s baby making time!”

When I was at the Weston A. Price Foundation conference last month, I was having a conversation with flower essence therapist and clinical herbalist, Claudia Keel. We were talking about fertility and she was telling me that if you want a baby, you should take watermelon essence.

“Watermelons look like they’re pregnant!” I exclaimed.

“Exactly!” Claudia nodded enthusiastically. “There are a lot of plants and flowers in nature that look like what they do.”

The more I read and learn, the more I believe that so many of our modern problems are caused by the fact that we are so cut off from nature. For example, I’ve recently fallen in love with earthing, which is the theory that our bodies need physical contact with the earth. See my post: Can Walking Barefoot Lower Cortisol and Balance Hormones?

Lunaception is along these same lines. Women are the yin energy; men are the yang. Women are the moon, the mysterious, the unpredictable. Men are the sun, the obvious, the reliable.

It makes sense to me that we need the moon for our fertility and hormonal health.

How to Practice Lunaception

Nowadays, most of us live in cities and are not able sleep by the light of the moon. When I look out the window of our 4th story condo here in Las Vegas, I see miles and miles of twinkling lights.

If you live in the country, you may be able to leave your blinds open in your bedroom. But if you live in the city like I do, you can artificially simulate the phases of the moon.

Lacey writes:

If your cycle doesn’t match with the moon’s, keep your bedroom dark until your cycle matches the moon’s cycle. You will find you are likely to get into a match with the moon much more quickly that way. Then use the nightlight as above.

How will you do this?

First, you must find drapes or covers for your windows. They must be thick enough so that no light comes in, no matter the source. To test them at night, close the door, turn off the lights in the room and hold up your hand to the covered windows. Can you see your hand from the street light or passing cars? If so, the drape or cover isn’t thick enough.

Secondly, you must make arrangements so as to protect yourself from any lights that turn on or off during the night, such as any light that might shine through when someone opens the bedroom door. Those lights must have a red bulb, which you can buy at your hardware store. As with a normal fire, red lights will not trigger ovulation prematurely.

Third, you may need one red light in the bathroom, too, if it is anyone’s habit to turn a light on there at night.

Your bedroom now duplicates nature’s way. The only other manipulation of light is in mid-month. Put a small white nightlight, 15 to 25 watts, on the other side of the room. On the 14th or 15th day of the month, counting from the first day of your menstrual period, turn on that light before you go to sleep. Use it for three nights, and then don’t use it again until your next month.

Once you have made these preparations, the rest is easy! (Source)

I’ve made my preparations. And I can’t wait to get in bed tonight.

I’ll let you know how it goes!

What About A Sleep Mask?

I know people are going to ask so I thought I’d address this.

The answer is: No dice. In other words, it’s time to get our your trash bags and duct tape.

I have been using a sleep mask for a couple of months now to try to increase my melatonin production, to help me sleep better. I don’t know if it has helped or not.

There is nothing like that pure blackness that envelopes you when all the light is gone. There really is no comparison.

According to Louise, “Our ears, our mouth, even “the hole in our heads” as the Hopi say, must be considered. We simply have to have the room dark, period.” (Source: The Cellulite Investigation Blog)

How About You? Share Your Thoughts Below

Have you had success with lunaception? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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{ 108 comments… read them below or add one }

AJ December 6, 2011 at 8:17 PM

I have been using Lunaception for over a year. I began sleeping in total darkness without adding light to reset my system. My cycles began to get erratic after a few months. When I added in lighting on the 14-16 days of my cycle I began to ovulate like clockwork and became more regular. At this time I am very close to cycling with the moon. I love looking at the night sky and feeling deeply connected to the moon. I recommend this to all my female patients with hormone issues.

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cheeseslave December 6, 2011 at 8:23 PM

Hi, AJ!

How many months did you sleep in total darkness?

I know what you mean about the moon, too. Somehow this whole thing makes me feel so much more connected to the moon, to the earth, to being a woman. Sounds a little silly I guess… but after feeling so disconnected for most of my life, I think it’s pretty awesome.

I’m so excited to try this!

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AJ December 7, 2011 at 9:07 AM

I slept in total dark for about 6 months. I think that only 3 months are need to reset. I also made a “black out” curtain out of old jeans which works pretty well.

Cheers!

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Dy May 8, 2013 at 8:42 AM

Hi Aj,
Today it’s my CD5.and my cycle doesn’t match with full moon..so can I practice lunaception with out light in my bedroom until my cycle matches with full moon?(even without light on CD14-CD)and can I start this on my CD5?..please help me on this.My periods are irregular .and I am trying for a baby..I appritiate if u give reply back..
Thank u

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Christine December 6, 2011 at 8:58 PM

Nice article. Sounds like it will benefit women on many levels.

Just wanted to give you a heads up on the blackout curtains. I bought some at Target (the short ones you talked about) and they still let quite a bit of light in. I ended up sewing in a second layer of blackout material, which helped but still not pitch black. Also light seeps in from the sides of the curtains, so I think they would need to be taped to the wall. A tip from a fellow mom was to put aluminum foil on the window to block out light. Looks funny but does the trick! Good luck!

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cheeseslave December 7, 2011 at 6:06 AM

I think I’m going to leave up the black trash bags and just put the curtains over them.

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Lynn December 7, 2011 at 6:50 AM

This is the first I’ve heard of moon cycling however, I have slept in complete darkness for years and love it. Nothing better, the sleep is sound and very restful. I made my own “black outs” because my windows are so large. I used the nylon table clothes (like the ones used for a picnic table, thick with the fuzzy backs), stapled the black plastic sheeting rolls (from Home Depot to ensure the weeds don’t grow up out of your landscaping) on the back, pounded grommets in the top of it and they hang from nails between my mini-blinds and my curtains. That way when I want to see the sunlight during the day, all I have to do it take them off the nails!

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Lynn December 7, 2011 at 6:52 AM

*cloths

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Jen December 6, 2011 at 9:08 PM

go grab some black out fabric from joanns or something and whip up your own in a jiff!

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cheeseslave December 7, 2011 at 6:04 AM

I wish I had time to sew!

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Paula December 7, 2011 at 8:30 AM

No need to sew! The Nester would teel you to cut out the shape you want and glue the edges with your trusty hot glue gun, lol!

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Coral December 7, 2011 at 10:10 PM

You can get iron on velcro to add the fabric. Then hot glue the bottom piece of velcro to the window so you can take it off when you want light.

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Paula December 8, 2011 at 7:05 AM

I wish I could do that. Maybe for summertime. Although, what we did for winter just might stay there till we sell the house. It was a lot of work!

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Lisa December 6, 2011 at 10:36 PM

We have a gas fireplace that is the only heat in our room. It puts off a lot of light even when it’s not running. Also, my husband’s alarm clock lights up the room and it’s dimmed as far as it will go. Any suggestions?

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Kasi December 7, 2011 at 2:35 AM

Put a towel over the alarm clock. Pin fabric over the fireplace, if safe to do so.

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Lisa December 9, 2011 at 10:51 PM

Thank you!

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Sonja December 7, 2011 at 3:16 AM

Very interesting!

To get this straight: can this work as an alternative source of contraception to the pill? I’ve just come off it after being on it for 8 years, but I don’t want kids just yet!

Thanks!

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cheeseslave December 7, 2011 at 6:07 AM

@Sonja

Yes, the idea is to get in tune with your cycle so that you know when you ovulate. And make sure your husband knows that you can NEVER have sex when the nightlight is on.

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Elizabeth December 7, 2011 at 10:53 PM

You may also want to read up a little on Natural Family Planning (NFP). It’s also a great way to learn about your bodies fertility and may give you extra confidence if trying to avoiding pregnancy. My husband and I teach NFP, I’m very intrigued by this concept of dark and light, and know that I’ve read studies saying darkness can help cycling, however I’m not sure I would trust my family planning purely to the nightlight timing. I know that joint fertility can be 5-7 days so I’d want to be a bit more cautious.

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Amy December 8, 2011 at 10:17 AM

Exactly – avoiding sex only when the light is on would make me nervous when trying to avoid pregnancy. Sperm can live inside for a number of days, so if you have sex a few days before you turn the light on, then ovulate when you turn the light on, you could still get pregnant.

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Leigh Anne December 8, 2011 at 8:00 PM

That is my question too-sex 5-7 days before and/or after ovulation can still result in pregnancy, correct? So,only relying on no sex when the light is on would not be enough for contraception? Or, after sync-ing your cycle, your body will know that only when the light is on is the only time you are fertile?
…not ready for #4 yet! :)
Great info! My husband teases me so much when I complain about the teeniest amount of light at night, now I can tell him how important it is ;)

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Rachel J December 10, 2011 at 1:36 PM

5-7 days before but not after. The egg only lives for about 24 hours. Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler, which teaches NFP, says (if I remember correctly) not to have unprotected sex 7 days after the start of menstruation to completely avoid any chance of getting pregnant. Using the Lunaception would decrease your chance of having an early ovulation.

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Karla @ Frugal Skills December 7, 2011 at 3:54 AM

My cycle has been perfectly synced up with the moon for years. While knowing exactly when I’m going to have a period is very convenient, I’m sad to say I haven’t experienced any of the other positive benefits mentioned above. My hormones are still out of whack, and I still experience extreme PMS.

I sincerely hope that this method works works out well for anyone who tries it. However, I do have to throw that warning out there that this is not a surefire solution that works for all women. It certainly didn’t in my case.

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cheeseslave December 7, 2011 at 6:13 AM

@Karla

Are you doing what she says, sleeping in total darkness every night except 3, and then using a night light on those nights? Are you getting enough sleep?

Also, what are you eating? Are you drinking coffee or other forms of caffeine? Are you eating enough fat? Hormones are created out of cholesterol. You may want to increase your fat intake. I eat about 50-60% fat.

PMS is usually a progesterone deficiency. This can be caused by estrogen dominance and/or adrenal exhaustion. Adrenal exhaustion can take a long time to recover from. I’ve been recovering since 2007. I’m a lot better (my temps are way up and they are stabilizing) but not all the way there yet.

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Valerie December 7, 2011 at 4:59 AM

I will say that I haven’t been doing this on purpose. But since we are in the process of building on the land I spent 6 months in a tent from April to October. I noticed that my cycles were nuts for awhile, I was bleeding on the full and ovulating on the new in April. But after living in a tent it all started to change and pretty drastically. I started a week early twice. And had some odd periods. But I will say that now I am bleeding within a day or two of new moon and my cycles are more than 24-26 days long, they actually follow the moon cycle.
So even though I have not been trying to do this, it has happened anyway. I will say though that even on new moon nights out in the deep country, there is light. The stars are amazing. But full moon nights sometimes it is hard to sleep with how much light the moon gives off. It is an amazing thing to live so close to nature.

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cheeseslave December 7, 2011 at 6:14 AM

Wow, how neat! Makes me want to sleep in a tent!

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Rachel C June 29, 2013 at 11:26 AM

Wow, that is so cool.

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Luci December 7, 2011 at 5:22 AM

This is fascinating! I too like the idea of getting closer to nature, and the idea of my husband being able to look at the moon to know when I’m ovulating sounds pretty cool!

How does this work though, when you have small children and can’t have complete darkness in your bedroom? My two year old sleeps on a mattress on the floor in my room, and when he wakes up during the night he gets up to find me. Also, we’re hoping for another baby soon and I’ll be needing to feed him or her during the night. Would it be OK to have a soft red light in the bedroom on the nights it’s supposed to be dark?

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cheeseslave December 7, 2011 at 6:19 AM

I know, isn’t that so cool for your husband to be able to just look up at the moon?

Regarding children, my daughter is 4 and she sleeps with us. She cried a little last ngiht because she didn’t want to sleep in the dark. I told her I would hold her and she put her blankie over her head when I turned out the light. She fell asleep pretty fast and we both slept like rocks.

Re: red lights, see the quote from Lacey above: “Secondly, you must make arrangements so as to protect yourself from any lights that turn on or off during the night, such as any light that might shine through when someone opens the bedroom door. Those lights must have a red bulb, which you can buy at your hardware store. As with a normal fire, red lights will not trigger ovulation prematurely.”

She says to put red light bulbs in a lamp if you need to feed or change a baby in the night.

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L December 7, 2011 at 5:47 AM

That’s really interesting. I am 99% sure I ovulated with the full moon last month (on 11/11/11 – a lucky day if there is one) and now I am pregnant. It’s odd, because that was earlier than I’m “supposed” to ovulate by a couple of days, but I guess my body was mire attuned to the moon. :)

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cheeseslave December 7, 2011 at 6:21 AM

Wow, that is very auspicious!

11/11/11 was also the first day of the Weston A. Price Foundation conference this year.

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cheeseslave December 7, 2011 at 6:21 AM

Oh and CONGRATULATIONS!

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Andrea December 7, 2011 at 6:10 AM

Ann Marie…your spotting and then heavy bleeding combined with low progesterone levels might be miscarriages resulting from low body temperature/insufficient progesterone. I had a friend with that problem who remedied it by taking progesterone cream after ovulation. I know you mentioned you weren’t crazy about cream, but if you feel that your clock is ticking, it might be worth finding an all natural brand (like Nature’s Sunshine). Also, my mother in law had a surprise baby at 48….she was 8 months pregnant at our wedding lol!

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cheeseslave December 7, 2011 at 6:28 AM

Wow that is so neat about your mother-in-law!

I don’t think the spotting and heavy bleeding is miscarriages. It happens EVERY month and has been happening for years even when we weren’t trying to conceive and there is no way I could have gotten pregnant.

I have been using the cream some but it hasn’t really helped — I’m not sure if I was using enough. I’m going to try this first and then add the cream if I feel I need it.

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Linnae December 7, 2011 at 7:05 AM

THis is extremely fascinating! I think I will be trying this!! I will try anything to help regulate hormones. Also, I couldnt agree with you more that we are so disconnected with mother earth, it makes sense that when we are in harmony with her things just work! Thanks for sharing.

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Linnae January 1, 2012 at 1:52 PM

I just read the book and wrote a post about this too. I am going to start tonight!! Thanks for the great info!!

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Amber J December 7, 2011 at 7:42 AM

My naturopath told me to take flax seed in my breakfast ground in a coffee grinder during the first half of my cycle due to low progesterone. I had a history of miscarriage and ended up applying the progesterone cream during both pregnancies with my daughters and it worked apparently because they are four and two. I think that without the cream my body was too cold and couldn’t hold onto a baby, so its pretty cool that a little cream could help maintain the pregnancies.

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Anali December 7, 2011 at 8:11 AM

Can I just say, if you are using this as contraception, to be careful(I know that’s obvious),

I personally use a different form of natural contraception, and the biggest thing I’ve learned is that you can get pregnant before you’re ovulating. There is usually(everyone is different obviously) a week or so when you can get pregnant, then you ovulate, then you have a few more days of being able to get pregnant, then you’re safe. But only if you actually ovulate, in the past 3 years I have only ovulated 2 times, and one of them got me pregnant because I wasn’t following the “rules” for my contraception(my teacher did warn me).

I’m not saying don’t use this as contraception, I’m just saying make sure you do a bunch of research before you do, it’s worth it and you’ll learn a lot.

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cheeseslave December 7, 2011 at 9:28 AM

Yes you can get pregnant any time you are fertile, which happens before and during the time you are ovulating.

I really think everyone should learn about the Billings method.

http://www.billings-centre.ab.ca/

It’s basically a way to monitor your discharge. You don’t want to have sex during the time you are fertile which is prior to ovulation when you have discharge like egg white.

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Anali December 7, 2011 at 10:09 AM

I use billings, I’m actually trying to get into the classes to become a teacher myself, and it is by far the most advanced(in my opinion) natural contraception method out there. The science behind it is super solid and the testing they have done is so extensive. I also love that anyone can use it.

Everyone thought I would be giving up on it when I accidentally got pregnant earlier this year but I see it as my own fault, a surgery i’d had 2 years ago was really messing with my cycles still and I was impatient to get it on :P

Anyways I’ll finish my rant, I just wanted to throw in my two cents about using just this as contraception. I feel like it would be most effective if used with billings. :)

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cheeseslave December 7, 2011 at 10:14 AM

Like I said, I haven’t read the book yet, but I think Lacey might have you check your discharge.

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Anali December 7, 2011 at 10:17 AM

Oh, I totally missed that part of your post. I was a wee-bit sleepy when I read it.

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Paula December 7, 2011 at 8:39 AM

In the past we have blacked out our room using several thick blankets.
But winter time caused ice dams to build up in the windows, so this winter we changed things up.
We taped insulating foil coverd bubble wrap (the stuff that is used on hot water heaters) over the windows. Then we taped the barrier plastic to the trip to prevent issues with ice.
Still need to hang curtains over them, to cover up the new “look”, but its working quite well.

Now our only problem is that hubby has a new job that has him getting up around 4:30.
We are exploring ways to keep the noise and lights down, so baby and I can still sleep for a couple more hours.
I think we succeeded this morning, cause he came to tell me goodbye and woke me out of a sound sleep!

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Paula December 7, 2011 at 8:43 AM

One way to deal with need for a light during the night, is to purchase a headlamp with a red light option.
Don’t get one that requires you to press it 3 times to get to the red light though. There are styles that have you slide the button on way for regular light, and the other for red light.
We have both styles since they are a much better solution for working outside in the dark.
Its hard to haul wood or feed the stock in 30- weather while trying to hold a flashlight.

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Lydia McD December 7, 2011 at 8:55 AM

Yep, I have a great one made by Petzl that has 4 different settings, including strobe, and the red filter just flips up over it.

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cheeseslave December 7, 2011 at 10:16 AM

Haha!

Wow, Paula, I sometimes feel like a freak for doing things like putting trash bags on the windows and you always manage to outdo me. If I told my husband he had to start wearing a headlamp at night, I don’t know how he would react!

Of course, he has agreed to chickens and camels, so I guess anything is possible.

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Paula December 7, 2011 at 10:26 AM

Necessity is the mother of invention, lol!
You can get LED flashlights with red bulbs as well. Headlamps are just more practical when dealing with little ones or fumbling around for needed supplies in the night.

Me thinks that window covers will come in handy to keep the neighbors from seeing red lights wandering around the house!

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cheeseslave December 7, 2011 at 11:46 AM

Oh that is so cool. I like the flashlight with a red bulb idea!

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Lisa December 9, 2011 at 10:55 PM

How does one get a camel and how do you take care of them? I’m guessing you got it for milk?

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Jody December 7, 2011 at 9:11 AM

I”ve been using ProgonB to raise my progesterone levels. It raised my levels alot right away. I used cream for 5 or 6 months, noticed a slight difference, but nothing major.

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cheeseslave December 7, 2011 at 9:46 AM

Hmmm…. I was considering that but Dr. Rind seems to prefer the cream.

I just came across this: http://www.drrind.com/therapies/estrogen-dominance#which

Having just read that, I think I am going to go ahead with the cream. I was worried about the cream because people have said that the cream can cause an elevation of progesterone in the body.

This is what Dr. Rind says (excerpt from link above): “There has been some controversy regarding which form to take the progesterone. Proponents of saliva testing claim that creams cause an excessive elevation of progesterone. In my experience, I find this to be true only in the saliva testing and not in the serum testing. I therefore consider this to be an artifact and not a true elevation of progesterone.”

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Meagan December 7, 2011 at 9:24 AM

This is so fascinating…

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Cristina December 7, 2011 at 11:27 AM

This article was very interesting from the hormonal-balancing aspect. I’ve always had to sleep in darkness as one sliver of light at night will drive me mad, so I have aluminum foil on my windows — somewhat unsightly, but curtains help hide them. I think I will try introducing the nightlight to get my period back on track — hopefully I will be able to tolerate that amount of light for 3 nights!

Thanks for the interesting article. Good luck on your sleeping and hormonal-balancing endeavors!

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Donielle @ Naturally Knocked Up December 7, 2011 at 11:52 AM

I was in the process of using Lunaception to match my rhythm to the moon (quite successfully I might add) when we last got pregnant. Unfortunately we lost the baby at just 11 weeks, so I’m now in the process of using the moon again to regulate my cycle. This weekend is the full moon so the blinds will be left a bit more open than normal!

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cheeseslave December 7, 2011 at 4:22 PM

It’s not even 4:30 here and the moon is HUGE in the sky!

Sorry for your loss, Donielle. :-(

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Susan December 7, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Ann Marie-
Along with your watermelon essence, maybe you should try avocado. Not only are they supposed to be good for balancing hormones, but did you realize it takes exactly nine months to grow an avocado from blossom to ripened fruit? And when ripe, the fruit has a great big seed in its belly!

Cool, huh? Its a tasty way to give it a try!

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Kaylin December 8, 2011 at 11:28 AM

Avocados are also uterus-shaped.

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Lisa December 9, 2011 at 11:14 PM

Where does one find watermelon essence?

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Rachel J December 10, 2011 at 1:44 PM

I just read something about avocados being considered a fertility food. I’m sure all those healthy fats don’t hurt any.

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leah December 7, 2011 at 1:22 PM

My mom had her last baby at 49.:)

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cheeseslave December 7, 2011 at 4:23 PM
Meghan December 7, 2011 at 2:57 PM

This is really interesting. I’ve vaguely heard of this before but appreciate the thoroughness of your explanation.
How will this work in the summer, when you might need to open your windows? It’s so hot here in the summer, we have to open our bedroom window at night to cool down the room. I suppose you could keep the window shut if you have air conditioning, but we only have air conditioning in the living room. Hmm.
I’m hoping that GAPS will balance my hormones. Still having painful periods after 14 months on GAPS but I’m seeing signs that things seem to be shifting.

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Melissa December 7, 2011 at 4:01 PM

I tried this for several months last fall, and bought the e-book. It did not spur ovulation. I still ovulate late (like around cycle day 21). However, I did not try “resetting” my cycle by sleeping in complete darkness for 3 months straight. This article inspires me to try it again. Thanks for posting, it’s hard to find much talk about it on the internet. I use the black out easy shades that I cut and velcroe on to size. And I tried the sleep mask too, but cannot achieve total darkness, plus my body and pineal gland sense the light. I’ll post back to report any improvement in my cycle. And as a side note, I have been on the GAPS diet and my period cramps all but disappeared, but over Thanksgiving where I permitted a large amount of honey and fruit and some wine, my cramps got worse. It makes me wonder if the cramps are a carb thing. Anyway, thanks for the post!

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Robin December 7, 2011 at 4:45 PM

I did this a couple years ago and went to bed earlier as well. A great side effect was that I lost weight too. I didn’t change my eating or exercise more. I know there was a reason why that happened, but I can’t remember what it was. It was nice though!

Robin

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Robin December 7, 2011 at 5:03 PM

This is off topic. I am nursing and considering doing the GAPS diet. I asked for the book for Christmas (although I have read a friend’s copy in the past.) Is it okay to be on the GAPS diet while nursing? We drink raw milk, but if I remember you have to go dairy free, right?

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cheeseslave December 11, 2011 at 9:15 PM

Yes it’s fine. Best to do the full GAPS diet and not the intro diet when nursing.

Yes, you have to be dairy free until you are sure that you don’t have any dairy allergies.

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Maddie December 7, 2011 at 5:50 PM

My naturopath just today started me on a seed and oil rotation to get my cycles on the moons cycle. Have you heard of this?

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cheeseslave December 8, 2011 at 5:44 AM

No, what kind of seed oils?

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Maddie December 8, 2011 at 1:22 PM

It is 2 tbsp ground pumpkin and flax and 1 tbsp cod liver oil for half the month and the second half of the month you switch to 2 tbsp ground sesame and sunflower seeds and 1 tbsp primrose oil. It is supposed to do virtually the same thing as what you wrote about. I am thinking I will try both together and see how it works.

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Dori December 7, 2011 at 7:47 PM

Hi Anne Marie,
I wanted to share a book that I have found to be very insightful/helpful on this subject – Wild Feminine by Tami Lynne Kent (a women’s health physical therapist here in Portland,OR). She offers some meditations that might be helpful for women who are starting to link up with these natural rhythms. She speaks of attention to the pelvic bowl and connecting to the “root of the female body”. http://www.powells.com/blog/contributors/wild-feminine-by-tami-lynn-kent/
She’s one of those healers interested in real health…
Best wishes-

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Jen December 7, 2011 at 10:06 PM

I am in the middle of reading a book called Lights Out! And it’s fascinating how the seasons and the length of day and night affect our brains, carb cravings and fertility. Thank you for posting about this great resource too! It just makes perfect sense.

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Ann Duncan December 7, 2011 at 10:41 PM

I loved the book Lights Out! Found it extremely helpful. As well as entertaining. The authors do a great job of getting across just how crucial it is that we get the sleep we need. In the dark.

Blessings…

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cheeseslave December 8, 2011 at 6:44 AM

I downloaded it on my iPhone

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Heather December 8, 2011 at 2:49 AM

I’m a fan of Susun Weed’s work. She is a master herbalist, a witch, and a Real Foodie. This link gives her thoughts on fertility after 40, including lunception, but also Red Clover infusions, and vitamin E (to prevent birth defects).
http://www.susunweed.com/Article_Fertility_After_Forty.htm

Here’s more on Red Clover:
http://www.herbalremediesinfo.com/redclover.html

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cheeseslave December 8, 2011 at 5:45 AM

I just bought one of Susun’s books — it’s on its way.

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cheeseslave December 8, 2011 at 5:45 AM

And thanks for the article! Going to go read it now!

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Heather@FoodPonderings December 8, 2011 at 7:18 AM

Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year? I used that before, during, and after my pregnancy, and have lent it out to several of my friends who have since had children. It is a fabulous book. I also have Healing Wise by her and it’s amazing.

I also wanted to comment that my period has been doing similar things (though not terribly painful, otherwise similar), but it’s only started since I have been supplementing with fish liver oil capsules that are high in vitamin A (25000 iu). I’m going to switch to regular cod liver oil when I run out.

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AJ December 8, 2011 at 11:11 AM

You are fertile longer than the time your night lights are on. Check out the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler. This brilliant book will teach you how to know exactly when you are fertile: cervical fluid/height and temperature. I recommend it to all menstruating women so they can better understand their cycles. This book is important if you want to become or avoid being pregnant.

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Heather @ Food Ponderings December 8, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Yes, its method is more detailed than Billings because you temp and check your cervical fluid. I charted for 9 months, the first 7 to get a handle on my cycle and lengthen my luteal phase. The last two months were dedicated to getting pregnant. I was pregnant that second cycle of trying.

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Rachel J December 10, 2011 at 1:48 PM

I also used Taking Charge for birth control purposes for a few years then to get pregnant. We got pregnant of the first and second tries with our boys. The second child probably took a little longer because we were trying for a girl, lol.

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elaine December 8, 2011 at 5:46 PM

I was having low progesterone symptoms as well as sleep problems (not sure if they are related), and my holistic doctor actually recommended the Progesterone for helping me get a good nite’s sleep! She said they use Progesterone in Europe all the time as a sleep aide. She gave me ProgonB (pills) as they are proessed and excreted, whereas cream can build up in the body. Best of luck to you! We got pregnant on the 3rd try (i’m 39)— if you do take the progesterone and then get pregnant, be sure to stay on it thru the first trimester- very important! :D best of luck to you!

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cheeseslave December 9, 2011 at 7:14 AM

Yes, low progesterone (very common in women as we age) is related to insomnia. If you take too much progesterone, it will make you drowsy.

I posted this above:

I just came across this: http://www.drrind.com/therapies/estrogen-dominance#which

Having just read that, I think I am going to go ahead with the cream. I was worried about the cream because people have said that the cream can cause an elevation of progesterone in the body.

This is what Dr. Rind says (excerpt from link above): “There has been some controversy regarding which form to take the progesterone. Proponents of saliva testing claim that creams cause an excessive elevation of progesterone. In my experience, I find this to be true only in the saliva testing and not in the serum testing. I therefore consider this to be an artifact and not a true elevation of progesterone.”

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Jenny December 9, 2011 at 8:23 AM

I read the same article and decided to finally take the herbal progesterone my nutritionist gave me and it is working WONDERS on my mood, my sleep and my energy level. The cream never worked for me.

My hormones are really out of wack – darn PCOS. I think the progesterone is really helping.

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elaine December 11, 2011 at 5:13 AM

A-M,
If you are wanting a topical progesterone, be sure to check out Progestelle. Its an oil base (coconut!) and has NO additives or preservatives:) It would be my 2nd choice next to the ProgonB pills I am currently on:) here’s a link:
http://www.goodprogesteronecream.com/about.html

It didn’t take long before I was sleeping better, 4 pills at night, 2nd half of my cycle.

Good luck!

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cheeseslave December 11, 2011 at 6:42 AM

Thank you, I will order some! I’m using Pro-Gest now but I’ll order this when I run out.

Why are you taking oral progesterone by the way? From what I have read, the cream is much better absorbed.

“f progesterone is taken orally 10 times the dose is needed compared to a skin dose. This is because whatever is taken orally is 90% inactivated by the liver. So a 200 mg oral dose is equivalent to a 20 mg topical progesterone cream dose.”

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Jeanne G. December 9, 2011 at 3:27 PM

I was on bioidentical progesterone for a while and it knocked me out, so I would believe about it helping you sleep better.

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Mali Korsten (The Korsten Chronicle) December 9, 2011 at 3:05 PM

Amazing! I checked my menstrual cycle against the Lunar Cycle and I’m almost bang on! I think that comes from living in South Africa where street lights are few and far between (and definitely nowhere near my house).

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cheeseslave December 9, 2011 at 6:06 PM

LUCKY you!

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mf December 9, 2011 at 6:20 PM

Thanks, this is really interesting! My periods were strange and I had to rely on TCM and acupuncture to conceive. I’m saving this post to read when I want to more kids!

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Paula December 10, 2011 at 7:46 AM

Don’t wait until you want to get pregnant again. Start healing now so you will be ready when the time comes!

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JessicaD December 10, 2011 at 6:56 AM

About progesterone… In working with my ND we realized that I was way low. She actually had a troche compounded for me. Nights 15 – 28 I dissolve one under my tongue. I am not in sync with the moon but the spotting and PMS got themselves in line and my peroid are like military marches. Uniform and consistent.

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Soli @ I Believe In Butter December 10, 2011 at 5:54 PM

The more I read and learn, the more I believe that so many of our modern problems are caused by the fact that we are so cut off from nature.

I could not agree more with this statement, and it infuses so much of my spiritual life too. In fact I would not have come to traditional foods so strongly if I didn’t have that background.

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Crystal December 11, 2011 at 1:57 PM

I dabble in astrology some and am amazed at the influence planets have on us, so this post is right down my alley. In fact, I just dig where you’re going with your blog. I’ve never met you, but I’ve bought the magnesium oil, purposefully will go barefoot, and very likely will be making your buttercream frosting for Christmas. :)

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cheeseslave December 11, 2011 at 5:34 PM

LOL! I love it!

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Heather@Mommypotamus December 18, 2011 at 11:58 AM

Oh my, I LOVE this post! I have an alarm clock next to my bed that drives me nuts – I HATE the light but I am afraid I’ll oversleep if it’s not there. Sometimes I put a towel over it :) So tempted to get the trash bags out!

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xxLisaxx June 20, 2013 at 9:09 PM

@Heather
How did you fair with this method.
Did it work for you?

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Rachel C December 30, 2011 at 6:17 PM

Wow! This is awesome! I just had my first baby 8 months ago and I am 40 and hoping to wait 2 more years for the next one. We can both do it! Definitely check out Nina Planck’s Real Food for Mother and Baby for some GREAT tips for eating to conceive! I have low progesterone sometimes, so I think I will try this! So cool!!!

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Rachel C December 30, 2011 at 6:19 PM

PS Only thing now to think about is how to make it to the bathroom or out the door to my child’s room in the middle of the night without banging my knee… hmmmm

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katie January 7, 2012 at 11:54 AM

Hi, everyone!

This is fascinating and I would like to try it.
One question though.
I live with three female roommates;
do you think synching up is still a possibility
if I’m trying this lunar cycle?
Just wanting to know if it’s a waste of my time at this point in life.

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Dora February 22, 2012 at 2:29 PM

Anna’s Linens had some nice long ones, very thick too. I got some cheapies from Home Depot, really it’s just paper but they have adhesive so you could stick a couple together. I know what you mean about sleeping in the dark. So extremely satisfied. I get peeved when my dh wakes me up. Gonna tell my neice who is on the pill to regulate her cycles too.

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Janelle Woods February 27, 2012 at 2:05 PM

I bought some black garbage bags today since we are in this apartment another 6 months and I don’t wanna buy curtains ;). I sleep in the room with my toddler and was wondering how safe garbage bags are, will they off gas anything? Also, should I sleep in complete darkness for a few months before trying the night light? I’m not going to be TTC for at least another 10 months. Thanks!

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rima December 18, 2012 at 11:19 PM

i just found your website, i love it!

i never heard of this before, this is the second post o have read and i love the information your sharing with us, i know i have hormonal imbalances but dont know what exaclty is wrong with me
have hypothyroidism and spotting every month and hair growing outof my chin but i still dont know what hormonal imbalanc ei have, but i am thinking whatever the problem it usually has to do with sress and bad eating habits.

i loved this lunaception thing i will try it out,

cant wait to read more of your post take care

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Dora December 19, 2012 at 8:38 AM

Hi Rima,
What you are describing sounds like PCOS which is indeed an imbalance. If you are trying to get pregnant you are certainly having a hard time. They are finding that PCOS is related to insulin imbalance which can be corrected by cutting sugar and excess carbs. Are you heavy? Are you eating a lot of sugar and carbs? I know Cheeseslave doesn’t recommend low carb, BUT that is the recommended therapy for insulin imbalances.

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rima December 19, 2012 at 7:44 PM

hi dora
i am heavy and trying to lose weight is hard, but I have went down this year from 63 to 58 kg just by changing making my portions smaller and drinking 1.5 litres of water

i even eliminated my one glass of tea just incase of flouride in the tea is causing my hypothyroid
but exercising and losing weight isnt easy, i do eat white bread and such things as white rice in my meals, but i am confused , will eating one bread slice a day, or half a cup of rice a day REAlly be bad for me, like what if i ate a bite, will it still affect me in a bad way? lol like i know too much is bad, but im confused wheather i should eliminate this white breads and processed foood all togather or having minimum, and what is a minimum?
is spottin mid cycle apart of pcos? what makes me think that i have pcos is the chin hair that developed for years, and the constant low blood sugar i get after eating sweets

it has draaastically decreased, since i dont eat sweets as much, and since my portions went down.
i have started a qigong practice for 5 days now, however i need to lighten up on some movements cause the spotting is back ( i think its a fibroid on my right ovary thats causing the spoting and someside pain.
by the way for me to be in healthy weight range i am supposed to be at 50 kg or less since im pretty petite
im 28 now ( i cant believe i will be turning 29 in january, so after january my next bday will make me 30 :’( not too happy about that lol)
and when i was in my late teens i used to feel so fat for being 53 now i have been 63 and feel so thankful for the weightloss i have, my confidence is higher just for losing thosekilos even though im not at my ideal weight, perception changes, and sometimes mentally think stuff like this happen so we can appreciate things and live happy.

sooo sooory for the looong rant
‘dora do have a hormonal imbalance and did you take care of it? what helped you out ?

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Dora December 20, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Hi Rima,
The problem with white bread and white rice is that they turn into sugar as soon as they are in your body. I do have a hormonal balance, it’s diabetes. I have controlled it through low carb diet. Insulin is the master hormone that tells the other hormones what to do. If insulin is off the other hormones may very well be off too. You would have to get tested by a doctor to know for sure. It sounds like you are doing better than you were. Honestly, I have recently given up ALL sugar and most starch. I am addicted. I couldn’t control it. That is a really serious problem being diabetic. Any how I could go on all day. FWIW I think your weight is just right. We are not all meant to be as skinny as a rail. ;o) I wouldn’t be afraid to take the thyroid meds, if it is dessicated beef or pork thyroid that is as natural as it gets. Some times if you get your thyroid straitened out everything else falls into place as far as hormones go.

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Amanda May 10, 2013 at 10:45 PM

Hi there
I know this is an old post but I need some advice. I have always had long cycles so they don’t cycle with the moon but have never tried lunaception. We are trying for baby number two and are having issues due to an-ovulation or mistiming. I need to know how, if my aim is to get my cycles on track with the moon cycle or do I just work with the cycle I have (i.e. do I just sleep in darkness for 14 days from my cycle start then leave the light on – even if it is not on the full moon – for three days, then sleep in total darkness again – even if it is totally opposite to the moon cycle??? am confused) please help I want to start ASAP.
Amanda

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Sarah August 13, 2013 at 7:31 PM

My husband and I have been TTC (#1) unsuccessfully for over a year now. I’ve had only 2 normal periods in the past year with the other 4 medically induced. I read about lunaception for the first time in a book covering PCOS (which is looks like I have). While searching for more information about it I found your site-awesome!!! These might be silly questions but 1.) how do you ever get your cycle in sync with the moon? Do you not start the darkening the room until a new moon happens? and 2.) once you are in sync with the moon can you remove the dark out curtains and just sleep normally?

Thank you for any clarification you can give!!!

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Sheena. December 29, 2013 at 9:56 PM

Well I was going to start this but looking at my cycles and everything I’m already synced up with the moon. But this page did help me learn a little more about my body with everyone’s input! Thank you!!

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