NOTE: Do NOT try to balance hormones on your own. Please only work with your medical team and Breast Cancer Conqueror Coach. There is no one standard approach, and testing is critical every step of the way.
Seed cycling for hormone balance can be super helpful for women who are still menstruating (regular or not), sliding into perimenopause, or figuring out life during or post-menopause. For more ways to manage menopause, please read this blog post on natural ways to happily manage menopause.
Here is the main idea: Seed cycling (or seed rotation) can be used to boost and balance estrogen levels in the first part of your cycle—the follicular phase. In the second part of your cycle, the luteal phase, it boosts and balances progesterone levels. Balanced hormones are essential for numerous reasons (including preventing and healing breast cancer), and here are a few more reasons why you do NOT want high estrogen and low progesterone.
High levels of aggressive estrogens can cause hair loss, mood swings, tender breasts, weight gain, fibroids, endometriosis, breast and ovarian cysts, and even breast and ovarian cancer.
Low levels of progesterone can cause anxiety, sleep problems, headaches, infertility, miscarriage, mid-cycle spotting, and the same issues high estrogen causes.
Seed cycling for hormone balance amy also help these conditions:
- Irregular periods
- Heavy flows
- Terrible PMS (bloating, moods, pain, energy, headaches)
- Breast lumps
- Thyroid Nodules
- Fibrocystic and painful breasts
- Low thyroid issues
- Hair loss and brittle hair
- Weight gain around the hip and thighs
- Water retention
- Hot flashes
- Night Sweats
- Mood swings
It can also reduce peri-menopause and menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, fatigue, and mood swings. You do not have to jump straight to birth control pills, HRT, hormone creams, and pellets to balance hormones. Seed cycling could be a natural solution that gently balances and protects your hormonal health. If you are curious about using bioidentical hormones, please test, talk to your integrative team, and review this blog post.
Seed Cycling For Estrogen Dominance
Estrogen is essential. But, like everything in life, it is all about balance. When your hormones are in balance, you feel balanced as well. Your inflammation levels are stabilized, you decrease your risk for a wide range of illnesses (including breast cancer), your mind is clear, and your menstrual cycles are regular. Most importantly, you have the vital energy to do everything you need and want to do in life. However, many women experience estrogen dominance, or on the flip side, low estrogen. Seed cycling can help bring them back to a state of balance.
Estrogen dominance is common in perimenopausal and menopausal women. It means you have too much estrogen in comparison to your progesterone levels. Progesterone is a protective hormone that helps slow tissue growth. When estrogen and progesterone are in balance, breast tissue is likely to be healthy. Estrogen dominance can lead to health challenges such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), hair loss, endometriosis, ovarian and breast cysts, miscarriage, and premature aging. Thyroid nodules and thyroid cancer have also been linked to estrogen dominance.
Even during menopause, a time of dramatic drops in estrogen (which is why so many symptoms occur), women can still experience estrogen dominance, which amy trigger ER+ (estrogen-receptor positive) breast cancers, especially if there is a methylation issue. (If you are not metabolizing your hormones properly, the aggressive estrogens keep re-circulating.)
Estrogen dominance occurs in two scenarios:
- Estrogen is broken off into too many “dirty” estrogens (also known as “antagonistic estrogenic metabolites”). If you are expxoed to too many Xeno-estrogens found in the environment and toxic chemicals in your home or body care products. you may be increasing your risk of triggering breast cancer. If you want to learn more about dirty estrogens and breast cancer, please read this blog post.
- You have too little progesterone to oppose estrogen levels. Read this blog to learn about your EQ Ratio.
TEST. Don’t guess and stress.
Long-term estrogen dominance is also a significant risk factor for breast cancer, which is why testing is so important. I suggest checking into a saliva test to measure your bio-available hormones. This panel tests estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, and a full day’s worth of cortisol levels. For less than a hundred dollars extra, you can also add Estrone (E1) and Estriol (E3).
Whatever test you choose, make sure it is with your urine or saliva as in the DUTCH Test. Saliva and urine are collected throughout the day, which gives a more accurate picture of the flow of hormones throughout your day. The hormones in the saliva are more bio-available compared to the protein-bound hormones found in the blood at that particular time of day when the blood is drawn. Also, ensure that the three kinds of estrogen (E1, E2, and E2) and progesterone are tested.
After diving into my research, I realized that estrogen dominance was one of the root causes of my breast cancer. To learn more about overcoming estrogen dominance, listen to this podcast episode with Magdalena Wszelaki, the founder of Hormone Balance. Her website is an incredibly valuable resource for all things hormones. Make sure to check out her recipes, books, programs, and shop!
How To Seed Cycle
The formula I describe below is based on a 28-day cycle. If you have NOT entered into the peri or menopause phase, your seed rotation will be based on two 14-day cycles. If you are currently going through peri or menopause, you can start any day and rotate the seeds every two weeks.
From Day 1 – 14 of your cycle (follicular phase), you need more estrogen in order to build up your endometrium (uterine lining).
- Eat 1 tablespoon of both flax and pumpkin seeds. Learn how powerful flax seeds are here.
From 15 – 28 of your cycle, (luteal phase), the corpus luteum begins to release progesterone. This sex hormone will help thicken the uterine lining and prepare it for implantation (pregnancy). Even if you are not planning on getting pregnant, your body still needs to have balanced progesterone levels to prevent many hormone-related health issues.
- Eat 1 tablespoon of both sesame and sunflower seeds.
Peri, menopausal, and post-menopause women:
You can start any day and rotate the seeds every two weeks.
Happy cycling to support Happy Hormones!
Author: Dr. Veronique Desaulniers, better known as Dr. V, is a Doctor of Chiropractic & has 44 years of experience in the wellness industry. For personalized support, please partner with a trained Breast Cancer Conqueror Coach.