Menstrual Cycle-Tracking & Herbal Medicine For Practitioners
Learn about specific health conditions connected to hormone imbalances. Equip yourself with herbal treatments to alleviate symptoms and restore hormonal harmony in your patients.
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Meet your course instructor
Krista Dawn Poulton | Medical Herbalist, DIP PHYT, RHT
Krista Dawn Poulton is a Medical Herbalist in Victoria, BC. She balances her private practice as a faculty member at Pacific Rim College, teaching courses in herbal medicine and medicine making, along with supervising clinical training. Her mission with her practice is to teach women to love and adore their bodies, address societal norms of body awareness, and educate ways to shift reproductive issues with the use of herbs, diet and supplements. Krista’s clinical practice focuses primarily on reproductive health from post-birth control care, fertility planning to infertility, endometriosis, fibroids and PCOS.
This course was designed to complement Krista’s other course, Women’s Health – Female Anatomy, Hormones And Cycle-Tracking which provides an overview of anatomy and hormones to set a strong foundation. We suggest taking these courses together if you need a review of these systems.
In this course, Krista presents menstrual cycle-charting, a tool for practitioners to assess reproductive pathologies with their patients and manage these conditions. Within the menstrual cycle chart, you will be able to identify the follicular and luteal phase pathologies including progesterone deficiency leading to recurrent miscarriages, anovulatory cycles leading to infertility or PCOS and estrogen dominance leading to fibroids and endometriosis.
Anatomy and pathology are covered for each condition, outlining the prevalence and the key identifying features for differential diagnosis. Krista will also discusses transitions in a woman’s life with puberty, fertile years and perimenopause / menopause. Treatment protocols focusing on herbal, supplemental and nutritional/lifestyle treatment protocols for common reproductive pathologies such as post-birth control pill amenorrhoea, dysmenorrhea, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), hormonal acne, fibroids, endometriosis, and infertility.
Herbal protocols also are presented for transitions in a woman’s life through puberty, fertility years and perimenopause/menopause.
You will learn about:
- The causes of hormonal disruption
- The anatomy and physiology of the reproductive and hormonal system
- Identifying the follicular and luteal phase pathologies using the menstrual cycle chart
- Progesterone deficiency leading to recurrent miscarriages
- Anovulatory cycles leading to infertility
- PCOS and estrogen dominance leading to fibroids and endometriosis
- Herbal and supplement treatment protocols to treat reproductive pathologies
In this section, Krista introduces herself and provides a quick overview of what you can look forward to learning about in this course.
- Assessment Of Cycle Charts
Krista discusses the various reasons for menstrual cycle-charting. This includes tracking fertility, planning for menstruation, and addressing hormonal conditions. Krista will show you how to read cycle charts so you can feel empowered to analyze your own and correct hormonal imbalances.
- Assessing Pathology With Cycle Charting | Follicular Phase
There are various pathologies to examine in the first part of the menstrual cycle: the follicular phase. In this section, Krista covers the conditions of hyper and hypothyroid and how these conditions can be identified through cycle chart analysis. She also provides an overview of the relationship between estrogen and progesterone. Learn about the symptoms and pathologies of high estrogen in the system which will be discussed in greater detail in the following sections.
- Assessing Pathology With Cycle Charting | Follicular Phase | Endometriosis
Here, Krista explains the high estrogen condition of endometriosis. She teaches you about the suggestive signs and symptoms of this condition which include severe pain, infertility, nausea, and mood swings. Discover how cycle chart data analysis of basal body temperature, bleed length, and blood colour and consistency can be used to identify this condition in patients. Potential causes, incidence, and risk factors are all covered. Krista provides botanical recommendations with therapeutic doses for treating this condition.
- Assessing Pathology With Cycle Charting | Follicular Phase | Adenomyosis
In this section you’ll learn about the differential diagnosis between adenomyosis and endometriosis, as they both have many signs and symptoms that are quite similar. Krista explains treatment goals for this condition which include reducing inflammation, managing digestive symptoms, and improving fertility by modulating estrogen excess.
- Assessing Pathology With Cycle Charting | Follicular Phase | Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding (DUB) & Endometrial Hyperplasia
Dysfunctional uterine bleeding is often associated with an absent or irregular ovulation, leading to erratic shedding of the endometrial lining. Krista explains this in detail with discussion about the hormonal imbalances leading to this condition. In this section you’ll learn about treatment goals to control bleeding, tone the uterus, and stimulate ovulation. Dysfunctional uterine bleeding can progress into endometrial hyperplasia which is a pre-cancerous condition. Krista provides herbal recommendations for this condition.
- Assessing Pathology With Cycle Charting | Follicular Phase | Fibroids & Uterine Polyps
Fibroids are very common in women. In fact, 20% – 40% of all women will develop fibroids at some point by the time they’re 40. Krista speaks about contributing risk factors and provides herbal treatment recommendations. The growth and symptoms of fibroids can be reduced through the use of specific botanicals to regulate excessive bleeding, balance estrogen excess, and support hormonal clearance via the liver. Krista also discusses pre-cancerous uterine polyps to highlight the differences between this condition and fibroids.
- Assessing Pathology With Cycle Charting | Follicular Phase | Fibrocystic Breasts
60% – 90% of all women will experience fibrocystic breast tenderness. This is due to cysts that change based on hormonal fluctuations. Discover why this condition is so common and learn about Krista’s herbal and supplement recommendations for treatment.
- Assessing Pathology With Cycle Charting | Follicular Phase | Herbs For Modulating Estrogen Excess
In this section, Krista explains the importance of botanically-derived steroidal saponins, triterpenoid saponins, and phytoestrogens for modulating estrogen. Some herbs discussed include Dioscorea villosa (wild yam), Chamaelirium lutem (false unicorn root), and Tribulus terrestris (puncture vine), among others. Krista explains estrogen receptors and estrogen binding with the use of animations. Learn about the importance of liver clearance and nervous system support with the use of nervines and adaptogens.
- Assessing Pathology With Cycle Charting | Follicular Phase | Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a very common complex metabolic and endocrine disorder. Krista explains how high levels cause symptoms such as hair growth and acne. Learn about why addressing insulin resistance is essential in the treatment of the condition. Krista explains the types of PCOS and various root causes. Krista provides a detailed treatment protocol with dietary, botanical, and supplement suggestions to improve ovulation, reduce estrogen excess, and treat insulin resistance.
- Assessing Pathology With Cycle Charting | Amenorrhoea
In this section, Krista explains primary, secondary, and oligomenorrhea. She also covers the main causes of these conditions which may include nutritional deficiencies, excessive exercise, stress, and depression. Krista also explains how the birth control pill works to suppress ovulation and when discontinued, can lead to the absence of menstruation. Diet, lifestyle, and herbal recommendations are provided.
- Assessing Pathology With Cycle Charting | Luteal Phase
Krista discusses the luteal phase of the cycle in depth and presents a cycle chart from one of her patients. With the use of animations, you will learn about the anatomy and physiology of the uterus in this phase of the cycle. Krista provides herbal and supplement recommendations to support ovarian function, stimulate ovulation, and lengthen the luteal phase to regulate the cycle and improve fertility.
- Temperature Chart Template
Now that you have learned all of this invaluable information, it is time to download your temperature chart template so that you can start practicing!
Students are saying…
If you are looking to add herbal medicine to your healing journey, Krista will make you feel empowered every step of the way. Notable improvements that I have observed from patients, or experienced firsthand, have included issues ranging from infertility and amenorrhea, to support for coming off of the birth control pill and post-abortion care, to name a few.
Loved it. Learned so much, very high quality, have already recommended the course to friends and colleagues.
Excellent. Very useful & informative. The temperature I have never taken the time to understand, so simplified. Excited to bring this knowledge to my patients.
Please note, this elective course is for PRC Campus students only.