Alternative Ways To Manage Your Menstrual Cycle, According To OB-GYN Jessica Shepherd – Exclusive

Anyone who has a menstrual cycle knows that they can be a real pain, literally and figuratively. Some people hit the menstrual cycle lottery and have regular periods that come at a predictable time each month and last for a consistent amount of time. But many aren't that lucky.

People who experience irregular or difficult and painful menstrual cycles often seek the help of their doctor. According to the National Institutes of Health, the first suggestion for treatment is often hormonal birth control. While hormonal birth control works for many people, some people aren't comfortable with this treatment. They want a more natural way to manage their menstrual cycles.

Dr. Jessica Shepherd, an OB-GYN and women's health expert, is all about helping people find holistic ways to approach their cycles. In an exclusive interview with Health Digest, Dr. Shepherd shared some of the ways she helps her patients have better periods.

The first step is body awareness

Dr. Jessica Shepherd told Health Digest that the first step toward having a better period each month is tuning in to your body and using the information it's giving you. "I think that's first and foremost," Dr. Shepherd explained. "Really paying attention to how each individual body regulates itself. And if you start to pay attention to how your body operates, many times you'll find that you can be in tune with it, so you kind of know when things are going to happen, know what impacts it in a good way, or not in a great way. And then kind of working through that to minimize things that don't work well for your body or serve you well."

Once you know how your body feels at each phase of your cycle, you can bring this information to your doctor and start to work on a plan.

Lifestyle changes and alternative medicine

Simple lifestyle changes can make a huge difference in how you experience your menstrual cycle, especially when it comes to premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Dr. Shepherd shared that eating certain foods and avoiding others in the week leading up to your period may alleviate PMS symptoms. And even though getting in a workout might be the last thing you want to do, you should definitely get some movement in.

"Exercising prior to your period's start, or during the PMS period, can actually alleviate the prostaglandin release and the severity of it," Shepherd explained. She continued, saying that exercise also helps to "decrease the oxidative stress that's going on in [the] body," which helps lessen bloating and mood swings.

Shepherd is also a huge proponent of alternative treatments for menstrual cycle management. At her private practice, Sanctum Med and Wellness, Dr. Shepherd offers acupuncture, yoga, and meditation, all of which can be parts of an overall treatment plan. She also offers alternatives to traditional medications, like supplements. Dr. Shepherd, who serves as one of the medical advisors for O Positiv, recommends the brand's supplements. "[O Positiv] really find ways to empower women, and being really intentional with their product line so that it's... research based, because there's a lot of products that are out there that are not research based. And to me, that's important."

Dr. Jessica Shepard is an OB/GYN and Medical Advisor to O Positiv. To learn more about O Positiv's doctor-approved gummy vitamins, including FLO, visit