A Younger You With Cosmetic PRP

Dull skin? Aging Skin? Damaged Skin?

If you are looking for fresher, younger, rejuvenated looking skin, Cosmetic PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) is a proven treatment to repair skin at a cellular level.

Your body has the power within itself to heal and regenerate tissues by using its own platelets from your own blood to stimulate stem cell responses. It is the stem cells that help regenerate new collagen cells as well as blood vessels which help to repair damaged skin and slow/reverse the signs of aging..

As we age we tend to experience a loss of elasticity in our skin which can contribute to the following common complaints including but not limited to:

  • Fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes and lips
  • Dehydrated skin
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • A change in skin texture and tone

Sun exposure, smoking and an unbalanced diet can all be contributing factors.

What is PRP?

PRP is a component of blood, which is extracted from the same patient it will be used to treat. Thus the treatment itself does not require any external chemicals or additives, which virtually negates any risk of allergy or sensitivity. In other words, PRP is a component of your own blood that is gently extracted and isolated, then used to promote healing in your damaged tissues. The goal of PRP therapy is to concentrate the growth factors found in your blood, and use them to supercharge the natural healing processes.

Cosmetic PRP is most effective when combined with microneedling.

What are the Benefits of Cosmetic PRP

Cosmetic PRP is shown to improve the appearance of:

  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Skin tone and tightening as well as improve collagen and volume loss
  • Facial scarring
  • Rosacea
  • How long does the treatment take?
  • If combined with the Microneedling SkinPen® the treatment typically takes 1 hour.

Is it painful?

Applying PRP topically during Microneedling doesn’t cause pain. If PRP is injected into acne lesions/scars, there may be some discomfort. A topical numbing agent can be applied if needed to minimize any discomfort.

Is there any down time?

PRP applied topically during Microneedling can reduce the swelling and enhance the healing process.

If PRP is injected there is no downtime after the treatment. However you may notice some redness and mild swelling on the area immediately afterwards and occasionally mild bruising at the injection site. The swelling typically begins to subside within 24 hours and a full recovery within 5 days.

How soon will I see results?

An overall improvement of the skin can be seen within 1-2 weeks of treatment.

Our bodies regenerate collagen and blood vessels every 3-6 weeks, which means that this treatment will continue working long after the actual procedure.

How do I know if Cosmetic PRP is Right for Me?

We recommend a consultation with one of our professionally trained physicians to discuss your requirements and the right treatment for your needs.

How is the procedure performed?

Prior to the procedure the area will be sterilized and a topical numbing agent will be applied to the area to be treated. You will then be cared for in our IV suite where one of our nurses will take a simple and quick blood collection, which will then be processed immediately ready for treatment. The blood is processed through a specialized machine which spins and separates the platelet-rich plasma from the rest of the blood.  Once the numbed area is ready the PRP is injected or reapplied to the skin.

Are there any risks?

The risks of this treatment are very minimal as your own blood is being used so there is no risk of disease transmission or allergic reactions.

You will be provided with a post care plan for you to take home after your treatment.

Are you looking for a safe and effective acne treatment – Contact Us, how PRP can help with acne scars and lesions.

Contact one of our patient care coordinators, today, to find out more: 503-505-9806

Ozone Therapy for Athletes: Does It Work?

Ozone Therapy for Athletes: Does It Work?

Does Ozone Therapy for Athletes actually work? This is a topic of controversy, even though there are 1,000’s of research articles that discuss it’s safety and benefits.  Throughout the world there are doctors and professional athletes who swear by it. But before we dive in too deep, let’s explain something really important:

Ozone vs. Oxygen

Don’t confuse ozone with oxygen. Hyperbaric oxygen chambers have been history known to treat decompression sickness and air embolisms. Then there’s the recreational oxygen trend – Oxygen bars and such. Advocates say oxygen can provide a boost before exercise, a quicker recovery afterward, relaxation after a stressful day, or mental clarity.

Athletes often like it, and in fact, public records related to Tiger Woods’ home in Jupiter, Florida, refer to an oxygen therapy room being built into his home gym. It’s easy to understand why athletes gravitate toward a health trend like simple oxygen. Hyperbaric oxygen chambers have significant research backing up their health benefits. The book, Oxygen Revolution, is a great resource.

Ozone, is made up of three molecules of oxygen (O3), which is much less stable than O2. The 2 therapies can have very similar effects on the body. However, ozone therapy tends to shine with quick results that are affordable. Ozone can be used to help clear up acne, improve exercise tolerance and stamina, and modulate the immune system. There are thousands of research articles regarding the health benefits of ozone therapy.

Ozone Therapy for Athletes, Performance & Recovery

Athletes, in particular, can benefit from ozone therapy for both performance and recovery. According to Nathaniel Altman’s The Oxygen Prescription: The Miracle of Oxidative Therapies, ozone therapy can increase an athlete’s performance by boosting the oxygenation of tissues while escalating the body’s production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which will lead to speedy recovery from sports injuries and will yield more energy to be expended. In addition, sore muscles can be prevented by ozone therapy after exercise. Ozone slows down the cells’ anaerobic fermentation and helps scale down the buildup of lactic acid.

Ozone Therapy works by increasing blood flow to the muscles. In addition, blood flow to the heart is also increased, which reduces strain during the same workload. In one study, male runners who engaged in an average of 12- to 30-minute sessions twice a week immediately after an intense run, resulted in a 32 percent increase in the distance they could run before reaching the point of exhaustion.

Benefits Ozone Therapy Can Have On An Athlete:

  • Increases tissue oxygenation.
  • Increases production of ATP, resulting in more energy and faster recovery.
  • Delays the onset of anaerobic fermentation of sugar in the cell, reducing lactic acid build-up.
  • Oxidizes lactic acid, helping prevent sore muscles.
  • Reduces swelling, bruising and pain from injuries, and speeds healing.
  • Prevents and treat colds and flu and enhances immunity.
  • Can eliminate the need for antibiotics, protecting intestinal flora.
  • Increases hormone production to optimum levels, eliminating need for artificial steroids.

Ozone Therapy Speeds Up Healing

Many sports injuries involve strains and sprains that cause swelling and an accumulation of excess fluid in connective tissue.

Ozone Therapy for athletes soothes muscles and calms nerves, and it causes oxygenation of tissues at a cellular level. Therefore, nutrients are delivered to the site of injury and inflammatory fluid is removed more rapidly.

Ozone therapy cleans arteries and veins, improves brain function and memory, purifies blood and lymph, and scavenges free radicals. Overall, ozone therapy is a very healthy oxygen treatment for everyone from the exercise enthusiast to the professional athlete.

What’s The Catch?

No catch. Ozone therapy has been used since the late 1800’s all over the world. It is currently extensively used in Cuba in hospitals, in parts of Spain, and the list goes on.

Ozone is a very reactive gas that is toxic to the respiratory system. However, under controlled conditions, it can be therapeutically useful in several human diseases. An unfavorable combination of factors (ozone is one of the worst troposphere pollutants) and past misuse have led to misgivings about Ozone therapy. However, basic and clinical work developed over the past 10 years has clarified the fundamental mechanisms of action of ozone in biology and medicine. Interestingly, judicious doses of ozone dissolved in blood trigger a cascade of well-defined chemical compounds acting on multiple cellular targets according to well-known molecular, biochemical and pharmacological pathways. Ozone therapy is proving to be very useful in age-related macular degeneration, ischemic and infectious diseases, and in wound healing disorders, where conventional medicine has failed. Critical evaluation of the potential therapeutic utility of this simple, inexpensive medical application by national and international health authorities is warranted and may lead to clinical benefit for a large proportion of the world’s population.


Department of Physiology, University of Siena, via Moro 2, 53100, Siena, Italy. bocci@unisi.it. “The Case for Oxygen-Ozonetherapy. PubMed.gov. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17444419

Ozone Therapy and Its Effects On Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Ozone is a safe, inexpensive, and effective clinical tool with a wide range of therapeutic applications. Pain management is an area where ozone excels, and many studies have been done to demonstrate its analgesic properties. Numerous clinical trials and research studies have been conducted to investigate the effects of ozone therapy. Ozone has been shown to be beneficial for a wide range of conditions, including pain, cardiovascular disease, mitochondrial dysfunction, infection, and non-healing skin lesions. Clinical practice has also shown benefit in neurological disorders, autoimmunity, fatigue, and others. The discussion of ozone in this article will be limited to the area of pain. For a comprehensive overview of ozone therapy, Principles and Applications of Ozone Therapy – A Practical Guide for Physicians, by Frank Shallenberger MD, is an excellent resource.


Ozone can be administered in numerous ways. For the purpose of treating acute and chronic pain, ozone is traditionally administered as an injection (often referred to as a “prolozone”). Patients suffering from chronic pain of a systemic origin (e.g., fibromyalgia, chronic Lyme/coinfections, CFIDS, environmental illness, etc.) may require similar injection therapies and/or intravenous (IV) administration of ozone.


  • IV administration
  • Injection
  • Limb bagging
  • Cupping
  • Rectal insufflations
  • Bladder insufflations
  • Vaginal insufflations

Intravenous administration of ozone is traditionally administered as major autohemotherapy (MAH). MAH involves removing 60 to 250 mL of venous blood into an IV bag, mixing it with ozone gas, and a small amount of heparin (to prevent clotting). It is then re-infused into the patient. Unlike local injections, MAH provides a system-wide exposure to the effects of ozone, hence its applicability to systemic diseases, as mentioned above. Ozone can also be administered to the whole body through IV ozonated-saturated saline, rectal insufflations of ozone gas, or cutaneous absorption via cupping or limb bagging.


Ozone therapy has excellent versatility in treating musculoskeletal sources of acute and chronic pain. Many studies have been conducted on the use of ozone injections for back pain, especially that related to herniated discs. These studies have shown positive clinical outcomes with one trial demonstrating better efficiency than steroid. Analgesic effects of ozone have also been demonstrated in the treatment of sciatica, headache, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, sensitive-tooth pain, and radiotherapy-induced proctitis.

In clinical practice, ozone injections have a high frequency of success in treating joint pain. Knees, hips and shoulder joints are very responsive to treatment. Our patient’s with frozen shoulder often experience complete resolution in 1-3 treatments.

Dental pain also tends to respond well to treatment, whether it is post-root canal, trauma-induced, or idiopathic (unknown cause). Our physicians have observed trigger points and symptom-inducing scar tissue to regularly resolve more easily when ozone is added into the treatment protocol. Nasal inhalation of ozone gas that has been bubbled through olive oil frequently works very well for pain from acute or chronic sinusitis. Patients suffering from chronic infections such as Lyme often have faster symptom relief when using ozone injections in painful muscles or joints. Successful results from treatments may be due to a combination of the anti-inflammatory effects of ozone and its antimicrobial properties.

Another area where ozone shines is the use in cosmetics. We notice a decrease in the appearance of cellulite and acne scars. This is a newer area in ozone therapy. The doctors at Lake Oswego Health Center frequently lecture on ozone and platelet rich plasma (PRP) in cosmetics and overall regenerative medicine.


Ozone is known to be toxic to lung tissue when it is directly inhaled. Long-term exposure to inhaled ozone can contribute to the formation of asthma, COPD, allergies, and cardiovascular disease. For this reason, we do not offer direct ozone inhalation.


Ozone therapy is a highly versatile clinical tool. Ozone has a long clinical history and a wealth of positive effects reported in practice.

Ozone therapy in all its forms to be an invaluable addition to Lake Oswego Health Center’s practice. Even equipped with core naturopathic modalities, injection therapies (neural therapy, prolotherapy, neural prolotherapy, platelet-rich plasma, IV therapies, and other integrative therapies. We have found ozone to be of inimitable value for many of our patients suffering from pain and chronic illness.


  1. Rubin MB. The History of Ozone. The Schönbein Period, 1839–1868. Bull Hist Chem. 2001;26(1):40-56. http://www.scs.illinois.edu/~mainzv/HIST/bulletin_open_access/v26-1/v26-1%20p40-56.pdf. Accessed April 15, 2014.
  2. Elvis AM, Ekta JS. Ozone therapy: A clinical review.J Nat Sci Biol Med. 2011;2(1):66-70.
  3. Stoker G. Ozone in Chronic Middle-Ear Deafness. The Lancet. 1902;160(4131):1187-1188.
  4. Shallenberger F. Principles and Applications of Ozone Therapy: A Practical Guide for Physicians. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 2011.

Microbiome: how does it affect our heart and mood? Chronic Lyme?

Hello everyone!  I just wrapped up a fantastic week at the latest SOPMED conference in Colorado Springs. It was wonderful as usual. I have been every year since it has started. Every year I learn great pearls. I’d highly recommend your doctor attends next year.

Dr. Zach Bush, owner of Restore, gave an amazing talk on our microbiome. He is a wealth of information. Do you know that spirochetes (blamed for symptoms of chronic lyme) travel by themselves through our body? When we find them in tissue there is not an infectious process happening. They are not forming colonies or creating havoc in nearby tissue. So why are they there? Spirochetes sequester sulphur and we use carbon. Why do we have excess sulphur? Why are we putting patients on months to years of antibiotics? What if the spirochetes are trying to help us. You might want to look into the use of glyphosate and what trends that has created around the world. Was that connected to HIV? This appeared to emerge after glyphosate was dumped (tested) in South Africa.  WHAT!?!? You can talk to me more at your next visit. I will also be posting some videos soon on our youtube channel and Facebook page.

We need to put our dollars to work. Only buy organically grown vegetables. If you eat meat, ensure that it is raised ethically and without drugs. GMO’s foods need be labelled.

Do you wonder why so many children have food allergies now? Do you wonder why fertility has dropped drastically? Have you looked at the maps of cancer rates and areas why glyphosate is highest in our environment? We can trace a lot of this back to round-up ready foods and the heavy exposure of glyphosate in our daily life.

In Health,

Dr. Bridghid McMonagle

Sunscreen: Protect your skin without disrupting your hormones

The good news: Sunny weather has arrived!

The bad news: Most sunscreen products contain hormone-disrupting chemical “filters.”

When you are out enjoying the sunshine this summer, it’s important to protect your skin cells from the full strength of the UV radiation. The safest option is to apply sunscreen made with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide which act as a shield from the UV.

Unfortunately, most mainstream products contain chemical “filter” sunscreens, including some of the following:

Oxybenzone /Avobenzone / Octinoxate / Octisalate

These chemical sunscreens are effective for broad UV protection, but their small carbon-based particles are absorbed through your skin, can clog your pores and studies suggest they may act on hormone pathways once in your body. Reports by the Center for Disease Control show that the vast majority of people tested are excreting Oxybenzone in their urine. This means the chemical is circulating through their body. 

Just like plastics and other known toxins, Oxybenzone and its cousins demonstrate estrogenic activity. This means they can mimic the estrogen and likely disrupt the hormone balance in women, men and children.

Most of us have heard that plastics and parabens (a common ingredient in skin products) can do harm by mimicking estrogen. Chemical sunscreens, on the other hand, carry similar risks but are widely accepted as safe. Based on results of prior studies, more data needs to be collected and evaluated before we can say that chemical sunscreens pose no harm.

Infants and children are especially vulnerable to hormone-disrupting chemicals. Traditional zinc or titanium based sunscreen is safer and reliable for your little ones, and not hard to find. 

We carry sunscreen options in the clinic for all ages.Don’t hesitate to ask your doctor for recommendations. In the meantime, check your products at home and take a moment to familiarize yourself with the common brands containing chemical sunscreens.

Popular chemical sunscreen brands:

-Banana Boat 



We have a few of our favorite at the clinic for you to try as testers.

Patient Success Story: Weight loss!

We love to share the successes that our patients have!

65 year old male has lost over 100 pounds in a year.  In addition to educating him on nutrition, we used PRP and ozone therapy to improve the health of his knees.  With the injections, he was able to be more active.  As he had less chronic pain and feel some hope, he was able to make some amazing diet changes.

A year later, his lab results have significantly improved.  He is not taking any pharmaceuticals.  He is able to walk his dog every day for over 30 minutes.  A year ago, he could not stand more than 5 minutes without 8/10 knee pain.


Is A Ketogenic Diet Right For You?

It may seem like a ketogenic plan is no more than a new “fad diet” for losing weight. This is not the case. Ketogenic diets are neither new nor useful only for dropping pounds. Despite gaining recent popularity for weight loss, ketogenic diets have been used in modern medicine for greater than a century. Even the practice of fasting to promote healing, which is deeply rooted in numerous cultures, is a method for transitioning into ketosis.

While modern medical use of ketosis is primarily reserved for seizure disorders, there is a wide array of additional potential BENEFITS:

-Reversing metabolic disease and diabetes

-Decreasing symptoms of PCOS and hormone imbalance

-Weight loss and lean muscle building

-Stabilizing blood sugar

-Stabilizing mood

-Increasing energy

-Better cognition and memory

-Clearer skin

There are conditions and situations in which a ketogenic diet is not appropriate. Please look below for a list summarizing these.

If you are reading this, you’ve likely wondered “Can a ketogenic diet benefit me?” For most of us, the answer is yes. The more important question is HOW to transition smoothly and do it right so that you begin seeing and feeling those benefits.

Most Americans follow the SAD (Standard American Diet) high in refined starches and sugars which feed inflammation and chronic disease. A diet which reduces blood sugar levels and insulin resistance carries great potential in those cases. Even those on an organic, health-conscious diet may benefit from increasing ketones and decreasing sugars.

If you do not have one of the specific conditions in which a high fat, low carb diet is contraindicated, how do you decide if it is right for you?

If you struggle with 2 or more of these health concerns weekly, I recommend trying Keto:



Eczema Psoriasis Estrogen Dominance

Brain fog IBS Autoimmune Disease

High blood pressure Sugar Cravings Anxiety/Depression

You may also want to consider a ketogenic plan if you have multiple immediate family members diagnosed with diabetes, heart disease, or dementia.

Ready to start?

I guide my patients through an introduction phase, gradually decreasing carbohydrates and introducing key vitamins and minerals to avoid the dreaded “keto flu.”

I recommend evaluating your current diet, becoming familiar with your macros (grams per day of carbohydrates, fats, protein) and making a plan when you are ready to begin. This includes deciding which ketone testing method to start with and planning for modifications that fit your individual needs. Not a fan of meat? You can do a ketogenic plan. Dairy free? You can do a ketogenic diet.

Remember, for most of us, HOW to do a ketogenic diet is the most important question.

Do NOT start a ketogenic diet if:

-You are pregnant or newly breastfeeding

-You are in kidney failure

-You have porphyria or a congenital fatty acid oxidation disorder

-You are on insulin and your physician will not be monitoring the diet transition

-You have significant vitamin/mineral deficiencies not yet treated

-You have untreated gastroparesis or active gallbladder disease

-You are already training for a marathon, triathlon or equivalent

Stay happy, stay healthy!

A brighter mood in menopause: Bio-identical hormones for mood support

Female hormone therapy isn’t just for hot flashes. Just like oxygen, water and blood sugar, hormones have an important role in every part of your body.

We experience a broad array of mental & emotional changes as our hormones change. Is it any surprise, then, that balancing or replacing those hormones can help your mood?

If you are like most women, you’ll experienced a few of these before or after menopause:

  • Irritability
  • Weepiness
  • Depression & fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Joint pain and stiffness

Tired and feeling blue ever since your periods ended? You are not alone. Don’t worry, science is catching up!

This month, JAMA Psychiatry published results from a randomized clinical trial showing that perimenopausal and post-menopausal women were significantly less likely to develop depression if taking bio-identical hormones.

January 10, 2018

Conclusions: Twelve months of [transdermal estradiol and oral micronized progesterone] were more effective than placebo in preventing the development of clinically significant depressive symptoms…”

Clinically, I see my patients prove this to be true. And it’s not only true for women in menopause. I’ve observed:

  • Men with depression able to stop antidepressants once on testosterone
  • Younger women with less depression & anxiety once on progesterone

When I recommend hormone support, I rarely just prescribe a standard estrogen patch. Individuals deserve to have a complete picture of their hormone health to ensure safer prescription therapies and better symptom relief. This means quality labs and individualized hormone prescriptions.


  • Estradiol, Progesterone & FSH
  • DHEA-s & Pregnenolone
  • Thyroid and cortisol when appropriate


Like any medication, there are risks and concerns that come with taking bio-identical hormones. These vary depending on age, health and the type of hormones taken. There can also be many benefits, in addition to mood support:

  • Osteoporosis prevention
  • Weight management
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Strength & agility
  • Energy & vitality


Don’t hesitate to ask your doctor if you are a candidate for bio-identical hormones. This should include a conversation regarding potential benefits and side effects. If you have access to a licensed Naturopathic Physician or other doctor practicing Functional Medicine, make an appointment today!

Wishing you health,

Dr. Kaley Bourgeois



Efficacy of Transdermal Estradiol and Micronized Progesterone in the Prevention of Depressive Symptoms in the Menopause Transition

Gordon, J., Rubinow, D., Eisenlohr-Moul, T., Xia, K., Schmidt, P. and Girdler, S. (2018). Efficacy of Transdermal Estradiol and Micronized Progesterone in the Prevention of Depressive Symptoms in the Menopause Transition.

Learn more about your allergies!

Worried About Histamine and Mast Cell Dysfunction?

If you feel like your body is constantly battling new food allergies, rashes, hives, or mysterious aches and pains, you may have a histamine disorder. We all produce histamine as part of a healthy, active immune system.

When histamines do their job correctly, they act as chemical messengers released by mast cells, which then travel to areas assaulted by allergens (like your nose filled with pollen). They tell your body to protect that tissue. Sometimes they do their job a bit too well and you end up with horrible spring allergies or even a life-threatening peanut allergy.

In the case of mastocytosis or a mast cell activation disorder, you can experience numerous symptoms due to excess histamine throughout your body. This occurs when you have an abnormally high number of mast cells, or when your mast cells are over-producing histamine. Since there are so many possible symptoms, these not-so-rare conditions are often missed.

Some common symptoms of a mast cell disorder:

-Hives, itchy skin, flushing

-Angioedema (swelling of the face, lips, mouth)

-Muscle, bone or joint pain

-Fatigue, headache, dizziness, brain fog

-Cough, shortness of breath or wheezing, stuffy nose

-IBS-like symptoms, often with numerous food reactions

-Multiple chemical sensitivities

-Abnormal heart beat, blood pressure changes

No wonder this diagnosis gets missed!

If you and your doctor know what to look for, diagnosing a mast cell activation disorder is possible. Often simple blood tests are enough. The medications used to treat these conditions include mast cell stabilizers, such as cromolyn sodium or ketotifen.

Are there natural things that can help? Yes!

We recommend you always consult with your doctor before introducing a new treatment. Even if you have all the signs and symptoms, you may not actually have a mast cell activation disorder. It’s important to get a diagnosis first, and you don’t want to risk interfering with diagnostic labs.

If you do have one of these disorders, talk to your physician about:

-Food allergy and food intolerance testing

-Glutathione therapies

-Anti-inflammatory diet plans

– DAO enzyme supplements

-Quercetin and Vitamin C supplements

-Adrenal hormone support

-IV treatments like Medical Ozone and Vitamin C

It’s never too early to start a food diary and track when you experience any of your common health complaints after specific meals.

Yours in health,

Dr. Kaley Bourgeois

Luteal Phase Defect: A common hormone imbalance

Luteal Phase Defect: A Common Hormone Imbalance

Low progesterone is one of the most common hormone imbalances women face. Depending on your age, it can create different challenges.

A middle-aged woman heading toward menopause might notice heavier, painful periods and mood changes. Periods might also be more frequent, because the second half of her cycle (the luteal phase) is getting shorter. This often happens when her ovaries produce too little progesterone after ovulation, or in some cases, fail to ovulate altogether.

The same thing can happen to a younger woman, and once again the challenge may be irregular or frequent periods. She could experience worsening PMS and mood changes. The younger woman may also find becoming pregnant more challenging. Implantation (when the fertilized egg attaches itself to the uterus) usually takes place 7-10 days after ovulation. If her period comes before implantation can occur, she is unlikely to conceive.

This brings us to the under-diagnosed problem we see in so many woman:

Luteal phase defect

After ovulation, the ovary should create enough progesterone to keep the uterine lining intact for an average of 12-14 days. This allows time for a fertilized egg to attempt implantation. If your luteal phase is 9 days or less, you have a luteal phase defect.

If you’ve had trouble getting pregnant, or you noticed your periods seem to come early, it’s possible that you have a luteal phase defect. It is worth noting that not every woman ovulates on day 14, so an “early period” might be normal for some. If you ovulate on day 10, for example, and your average luteal phase is 12 days, your period could come on day 22 of your cycle. If you were to do the math assuming a day 14 ovulation, you would incorrectly think you had an 8 day luteal phase.

So how do you know if you have a luteal phase defect?

Try collecting some data! This will help you and your physician to figure out the puzzle. Pick up a few packs of ovulation test strips (just like pregnancy tests, you get to pee on a stick). After your next period ends, begin testing every morning until you get a firm positive. In most cases, you will ovulate within 24 hours. You can then record that date and keep track how many days pass until your period arrives.

You will also want to get your hormones tests. Your doctor might ask for you to come in on day 3 or day 21 of your cycle depending on which hormones they are running. At the very least, you want to get a progesterone level on day 21 (if you ovulate around day 14). If you know that you ovulate several days before cycle day 14, or several days after, your doctor can adjust when they test for the hormone.

What causes a luteal phase defect?

Sometimes a short luteal phase is simply related to peri-menopause, and it might fluctuate month to month. In other cases, you want to speak with your doctor about the following possibilities:

-Over-exercise or malabsorption

-Thyroid disease

-Adrenal fatigue

-Ovarian cyst, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

-High prolactin

-Metabolic disorder and insulin resistance

How do we treat a luteal phase defect with naturopathic medicine?

The key to regaining a normal luteal phase is understanding why it became short in the first place. This is the part where you and your physician get to be detectives. It might require a prescription, such as thyroid hormone if it turns out you have hypothyroidism. In other cases, diet and lifestyle changes may be enough.

Depending on what you and your medical team detect, effective naturopathic interventions often include:

-Diet changes and seed cycling

-Herbs such as Vitex and Black Cohosh

-Nutritional oils such as Evening Primrose, Flax or Borage

-Bio-identical progesterone therapy

-Stress reduction techniques

-Other specific nutrient therapies

Yours in health,

Dr. Kaley Bourgeois