Interview: Natural Solutions for Period Pain

Nicole Jardim — aka "The Period Girl" — is a Certified Women's Health + Functional Nutrition Coach with a specialty in hormonal and reproductive health.  

Her holistic approach to menstrual wellness helps people with uteruses take charge of their periods, with lifestyle changes and complementary therapies.

Kiana Reeves (Foria's Chief Educator) sat down with Nicole at the Foria Heartquarters to discuss everything from the pill to endometriosis to diet & supplements to yoni steaming and more.

The Pill: Masking Period Problems 

KIANA: How did you get started doing this work?

NICOLE: Growing up, I had the kind of period pain that literally had me in bed for 1-2 days. You know the type?

KIANA: Oh my god, yes.

NICOLE: So when I was 18, my OBGYN said I should go on the pill. She thought that was going to be the solution for my very irregular periods, my extreme pain, all the other issues that came along with it.

And it actually worked, it "fixed my period" for a good couple of years, but by the time I stopped taking the pill I was basically in menopause — so that clearly wasn't working.

I realized I had to completely revamp my life: the way I was eating, living, exercising, everything. It was a complete overhaul. And that's really how I discovered this work that I do now.

Identifying Problems & Causes

KIANA: What are the most effective tools you've found for working with painful menstruation?

NICOLE: I'm a big fan of testing, not guessing — really trying to get to the root cause of what's going on.

If you can figure out — through working with a doctor or someone like me — what exactly is causing the pain, then you can start to implement effective solutions.

There's two types of period pain: primary and secondary dysmenorrhea. Primary dysmenorrhea is general period pain, the type that most women experience. Secondary dysmenorrhea is caused by something like endometriosis or uterine fibroids or some other condition like adenomyosis or even complications from an IUD.

KIANA: With so many conditions and lifestyle factors, how do you break it down for your clients?

NICOLE: Women feel like their period issues are so unique to them, and actually we're all having similar issues. Some of the symptoms are a little different but at the root of it there's usually just a few hormonal imbalances, and they manifest differently for different people.

With my Fix Your Period Program, I have two tracks. Track 1 is for painful periods, endometriosis, heavy periods, and periods longer than 7 days. Track 2 is for amenorrhea — having no period, irregular periods, or long cycles, like longer than 60 days.

The difference in all these is in what's happening with estrogen progesterone, testosterone and thyroid hormones. I like to explain all this — the why and the how — because I believe that we can be trusted with our own healthcare. We really want to know what's going. I feel like we've been kept in the dark and I really want to change that paradigm.

Inflammation: Sugar & Alcohol

KIANA: So what are the first recommendations you make?

NICOLE: I always start with diet, across the board.

KIANA: It's so important.

NICOLE: Exactly. But for whatever reason the medical industry is not interested in that approach.

That's where we start. I typically have women work on their sugar and alcohol intake, because more than anything else, those are such a huge contributor to inflammation.

Our ovaries are the most sensitive parts of the body to inflammation. (They also have the most mitochondria of anywhere in our bodies.)

I think we constantly underestimate our poor little ovaries. They're doing a really big job, and they don't get a lot of recognition. So I'm a big fan of reducing that inflammatory response.

We look at your diet, your liver health (because your liver is detoxing hormones and toxins and all these things) and we look at your gut health. 80 percent of Americans have some sort of gut health issue nowadays.

The Microbiome

KIANA: I've been learning recently about how glyphosate is everywhere in our food and water... and it's not just an herbicide. It's an anti-microbial that's wiping out people's gut flora, so the opportunistic pathogens sneak in...and that causes hormone disruption, since gut flora are so involved in the reassimilation of estrogen, which is involved in so many conditions like endometriosis and period pain.

NICOLE: That's exactly it. But we tend to view our bodies in such a compartmentalized way, and we go to five different doctors, who aren't talking to each other, and they're forgetting that all our body parts are talking to each other. We're only now beginning to understand all those systemic interactions.

KIANA: Menstrual pain is so common that it's been normalized without an understanding that it's being caused by these other lifestyle factors that have been swept under the rug.

NICOLE: We've been told for so long that it's completely outside our power, but we're finally putting control back into women's hands.

Diet & Supplementation

KIANA: So what kinds of dietary recommendations do you start with?

NICOLE: I look at food and targeted supplementation.

Every woman should be on magnesium. It's been found to work on period pain and PMS so it's really effective.

I also love the B vitamins — B1 and B2 especially, but the B complex all work together.

I also am big on fish oil. There are numerous studies on its effects on inflammation and how it can calm pain.

Physical Modalities

KIANA: What other interventions or modalities do you work with?

NICOLE: I work in conjunction with other practitioners: I have a great acupuncturist and also a pelvic physical therapist.

Bones and muscles move, and as a result uteruses can move. So there are these issues like the tilted uterus — there's the retroverted and retroflexed uterus. Neither of those are fun. As a result, a lot of women have periods that start and stop.

KIANA: What about resting during your period?

NICOLE: Traditionally, women just did nothing during their flow — they really just didn't — but we are expected in our modern, male dominated society to push push push and go go go on every day of our cycle.

And our hormones are cyclical — we're just not made that way. As a result, we're constantly working against our own nature and that's a huge problem.

KIANA: What's your opinion on yoni steaming?

NICOLE: Vaginal steaming was really transformative for me, and I've had a lot of clients with remarkable results.

You're definitely dealing with medical bias against these types of things, but i've found that just doing it consistently has been transformative for a lot of people.

KIANA: I've found the same thing. It increases circulation to that area, and anything that increases circulation, oxygenation of tissue can be deeply therapeutic.

NICOLE: Exactly.

CBD (and THC) for Period Relief

KIANA: What about CBD for period pain and inflammation?

NICOLE: I've found CBD oil to be super effective for myself and a lot of my clients.

I've also been recommending topical solutions, as well as internal products like your suppositories.

When I first discovered your Relief Suppositories with THC I was amazed at how they worked for me, and thrilled for all the women who come to me with mild to severe period pain.

It's really made a difference. I've seen clients go from absolutely dreading their period, to actually embracing their monthly flow with your suppositories.

KIANA: We're actually launching a study in partnership with McLean Hospital to track the benefits of our CBD-only suppositories in the next few months.

NICOLE: That's going to be so powerful to have that data — an absolute game changer.

You can find Nicole online at or on social media (Fbk, Insta, Twtr, YouTube). She offers a free Facebook group for community discussion and support, where she regularly answers questions.

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