[This is the first article in a series of three on understanding what it means to be female.]
An over-simplification of the differences between men’s and women’s thought processes can be depicted by two boxes: one, representing the male brain, has one “on/off” button on it, signifying men either think of something or they don’t. On the other hand, the box depicting the female brain is covered with buttons labeled with variety of capabilities, such as “pause”, “repeat”, “accelerate”, “permanently on”, etc. since the female brain functions with seemingly unlimited capacity for remembering past events while evaluating the present and simultaneously conjuring up future possibilities, all the while encompassing her own and other’s thoughts on several subjects at the same time!
Women are complicated and the complexity doesn’t stop with the brain. A woman’s body is influenced by an intricate interplay of hormones and neurotransmitters that create physical and psychological changes on a minute-by-minute basis. These changes can create a havoc or bliss, depending on the time of the month or in life (think PMS or menopause).
None of us are given an owner’s manual for our bodies and the ½ hour sex education film shown in seventh grade was generally regarded with embarrassment and denial so many women lack knowledge of female anatomy and hormone health. For you men reading this, read on – your bewilderment of women might be eased. If you’re a female who envies the males seemingly unencumbered existence, this will change your perception of what it means to be fortunate enough to be born with a complete set of XX chromosomes (as opposed to those with XY chromosomes that males have).
Biochemically, all fetuses begin life as female. If the sperm that is allowed to penetrate the egg (yet another fascinating story) carries a Y chromosome, then at 6 weeks the fetus will develop testes. The testes create Anti-Müllerian hormone whose job it is to inhibit the production of the womb and allow the male structures to flourish.
Why would nature favor development of females biologically speaking? Because the female has the incredible ability to develop, give birth to and nurture the future of the species via the womb (uterus and fallopian tubes), ovaries and breasts.
Come to think of it, “Womb One” is a more apt description of the feminine species because it honors that which enables the development of the gift of life. “Womb One” might also improve the perception of monthly fluctuation of moods, changes in body habitus, and flow of menses (commonly called the “period”) that many women have come to regard as a nuisance in our effort to thrive in our male dominated society. However, rather than feeling encumbered, we must learn to celebrate and honor our differences so we can accentuate the positive. To do this, we must first understand the wonder of the Womb One’s reproductive cycle. Tune in next week for a detailed description of what makes women do the things we do.
The information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be used as medical advice or as a substitution for medical care provided by a licensed medical doctor.
Cheryl Hamilton, NMD, began her career in healthcare 32 years ago. She earned a B.S. degree in Nutrition, worked in the health and fitness industry, and raised four children before attending the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine to become a Naturopathic Medical Doctor. Her office is at 8363 E. Florentine Road, Suite C, in Prescott Valley. For more information, call 928-515-2363, or go to www.womenshealthandhealingcenter.com.