I always had a feeling that I would have trouble getting pregnant. When I went off the pill in my early 20s, I didn’t get my period for a year. My doctor said I likely had PCOS and put me back on the pill. Fast-forward to Oct 2016 and we were thinking about having kids in the next year. I knew my cycles weren’t regular so I went off the pill months before. After 3 months and no sign of a period, I called my doctor and she decided to run some tests.
I did research and discovered that I might have something called Hypothalamic Amenorrhea (HA). This is where your brain senses that your body is under high stress and in deprivation mode so it shuts off reproduction. Some of the common symptoms include: being underweight / low BMI, having absent or irregular cycles, no sex drive, feeling cold all the time, thinning hair, brittle nails and fatigue. I was literally a walking billboard for this condition. I couldn’t believe that my “healthy” lifestyle was harming my chances of conceiving and becoming a mom.
Here are some of the things I was doing that I thought were healthy, but turned out to be obsessive and harmful to my body: measuring exact amounts of food and calories, eating the same thing every day so I knew exactly how many calories, refusing myself dessert, exercising at least 1+ hours/day 7 days per week, and over-committing myself in my professional and personal life. After taking a hard look at my lifestyle, I knew I had to make a change in order to have a chance at fertility. But how does someone whose entire life revolves around exercise, healthy eating and high achievement just throw away everything they know and who they are for something they aren’t even sure is going to work? Well it’s not easy, and it still isn’t. Finding a tribe of women like you who have gone through the same thing is also very helpful and reassuring.