Today’s post is a continuation. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to first read post #1 titled “The Beginning…”
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In September 2016, I went to see an ob/gyn to learn more of what I could do. She explained that I was underweight/at a BMI lower than what was recommended to get both a period and pregnant. I began to see a dietitian who helped me create a meal plan more in alignment with the nourishment my body needed. I had gained some weight (maybe 5-7 lbs) from following her recommendations.
I incorporated many of the foods listed the books, blogs and podcasts I was listening to at that point, about body acceptance, fertility and body positivity. I worked on my relationship with food by investigating my true hungers, emotions, cravings and thoughts surrounding food and body image.
I ate all the foods I loved but ate them slowly and mindfully and recorded my thoughts, taste preferences and emotional experience. I threw out my scale and stopped weighing myself.
All good things but still not exactly what I needed to heal. I was still afraid of gaining a lot of weight that I never embraced true food and body freedom.
In October, my ob/gyn prescribed short regimen of taking Provera to induce a small period/bleed.
Provera is a prescription drug that contains a type of synthetic progesterone which is supposed to induce a period. Progesterone is one of the hormones that controls the menstrual cycle and ovulation. After being on Provera for 7 days and not having any bleeding 10 days late, I concluded I likely struggled with hypothalamic amenorrhea (nicknamed HA, which is pronounced H-A, each letter sounded out), which I’d already learned about from the books and other sources I’d recently found.
Things started to click at this point. My ob/gyn referred me to an endocrinologist and I found out my Thyroid was fine but my FSH and LH levels were not in the proper ratio. Also concerning was my Prolactin level, which was higher than it should have been. We re-tested in two weeks later, and fortunately ruled out a benign brain tumor/growth that some women have due to high Prolactin. My was “barely high” but enough so that it warranted looking at. (During later blood tests, it fell back into a completely normal range).
After reading all the information about HA, I finally realized that I wasn’t eating enough calories. That was why I didn’t have my period nor ovulated (called a-ovulation). I needed to eat a lot more calories. It didn’t matter that I was at a “non-concerning visually” and some said “healthy” weight. I was still underweight. I knew I needed to eat at least 2,500 calories, and I tried eating more on my hiking days (closer to 3,000-3,200).
I found and read from cover-to-cover an excellent book called Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. It revolutionized the way I saw food and eating. I began to apply the concepts at my meals and snacks.
However, although things started to fall into place by mid November 2016, I knew I needed to see a fertility specialist. I’d been actively working on myself for 4 months by that point. My period still hadn’t returned. My ob/gyn had recommended one of the best in the Phoenix area, Dr. Randall Craig.
*Next: Onwards To See A Fertility Specialist…
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What steps did you take to seek help for your infertility? Similar to mine? An Ob/Gyn? A RE (Reproductive Endochronologist)? A private Fertility Specialist?