My Hypothalamic Amenorrhea Symptoms (Can You Relate?)

I have had a number of symptoms when I was at the peak of Hypothalamic Amenorrhea (HA) before I started recovery. At the time, I thought there was just something wrong with me. I thought that my body changed after kids and this was the new normal. Month after month I started to think maybe this isn’t normal.

Now everyone is different so don’t judge whether or not you have HA, by my symptoms but what I do think it is good to hear someone else’s symptoms to know that this isn’t normal and that maybe you do have HA..

The first big flag for me was how cold I was. I have always been cold but not to the extend that I was experiencing. Another big symptom I had was Digestive issues Issues and elevated Liver Enzymes. This goes without saying but libido seriously takes a hit when hormones are off. Sleep and Insomnia was another issue that would not go away. I was exhausted both mentally and physically because of the insomnia and because my body was crying out. I had body pains and recurring injuries that wouldn’t heal.
My brain was so foggy that some days I could’t think of words.

Do any of these symptoms sound familiar? Watch the video I made where I go into detail on each one of my physical symptoms.

Leave a comment if you shared some of these same symptoms and if and when they started to go away.


5 Tips to Start Hypothalamic Amenorrhea Recovery

Hi Everyone!  It’s been a long time I have posted and 3 .5 years after my last baby was born I am dealing with a new type of infertility.  Hypothalamic Amenorrhea!  The irony of never wanting my period to arrive and now I am praying to get it back.

I am currently working on recovering from HA (4 months all in) and I wanted to provide some tips if you are just starting your recovery journey from HA or your periods are starting to get sporadic.

I created a YouTube video on this topic if you would prefer to watch it here!

The first tip I have for your is to do your research:

I highly recommend Nikola Rinaldi’s book No Period Now what. The link to her site is here.  This book is the HA bible. There is no one more passionate with helping women get their cycles back than Nikola. She has a YouTube channel where she has a few videos and she has been on multiple podcasts. She has dedicated her life’s work to assisting and supporting women to get the periods back. I would be cautious with information overload when first diagnosed. It’s important to know that there is a lot of information out there that can be misleading or even damaging if you aren’t careful. Pay attention to the source of this information and make sure they are qualified to speak to it. I know that I turn to Dr. Google often but it can be slippery slope and you can end up spending hours obsessively looking for an answer or a quick fix.
Tip #2 Understand the Cause(s)
The second tip to start with recovery is to understand why you lost your period and when it happened. If you don’t know why you lost your period then it’s going to be really difficult to change the lifestyle behaviors to get it back or to understand the areas you need to work on. As I mentioned I don’t want to go into super detail in this video but the underlying cause will be some type of stress on your body. This stress is most likely related to an energy deficit caused by restriction on purpose or accidentally, it could be overexercise where your not fueling body and/or extreme stress added to the mix.
Tip #3  Don’t Compare
The third tip I have for you to start your recovery is DO NOT compare! This one is a non negotiable. I do think it is helpful to read stories about others that have gone through the same thing and got to the other side but I would be cautious because you can begin to hyper focus on how long it took others to recover, weight they put on to recover, how much they had to eat or if they could exercise to get it back. If you compare you are going to set yourself up for failure. You will look at those woman that only took 3 weeks to get it back that didn’t have to cut out exercise and only had to put on 2 lbs and you are going to beat yourself up when it takes you a lot longer or when you have to put on more weight and have to cut out all forms of exercise.
Tip #4 Find Support
The fourth tip I have for you is to find support. Support can look different for many people depending on your personality and where you are in life but I would recommend starting out with the HA support group that Nicola created.  If groups are triggering for you then drop out of it and consider some one on one support. If you need more you help on an individual basis you can sign up for coaching through Nicola and others like Kersten Kimura who I worked with.  There are also dietitians and counselors that can help you.
Tip #5 Create a Timeline for Going All In
I want you to create mini goals for yourself if you aren’t ready for the all at once approach. It may not be for everyone but I do think it can be helpful if you aren’t ready to jump all in or you are like most of us where the unknown of when you will get your period back will drive you crazy. What this is is if you aren’t ready to cut out exercise then give yourself a date when you will try to recover or slowly drop out days until your are “all in.
If you like these tips and would like more on HA or anything related make sure to sign up for updates.   What steps are you taking to recover?  Are there any other tips you have for newbies in this journey?  Good Luck.

Strong Enough

Infertility Woes

I have good days and bad days.  Sometimes I manage to get through a few days with no tears.  Some days I wonder how I will ever get through this? Am I strong enough?  I ask myself am I selfish for feeling the way I do or for sheltering myself away from my friends with children?   Will I regret this?  I am only trying to save myself from pain.  It is a way of self preservation like that video said I posted about awhile ago.  I just got invited to two baby showers last week which I will have to regretfully decline the invite.  No one wants the lady who cries in the bathroom at their shower.   I could probably hold myself together but really all those onesies and baby talk will feel like another twist of the dagger.  Infertility has changed who I am.  For one thing I never used to cry.  Now I am happy if I week goes by with no tears.   It has made me stronger and weaker at the same time.  It has made me put myself first and to stop caring what other people think about certain things.

We had a wedding last weekend.  I have never felt so left out. There were about 5 babies there that were under the age of a year.  Topic of choice was pregnancy and everything baby related.  You can imagine me the infertile sitting at the end of the table pretending to do something on my phone while the ladies all conversed about their pregnancies.  No one looking my way because why would they? I don’t fit in.  I feel singled out.  Even my mother in law said something like “Isn’t their baby so cute?” and then apologized and said she needs to stop saying that stuff in front of me.  I am happy she understands but then on the other hand I am sad as it reminds me of what I don’t have and that we are different.

FET #2 Update

I started Provera Sunday and am only on 5 days of it.  So good old AF should be showing soon.  Tomorrow is my birthday and I would consider it a birthday gift if AF arrived because I know that transfer is that much closer!  We also got the letter approving the FET from insurance so another plus.   I wrote the first part of this post a few days ago.  I am actually feeling better today.  Things should be looking up. This one will work…..it just has to!  Or else I may go off my rocker!

Weekend

We have another Wedding this weekend but this time we are not staying over.  I may have over-served myself last weekend on both Friday and Saturday night.  I am still getting over my hangover!  This is why I don’t drink anymore. Hangovers from hell.  Since we were away the whole weekend I missed out on my early morning gym trips.  I did go early last Friday because I had it off.  There was a beautiful sunrise.  How can you not feel good going into the gym when you see this….

I should be able to make it this for an early morning session this weekend  or at least on Saturday.  I may even try to get the hubby up to go with me.  I have cut back on cardio this week and may continue to do so.  I don’t want anything to ruin my chances for a BFP this cycle!

The “Inbetweens” and a short week

FET #2 Update

I have pulled myself away from blogging the past few weeks.  Hell I have pulled myself away from everything and everyone I know.  I don’t even want to be around myself some days.  I am frustrated, sad and just ready for this journey to have a happy ending.  I think the “inbetweens” are some of the hardest times.  By “inbetweens” I mean inbetween IVFs and inbetween test results.  Is this a word? Probably not but that’s OK I am allowed to use it.  I find not preparing or planning for something is the hardest for me.  I find myself feeling a lot more depressed about IF then at other times.  I also find myself affected more by all the little things like the pregnant woman heating her food up next to me at work, the pregnancy tests on the end of the shampoo aisle or the fact that every time I  log onto facebook it’s another pregnancy or birth announcement. The past few times we have jumped into birth control to get ready for another cycle right after a failed one.   This time because of the testing I chose not to take them.  When I am not actively doing something I feel anxious and find myself thinking more about our failures.  Even if I am just on Birth control pills it feels like I am doing something.  Now there’s just a dull lull. Waiting…waiting…..

Source

Well the good news is I finally got some results back.  Both me and my husband’s karyotype test came back normal.  The biopsy…normal.  Now the question is then why does it keep on failing??? Also since this month was my first month taking nothing in six months guess what happens? nothing.  No ovulation and I am on day 30.  I have called the clinic and they will be putting me on pills to start my period and then we will be going into our FET cycle.

What I am looking forward to

Enough of the depressing stuff.  Good News is that I have a short week this week!  It has been a rough couple of weeks at work.  Very busy but we had Monday off for the holiday and I took off Friday. Yay Me!