What is Hypothalamic Amenorrhea and why you NEED your period back

If you’re reading this post you most likely are experiencing a loss of period or you want to understand what Hypothalamic Amenorrhea is and why it is important to get your period back. You can check out my video below or read on to hear about HA.

What is Hypothalamic Amenorrhea?

Hypothalamic Amenorrhea or HA for short is a type of secondary amenorrhea. The definition of HA is 3 months absence of menstruation. This means at some point you had your period and have lost it. This looks different for everyone. You may have been on birth control pills and tried coming off and never got your period back or you may have just started having really light periods or maybe the duration between periods started to increase more and more until you no longer have a mentrual cycle. In actuality the absence of periods is merely the absence of ovulation in most situations although you can have annovulatory cycles. The bleeding is shedding your lining because pregnancy didn’t occur. I have a lot of experience with this and the science behind it because I went through multiple IVFs ( 5 for my son and 1 for my daughter).

Either way you are probably starting to get concerned with what is going on. Where the hell is my period? What’s going on? One month passes and it seems like no big deal, one less thing to worry about and then more and more time passes and you begin to get nervous. Or maybe your are thinking no big deal it’s so much easier not having a period. For some, it could be a few months, a few years or even for some decades. The good thing is you are looking into trying to recover and that is the first step.

How is it diagnosed and reasons you may have it.


From all the research I have done and the doctors that I spoke to, HA is diagnosed by way of elimination. What this means is that they need to rule out any other cause of hypothalamic amenorrhea. They need to rule out a pituitary tumor, thyroid issues, any scarring or obstruction or some other ailment that is stopping menstruation.

The typical protocol for doctors is they will do some blood work, they may do an ultrasound and some may do an MRI if you have higher Prolactin levels to rule out a tumor. I would recommend getting a full blood panel from your Dr. That would include a full thyroid panel, Estrogen, Progesterone, Lutenizing Hormone(LH) and Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH ). A lot of times they may only check Estrogen and FSH and without the key indicator of LH you may lose the opportunity to see improvements.

The doctor will probably try around of Provera. Provera will induce a period in woman that have a lining and some women may get a bleed which usually indicates a less severe case of HA. If you don’t get a bleed don’t stress yourself out. I didn’t either when I was first put on it. If you don’t get a bleed it’s also a good indication you have HA which if your blood work aligns with it and if you can relate to some of the trends below. This is a great thing because it means it is most likely reversible

If you have gone to the Dr, you may have suppressed LH, low estrogen but for some these are on the low to borderline normal..


Women with HA seem to have some of the following trends:

  • Disordered eating patterns
  • Have lost a significant amount of weight or been on diets
  • Have history of restriction
  • May be binge eating
  • May have cut out certain food groups or macro nutrients-
  • Fatigued
  • Showing signs of overexercising or working out too much
  • May be an athlete or dancer but not required
  • May extremely active
  • Low body fat
  • High Stress Levels

If any of these sound like you and you haven’t gone to the Dr, I would go to get some blood work done but hear this you need to make sure you are your own advocate. Most likely the Dr. is going to put you on birth control which will actually suppress your hormones. If you go in there and you have done your research prior to the appointment you will feel equipped to ask for what you need.

Why should you recover?

OK so now you may know that you have HA. You’re thinking why do I need to recover? Periods are a pain. Maybe you aren’t trying to get pregnant right now so it’s not a big deal but HA can cause:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • No sex drive
  • Infertility
  • Mental Health Issues (anxiety/depression)
  • Perception of poor quality of life-
  • Exhaustion
  • Skin or hair problems

Please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns! Proud of you for taking the leap to start recovery!

Meet Alana Rose!

She’s here!   Well she will be 4 weeks tomorrow so this post is a little late but she has been keeping us busy.  Alana arrived at 1:34pm on December 10th and was just a tad bigger than her brother at 7lb 9oz and 19.5 inches.  She is absolutely perfect and looks so much like Coen as a newborn.

I did hope to have a VBAC but things did not go my way.  This pregnancy was a lot longer than Coen’s and at 41 weeks and 1 day it was decided that a C section would be my best option.  Although I was devastated with the news, things were different with this section.  I knew what to expect and it wasn’t at nearly midnight when I was completely exhausted.  I was the first one to hold her and she was placed on my chest as soon as she was pulled out and she remained there while I was “put” back together.  That experience made it feel less like an operation and more like a childbirth. The other unique thing was Coen was born 8 days early on 10/12 and Alana was 8 days late born on 12/10 so it just feels like it was meant to be.

I plan on posting her monthly updates as well as my postpartum ones just like I did for Coen.

 

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9dp5dt, Beta tomorrow and……

I did test on our anniversary at 5dp5dpt and much to my surprise and excitement I saw a very faint line!!!  Beta is tomorrow and tests have been getting darker.  I am in shock!  Tests are from Monday and Tuesday.  Eeek

 

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4dp5dt ~ Deja Vu

FET #1 for Baby #2

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Transfer went so smoothly on Monday.  We transferred one Grade A blast.  In the past with my retroverted cervix it has been painful and the Dr always struggles with getting the placement right.  The only time that it went this smoothly was when it actually worked…….but think pregnancy just changed things a bit and made it a little easier.  I am not stupid.  I have been in this position too many times.  I can’t compare this time to any other one.  I have cycles I was positive I was pregnant that I wasn’t and the one that worked that felt like other failed cycles.  I took the day of transfer off but decided to go back to work the day after.  I kind of wish I didn’t because that day ended up to be quite stressful.  My boss gave her notice which leaves me with one new guy that has been there a month and one other that was leaving two days after my boss and one person who hasn’t started yet.  The good thing is it will be an opportunity for me to grow before they decide what to do with the position.  I also have not been following orders as far as not lifting heavy items…Coen is almost 30lbs so there really is nothing I can do!

As far as symptoms, I have felt the normal progesterone ones…..on and off cramps, backache and random twinge or pulling feeling, sore boobs etc.  I have had these for negative cycles so I try not to obsess about them.  (haha! That’s a joke)  I did have a sharp pain or two in my uterus one night that woke me but that could have been anything.  The past day or two I haven’t felt much.  So now the question is when to test.  Tomorrow at 5dp5dt is when I got a positive with Coen and it is also our 4 year anniversary.  I don’t know if I should skip or test and know it is still early.  When you are a POAS addict it is really hard to wait…..

Lining Check and Transfer on Monday

FET #1 for Baby #2

I had my first lining check last Wednesday but it was a no go.  My lining was only 6.3mm and at best it needs to be at least 8 before they schedule the transfer.  I was bumped up from 2mg Estrace twice a day to 2mg three times a day.  I had a second lining check on Monday and my lining was 8.6 but due to scheduling they had me come in one more time this past Wednesday.  My lining at that point was 8.8mm.  We started PIO shots Wednesday night and we have transfer this Monday at 10:30am!  I am excited/nervous for the transfer.  It has been over two years since our last transfer for Coen.  I don’t want to feel the heartache of a failed cycle but I also know that it took a lot last time.  I am not expecting it to work the first time or the second.  I am going into it with the knowledge that it worked once before and there is no reason it could not happen again.  We are also only transferring one blast which might decrease our chances a bit.

Cleared for FET

FET #4 Update

I didn’t think I would be writing this but I have been cleared to start a frozen embryo cycle!  I honestly thought we may not even get the chance to try for #2.  Why is it we always think the worst case scenario?  It looks like all is good with my liver from a biopsy point.  My gastro will be monitoring my liver levels during the cycle just in case.  I am also waiting to hear on the genetic test for Celiac disease.  I started Estrace Friday night and return for an ultrasound on March 3rd.  Depending on my lining, we will most likely be transferring the week of March 8th with a beta right before our 4th anniversary.

Valentine’s Weekend

The hubby and I don’t celebrate Valentine’ Day but we did spend the night away for a wedding 2 hours north.  It was only the second time we have left Coen overnight but it was good to get away especially after the biopsy and stress I had been dealing with.  I did indulge in a few cocktails and it was probably the first time I have had over two drinks in about two years.  It would have been relaxing if we didn’t hit a storm both ways there and back.  A little pic from the day.

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1 Step forward 2 steps back

FET #4 Update

Life has been busy and a lot has happened in regards to starting our journey for #2.  In January, I finally got my period after 30 days of estrace and 10 days of provera.  It was just a reminder how much I dislike being on hormones but as always it’s just another thing you just have to deal with.  Over a week ago I got my meds and the FET was approved.  All I had to do is stop the BCPs and wait for AF to start the Estrace but now we (I) have another barrier……. Since I had Coen I have been dealing with some stomach issues.  I have always had digestive problems all my life but this was different.  I thought it was my gallbladder and had an ultrasound a few months ago to find out I just had some “sludge” or debri in my gall bladder.  It could be causing my problems but I figured I would deal with it as it was not necessary to have my gall bladder removed.  After a few weeks of more stomach issues, sleepless nights in pain and beginning to fear food I finally saw the Dr.   Long story short I also have elevated liver enzymes and have tested positive to having some autoimmune antibodies (Antinuclear Antibodies) in blood.  The two may or not be related but I have to go for a liver biopsy Thursday.

The FET is postponed until after the biopsy.  It wasn’t until I started typing this post a few days ago that I started to put two and two together.  I googled ANA positive and failed IVFs and found a ton of info.  This made me nauseous.  I am starting to wonder if this was my problem all along and the reason for failed implantation?  Oddly enough the time that actually took I did take Claritin and Benadryl which I had seen was an autoimmune protocol that some other women had done.  I figured it was worth a try.  I am not sure if this helped or it was just a coincidence.  All I know is I have one beautiful little miracle.   The problem is my heart selfishly aches for another and I am not so sure it is in the cards for us now depending on my diagnosis.  Even if things look good I wonder if I will continue to have failed cycles.  I am not ready to give up yet and until we figure out what is wrong I am trying to have faith.  We are already so blessed with one perfect little man.

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