When you lose your period, your mind starts to spin wondering, what’s going on? You seek help from medical professionals only to be told you have “unexplained infertility” or to go on birth control pills to “jump-start” your period, but your left with the unknown of what’s really going on? Below, I’ll go through the signs & symptoms that will help you figure out if you’re suffering from Hypothalamic Amenorrhea.
When I think back to those first years during my struggle with infertility, I remember feeling a lot of stress and anxiety not knowing why I had suddenly lost my period. Every doctor I had seen up until that point would diagnose me with “unexplained infertility” which only fueled my worry.
If my doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me, how was I ever going to get better?
Now looking back, I see the signs so clearly. If only I had known about HA back then, I could have saved myself years of heartache and pain. That’s what my hope for this post is, to save you from years of the unknown. To go confidently & boldly into recovery without a doubt in your mind. To live the life you were meant to live!
There are three major area’s I feel are key to knowing if you have HA, beside the obvious of not having a period. They are your relationship to Food, Exercise & Your Body.
Your relationship to food:
The way you view food can be a big red flag to knowing if you have HA. If you find yourself doing the following, it’s time for a change!
- Checking restaurant menus before you leave your house to see which item has the least amount of calories as well as figuring out how you can alter it to reduce the calories even more.
- Restricting your calories to 1000-1200 (or less) a day and keeping a running tally in your head at all times.
- Not allowing yourself to eat certain “forbidden” foods or restricting a certain type of food (ie: carbs. fat etc…) & feeling extreme guilt when you do happen to eat one of these forbidden foods.
- Eating before you head to a social event so that you don’t have to eat what is being served for fear of too many calories or fat.
Your relationship to Exercise:
Exercise is meant to be a healthy addition to our daily lives, but can take a quick turn for the worst causing more damage than good before we know it! Here are some signs that your workout regimen might be affecting your fertility:
- If you work out at intense levels for long periods of time ( 1-2+ hours, 5+ days a week) without refueling your body properly.
- If you feel extreme guilt for missing a workout or taking a rest day.
- If your rest days consist of walking or doing yoga.
- If you workout on vacation even if you’d rather be sleeping in and enjoying your trip.
- If you work out extra hard on days after you’ve “splurged” the night before.
- If you work out on days when you’re feeling sick or exhausted because you fear gaining weight.
Your relationship to your body:
Most women have areas of their body that they’d like to change or times when they don’t feel so confident in the outfit they are wearing, but there’s a line that can be easily crossed when it comes to your relationship with your body. Here’s are some red flags to look for:
- Not allowing your body weight to go above a certain number for fear of being overweight.
- Never being happy with what you see in the mirror no matter how small you are.
- Always finding a flaw that needs to be changed.
- Not feeling confident in your body no matter what you wear.
If you’re struggling in any or all of these areas, then it’s time to seek help.
A good place to start is to get a blood panel done by your doctor to see where your hormone levels are. You’ll also want to look into make some lifestyle changes to help you towards the road to recovery (read this & this to get started!). As well as find a community like The HA Sisterhood, filled with women that “get it” and can provide encouragement and support!
Coming to the realization that you have HA, can be a scary place to be in. The unknown and going against everything you’ve built your life around can make you feel as though you can’t breath. But friend, I’m here to tell you that you CAN get through this. An the life you get to live not bound by HA is so incredibly freeing and beautiful…
I have so much faith in you!
***P.S. These opinions are all my own, for an official diagnosis you’ll want to contact a medical professional.***