I just checked and it has been 9 months since I last posted. The whole “starting a blog” thing didn’t really work out for me at that time.. But a lot has been happening since then which has given me a whole new perspective.
Basically, I haven’t been having my periods. For a LONG time. 7 years to be precise. For a while it was pretty convenient I’ll be honest and I was assured by doctors that it was fine and normal (can I just say here that just because something is common does not mean it is normal!). I tried to forget it and carry on with my life but it was always there niggling in the back of my mind.
In May 2016, around the time of my last post, I finally decided to go and see a doctor. I was sent for an ultra-sound which showed that I had multiple cysts on my ovaries and I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) which is a surprisingly common condition of hormone imbalance in women. I was told there was no reason WHY it happened and no known cure, my best hope was managing my symptoms and potentially having treatment later down the line if I wanted to have children. Naturally, I was absolutely devastated.
My doctor recommended that I took birth control pills to regulate my cycle but I knew straight away that this wasn’t something I wanted. It just didn’t seem to make sense to add extra synthetic hormones into my already imbalanced system. Plus I knew that it would be a “fake period” and was really only masking the problem. So I did some research online and found a wonderful program/community called The Healing Woman (Success Healing PCOS at the time) where women were healing their PCOS naturally via a plant based diet. As I was vegan already I was like GREAT bring it on and jumped straight in to the 8 week program.
Through working with Hannah I started to uncover all sorts of ideas around my relationship to food and exercise and how it had impacted my body. As I spoke to more women I started to doubt my diagnosis of PCOS, I didn’t have any of the symptoms of high androgens and just didn’t seem to fit the profile for PCOS. Eventually, I had the confidence to go and see another doctor and question my diagnosis. I had some blood tests which confirmed my testosterone levels were normal and a second ultrasound scan which showed my ovaries were totally normal too. So I was undiagnosed with PCOS! But I still had the issue of no period..
I spent so much time researching online trying to figure out what was going on and eventually I came across something called Hypothalamic Amenorrhea (HA). This is basically the loss of menstrual cycle due to physical or emotional stress. Finally something that seemed to make sense! It pointed at 4 basic causes:
- Over- exercising
- Maintaining a low body weight
I could identify totally with all of the above. I think in today’s society it is so normalised to be on a diet or trying to lose weight. But being in an energy deficient state has serious impacts on our bodies and I am just one of many suffering the consequences of striving for the “ideal body”. I don’t want this post to be too long so I will save the rest of my story till next time (which won’t be another 9 months!). I am now going “all in” trying to heal my body and tackle a lot of issues that have come up since I opened this can of worms.
I hope that you can share this journey with me 🙂
P.S. If anyone reading this is in a similar situation of being diagnosed with PCOS but not showing the symptoms I strongly recommend visiting the following link and downloading the resources which were so useful for me in figuring out what was going on!