Warning! This material is personal and if you enjoy this blog for health info and recipes, please skip this post! This is update number three on my journey to get my cycle back so I can have a happy, healthy pregnancy. In other words, it may be entirely TMI 😉
It has been 8 weeks now since I began acupuncture treatments to treat my diagnosis of hypothalamic amenorrhea. Amenorrhea is simply means the absence of menstruation. You can read more about post one and two here and here. In the 8 weeks I have been getting acupuncture twice a week, taking a custom made herb formula two to three times a day, and sticking to a more fertility-friendly diet, specifically inspired by TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine). Lots of black and dark colored foods (black rice, blackberries, blueberries, beets, kidney beans, black beans), meat (medium rare grass–fed hamburgers, organic turkey, organic chicken), grass-fed eggs, and warm, cooked vegetables (since I run cold). I also incorporated a Vitex supplement in the mix and taking more yoga. But guess what? After 6 weeks I felt the need to do more. I don’t know about you, but if something isn’t happening the way I want it to (in this case getting a period), I have to keep moving. I by no means want to stop doing any of the above, but I decided I wanted to integrate other methods, and/or at least find out more about my current condition to not only educate myself on what is going on with my body, but potentially further this process along. I never said I was patient. 😉
I researched doctors and fertility clinics in my area, and called one I thought seemed like a good fit. I made sure it wasn’t a hard-core fertility clinic, by that I mean get right down to baby business. My first priority is finding out what’s going on with ME. I don’t want to just jump into something and put my baby at risk since my body is clearly not functioning optimally (in this way) on its own.
Last week I went to the clinic and met with the doctor. She’s awesome. I felt very comfortable sitting in her very well decorated office not only because she was pleasant and sincere, but went through this herself. She now has an adorable two year old of her own. It’s nice to know that the person I’ll be working so closely with GETS IT and can relate to what I’m going through. I had an ultrasound after we chatted to check my ovary’s, uterus, and my antral follicle count (to see my egg supply). Everything looked good there! After that was done I had my blood drawn to test for prolactin levels, TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone), FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone), Estrodial, and LH (Luteinizing Hormone). My doctor called me the other day and all those tests so far look great. I’m REALLY happy about that.
Today I went for a cranial MRI. That was NOT fun. Lots of loud noises for an hour, and an IV so they can get a ‘contrast’ read to detect any possible disruptions involving my pituitary gland which is responsible for the regulation of many different hormones throughout the body. The contrast part comes from a dye that enters the bloodstream through the IV. I really didn’t want that in my body, regardless the fact I was told it’s completely safe. So I’m drinking a ton of water and green juice to flush it through my kidneys faster! I’ll also ask my acupuncturist tomorrow to place some needles in points for digestion and detoxification. I should find out the results for the MRI in a couple days.
I only have one more test to do called Hysterosalpingogram, or HSG. It’s an outpatient procedure and takes less than a half hour total. It involves placing an iodine-based dye through the cervix and taking x-rays to help evaluate the shape of the uterus to find out whether or not the fallopian tubes are blocked.
I definitely feel like I’m getting somewhere with all these tests! Even if all of them check out well (which I’m hoping for), then it will be a matter of setting a timeline for myself with the help and encouragement from both my doctor of acupuncture and my reproductive endocrinologist doctor. While I’d rather nothing be wrong with me at all, I feel that between the two of them, my husband, my family, and all of your support, I couldn’t be in a better place. I look forward to seeing what the (near?!) future holds!