Did I ever tell you about the time I didn’t have my period for 3 YEARS?!
No? Understandable. It wasn’t exactly the highlight of my life. But hang around me long enough and you’ll find there’s no topic off limits. Sex, bowel movements, and menstrual cups.. I’ll talk about all of it. So why not share this?
I’d be remiss if I didn’t first state this truth – I did not enjoy NOT having my period nearly as much as I should have!
I wouldn’t call it a regret, cuz that’s not my style.. BUT there was a certain level of freedom that 3 years without your period brings, and I just didn’t appreciate what I had when I had it.
I often think back to long nights on the road, super sweaty gigs in leather pants and wonder “where did I change my tampon” .. only to realize, I DIDN’T!
See what I mean? #FREEDOM
But hopefully you realize that not having your period for 3 years is incredibly unhealthy. It’s actually a sign your body systems are shutting down in order to keep you alive. Oh, and it’s also your body saying “this habitat is much too dangerous to grow a child, so lets just close up shop.”
Not ideal. But you don’t know what you don’t know until you know it.
Allow me to do you a solid and give you the short version:
At the time I was 12% body fat, so YES, my extreme leanness did play a role in my amenorrhea. But before I got super lean, I had horrible periods that left me anemic more than once, so I knew Aunt Flow was long overdue.. I just didn’t know why she was so pissed.
I had been to 3 doctors about my MIA period. They tried acupuncture, bio-identical hormone therapy, and I took a shot with a good ol’ therapist (just to make sure I wasn’t crazy) … nothing worked.
So.. we did more and more tests.
I was told …
“there’s nothing wrong with you, just put on 10lbs and see what happens”
I was told…
“you have Polycystic Ovaries”… I did not.
I was told…
“you’re in Peri-menopause”.. I was not.
Thousands of dollars later – I was reminded of what my dad (who was an ER doctor) had told me my whole life… “Erin, they call it PRACTICING medicine for a reason”.
What started off as a missing period had morphed into putting on weight no matter how hard I worked out, constant bloating, retaining water, falling asleep in the middle of the day, emotions I didn’t know I had, and a helluva lot of stress!
One of my favorite qualities is that I’m persistent and determined AF, so I had been doing my research and asked for a very specific set of tests… it was then they found my thyroid was low. Very low.
So here’s what YOU need to know…
Thyroid disease can cause first world problems with your cycle. Your thyroid affects EVERY SINGLE CELL in your body, all of your hormones, and helps control your period! Saving thyroid disease running rampant in your body can cause your periods to stop for several months or years, AND cause intense fertility issues!
In fact, your thyroid does not need to be completely shut down to affect your fertility. When your TSH is just slightly outside of OPTIMAL range (Not the normal range that 90% of docs go by), that alone can impact your fertility.
And even if your thyroid levels are in optimal range, if you have a high number of thyroid antibodies, that can impair your fertility too.
The one thing that infuriates me THE MOST about the lack of information out there about fertility and the thyroid, is that most general docs and even endos will refuse to put people on NDT.. and it’s the T2 found in NDT that helps activate ovaries and helps progesterone production!
#THEMOREYOUKNOW people, the more you know.
But NEVER forget, your health is YOUR responsibility.
I would be in sorry shape if I would have listened to even the first 3 doctors I went to! I would be a MESS, as I know many people still are because they have no idea THEY ARE IN CHARGE of their own health.
So rest assured, I got my period back no problemo!
Once I started giving my body the things it needed (which did not include hormones or synthetic medication.. but I kept the therapist 😉 ) my body got out of survival mode and started functioning again!
I have ENERGY, my thyroid levels are awesome, my metabolism is on FIRE, I can eat without bloating, I can concentrate, I’m not retaining water, and I feel AWESOME!
I’m not a fertility expert (and I’m definitely not claiming to be), but I AM an expert when it comes to low thyroid function. For some steps you can take RIGHT NOW, check out my podcast episode ‘Eat Like THIS, Move Like THAT’