This blog is long overdue…however, it is only now that I feel ready to share what has happened in the last few years.
Social media isn’t easy; deciding what to share and what not to share. I have always tried to be as open and honest as possible, however, over the past few years I have struggled through something I have shared very little about.
In all honesty, I am still nervous about sharing this part of my life, but my reason for doing so outweighs any feelings I may have. The sole reason for me posting this blog is to hopefully help even one person out there to know they are not alone and to know there is light at the end of the tunnel.
To cut a long story short, I am referring to women’s health and hormonal issues…
As some of you may or may not know, I suffered with anorexia for around 6 years and as many others do, I lost my period. It stopped at the age of 13 (only about 6 months after initially getting it), however, unlike some, it did not return once I returned to a normal weight. 9 years down the line, I have only had my period for the last 3 months.
It is not the lack of menstrual cycle I want to share with you, but more the story behind getting it back. Over the past 5 years, I have been aware of endless blogs, videos, guides etc on how to get your period back naturally, why you shouldn’t go on the pill etc etc. And I just want to say THIS DOESN’T WORK FOR EVERYONE!! and moreover, you shouldn’t feel guilty if you can’t get it back naturally. I spent 5 long years researching and do everything in my power to get it back by natural means, including not exercising, eating significantly more calories than I truly needed, eating higher fat, more carbohydrates, living with little stress…the list is endless. Yet, none of this worked!!
I have never been a fan of using western medicine unless it is absolutely necessary and I have to say in this case it was. After suffering for a long time, my pituitary gland (basically) refused to start producing normal levels of hormones and therefore resulting in a lack of menstrual cycle. Around a year ago, I was prescribed the pill to stimulate hormone production and I have to say this DID NOT work for me. I won’t go into a lot of detail but basically it caused me severe depression, anxiety, constipation, fluid retention etc. At this point I gave up as I couldn’t face putting anything else into my body. However, another year down the line (at the age of 22) I decided this wasn’t right. I was doing damage to my bones (DEXA scan showed I already had osteoporosis) and wasn’t functioning as a normal woman.
And so, 3 months ago, I decided to change this. I had been referred to a HRT (hormone replacement therapy) consultant who understood my condition and my past of mental health problems and she found a hormone treatment that was right for me. No, I am not happy that I have had to resort to synthetic hormones but at this point in my life it was my only option, it was that or do more damage to myself by having no hormones. Not only has this decision given me a period but it also gives me a future.
I would be lying if I said the last 3 months had been easy, after not having significant hormone levels for 9 years, it is a big shock to the system both physically and mentally, however, I want to emphasise the importance of functioning as a ‘normal’ woman. Sometimes it takes a little encouragement to bite the bullet and sort out a problem like this…if that is what you are in need of, let this be your encouragement. Don’t let it go on for 9 years like I did, it only creates more problems.
Some people are lucky enough to get their period back naturally and if you can then great!!! But just know that if you can’t, there are many other options out there. Don’t give up on yourself and your future.
If any of this has resonated with you and you would like to talk personally, please feel free to send me a direct message (IG: emma.cather1ne), I would be only to happy to help.