When I was finally able to see a doctor in mid-july, I had a rather quick appointment. Instead of getting some much desired answers to my lack of ovulation, I was told that I had an unofficial diagnosis of Hypothalamic Amenorrhea. This for me was essentially a name for no real cause to stopped ovulation. I had been questioned in my appointment on my stress level, exercise habits, as well as my diet. These seem to be the 3 major causes of Hypothalamic Amenorrhea. However, I had a pretty low stress level overall, having wrapped up what was an incredibly stressful work project a couple of months prior. I am a very active individual, but certainly eat enough to make up for the calories burned in my day to day exercises.
These 3 factors were my motivation to write about my journey. When I got home from that doctor’s appointment, I did some Google searches on Hypothalamic Amenorrhea to find out more about what I would be dealing with. To my disappointment, I found that there were just countless articles about accepting that I need to eat more and exercise less and de-stress my life. This caused me to question my lifestyle and the healthy decisions that I had been making for years. I can now say that those 3 factors are not what caused my lack of ovulation. However, I also still have no cause of why I cannot get a period other than ‘sometimes it just happens after you take the pill for a long time’.
My appointment did come with some next steps. Ones that were slightly unexpected to say the least. I had an order in to get an MRI done on my pituitary gland in search of any tumors that could be causing hormonal messages not to be sent. Since my Prolactin level was normal my doctor thought there may have been something blocking the messages that Prolactin sends from getting to my reproductive organs. Based on the results of that MRI, I would either be addressing a tumor or finding myself a fertility specialist as there was no more that the doctors at Wheaton could do for me under the OBGYN specialty.
This was probably the point where things started to get emotionally difficult. I had frustration over the need to see a fertility specialist as a healthy and active young woman. I also felt a lot of disappointment in the fact that my healthcare provider, which also happens to by my employer does not provide fertility treatment due to the mission of the organization, which increases expenses to go out of network. Just the idea of looking into a fertility clinic scared me. I saw this as something that would defeat me. I have read many books and watched movies where women struggle to conceive and go through multiple IVF cycles and are so emotionally bewildered. I never imagined myself having the emotional strength to go through something like that and seeing it as a possibility on the horizon terrified me. However, there was nothing to do but keep moving with the next steps.