Are you struggling with amenorrhea? I had no period for 8 years and thought I would never get it back. Throughout this time, doctors told me I should get on birth control to regulate my cycle. This actually messed up my hormones even more, and I want to share with you my journey and how I got my cycle back.
It’s important to understand that getting a menstrual cycle on hormonal birth control is not actually a real period. Your body is being given synthetic hormones in order to bleed each month. When giving your body exogenous hormones, it’s masking your own hormonal production.
Ever since I first got my period at the age of 13, I had irregular periods. I remember having my period for 2 cycles and then it disappearing for a year. I never thought anything of it and continued without a period throughout high school.
After I realized my period wasn’t coming back when I started college, I went to my doctor who told me the only way to get it back was to take birth control. I was on birth control throughout college and also developed an eating disorder, orthorexia, in the process. I was not fueling my body properly, running 7 miles a day, and was in a chronic stressed out state. Not only was I giving my body synthetic hormones, but I was putting my body under so much stress which was making my hormone health much worse.
Before I decided to get my period back, I got off birth control when I graduated college. I knew that going off birth control was going to be a shock to my hormones, but I wanted to balance out my hormones naturally.
The first thing I had to do to get my period back was eat a lot of food and make sure I wasn’t skipping any meals. This meant eating 3 big meals a day and even snacks in between. I made sure I wasn’t eating less than 2500 calories a day. Each of my meals were balanced with protein, whole food sources of carbohydrates, and healthy fats to balance out my blood sugar levels. Because I was underweight and not fueling my body properly for years, I knew I had to let my body know it was safe by eating more and gaining some weight in the process.
I also had to decrease my cardio and focus on low to moderate intensity exercise. I stopped running and focused on lifting weights 3-4 times a week, some weeks even less exercise than that. I focused on resting, reducing my stress, and sleeping 7-8 hours each night. The running was causing more stress on my body and in turn my cortisol, a stress hormone, was constantly spiking. When cortisol is chronically elevated, it can impact other hormones. I really had to make sure I was not working out too much for my body and making rest and recovery a priority.
Lastly, I had to fix any gut imbalances. I struggled with Candida overgrowth, chronic constipation, and bloating for years. Your gut microbiome can impact your hormones, which is why I had to make sure I was having a daily bowel movement and fixed any underlying gut issues. We need a daily bowel movement to excrete excess estrogen and toxins from our body. When you are constipated, you’re recycling excess estrogen and toxins in your body, which can impact your hormonal balance. If you’re struggling with both gut and hormonal issues, they are most likely related to one another.
After starting my period journey, it took me about a year and a half to finally get my cycle back. I’ve now had my period for 3 years and I am so proud of how far I’ve come with my hormone journey. It is crucial to understand that we are all different. Some women may need more food and more rest compared to others to get their period back. I know it can be scary to eat more food, exercise less, and gain weight, which is why I decided to become a Holistic Health Coach and an Integrative Health Practitioner. I want to help other women regain their health without seeking medications first. Let me know if you have struggled with amenorrhea or if you need help with your period journey!