I couldn’t decide if I wanted to share this or not, but I think the more people talk about female health, the better.
Flashback to April of 2017: I had just quit my management job at Noodles and Company, gotten back from a trip to Ireland, and started to open up more about getting over and through disordered eating. With me getting ready to graduate in December, my husband and I decided together that I would stop taking a hormonal birth control pill. We knew there may be an adjustment period before I would be able to get pregnant, and we wanted to be ready for having kids in the not so far future. Looking into the summer we were filled with excitement for the all the changes to come.
Return to Now: If only I knew how long that adjustment time would be. It’s about a year and half later, and I haven’t had a period since that day in April. That’s right, a year and a half. While it may sound nice to not have to deal with all the hassles of periods, I can feel it in my bones that something isn’t right. I have been to a campus women’s doctor twice, regular doctor, and even an OBGYN. I’ve had blood work done, an MRI of my pituitary gland, and a pap smear. Given all of this, you would think that someone would be able to give me some help or offer an explanation other than I have low estrogen levels. At the end of it all, I am left with a referral to yet another doctor. Truly, I am tired of being treated like an experiment, and medical tests are not cheap.
Along with being tired of doctors, I am just tired in general. I have never understood the impact of hormones as much as I do now. I am no expert, but from my personal experience, I can tell you that having low estrogen levels makes you feel foggy, exhausted, freezing cold almost 100% of the time, and it steals your sex drive. Even though I haven’t had true cycles, there are still times each month when I get crampy, irritable, and carry noticeably more water. These self-termed “non-periods” do happen every month when I am supposed to be menstruating. Yes, I can function on a daily basis, but I don’t feel like I used to remember feeling before getting off of birth control and before I had stressed my body out from under eating and overworking. I know that this is partially my fault, and I feel like I owe it to myself and my husband to listen to what my body is telling me.
So, rather than watch my youthful years fly by without change, I have decided to put my health into my own hands. My goal is to eat all the foods known to boost female-specific health, gain some body fat, take my vitamins, de-stress, and who knows what at this point. I hope to learn more about the female body than ever before, and I hope that I can offer advice to anyone else who may be experiencing something similar. I want to normalize women’s health, and get myself back to normal in the process. Let Operation Period commence.