ABOUT ME-My personal health journey
I never had regular periods growing up. My cycles ranged from 15 to 50 to sometimes 85 days. I didn't think much of it. I was a ballet dancer and hated having to deal with my period while wearing leotards and tights. I also grew up with my dad and my brother and having a period never felt comfortable, safe, or normal for that matter. My mum died when I was 10. I got my period when I was 13, told my grandmother who gave me pads, shortly talked about what to be careful of with my aunt and cousin, and that was it.
When I was 19, I literally begged my gynecologist to put me on the pill, because I had heard that the pill "gives you regular periods". She was reluctant, but she gave me the prescription anyway. Nothing I had read or heard of regarding the pill made me think that what I was doing was wrong. As a young university student, all I wanted was to know when I would be getting my period, period.
Fast forward to my 28 year old self, after 9 years on the pill. Something inside me, call it an instinct, told me to get off it to see whether or not my periods were still irregular. I was in a serious relationship, and even though my partner and I were not discussing kids yet, it was our long-term project. Thank god I followed that instinct. Because guess what? I got off the pill and my periods did not come back for two and a half years.
I did not think much of it in the first 6 months. The doctor said to be patient, that some bodies take longer than others to recover. Exactly 6 months after quitting the pill, and around the time I got engaged, my skin broke out. I looked like a teenager and had to spend at least 10 minutes each morning trying to cover up my huge, painful cystic acne.
Doctors didn't have any answers. I saw many and all of them said that I would need to get back on the pill, and then do IVF when I would want to have a child. None of them were able to give me any answers as to why I was not menstruating. Again, my instinct told me "NO". This is not how I want to treat my body. Why was it not functioning? There had to be a reason for it. I was sure.
Thank god for the internet, for helping me discover that indeed there were many things I could do to help my body get back a normal cycle. The first person that really spoke to my heart was Alisa Vitti, a woman who developed her own programme to help other women crack the code of their cycles and regain their health. I signed up for her programme and found a support network of other women who were in similar situations to mine, including a coach. I wasn't going through this alone anymore.
I'm not going to lie; it wasn't easy. There were many moments where I thought of giving up and was filled with despair, sadness and anger. I changed the way I ate, balancing my blood sugar and eating way more good fat than before, removed inflammatory foods such as gluten and dairy, exercised less (yes less! I used to exercise 4x a week and it was way more than my body could handle), slept regularly and more, and worked on my relationship with my body and my femininity. That last point was the most difficult of them all. I had to work on accepting my woman body after years of striving to keep my 18-year old figure. I also had to finally face a huge wave of grief: my mum's death had affected me in ways I hadn't realised and my body was giving me a sign: "You cannot run away from it anymore".
Dr. A., a functional medicine practitioner, was the one who made me face that grief and I will always be grateful to her. When I saw her for the first time, she spent more than an hour listening to my story. She was going to run some tests and try to help me improve my overall health with supplements. Towards the end of our appointment she looked at me and said "I think the fear of becoming a mum after losing your mum is playing a huge role in this". It was like an electricity shock. I burst into tears; deep down I knew she was right.
My period did come back and I am currently expecting my first child. No pill, no IVF. What helped most? I cannot answer that - I think everything helped a bit. When you work on your lifestyle, your mind and your soul, you cannot pinpoint it to one thing, like you would with a pill.
I still have acne scars on my face. Sometimes I still feel the weight of those tough two and a half years on my shoulders. But I know that my body needed to heal in order to allow me to live my best self. I needed to stop and face my life. I needed to make changes. I am grateful for that time for allowing me to flourish, and I cannot wait to help others do the same. I know that my lifestyle is what helped me recover and I now have the tools needed to help others improve theirs. I also know that the network of women as well as the coach I had helped me tremendously. I don't think I could have done it on my own.
If you have made it to the end of this page, then something I have written must have resonated with you. Do you need support to find your best self? Reach out. I offer an introductory session for free to help you decide whether coaching (with me) is right for you or not. Give me a ring or email me here.