From No Period to Positive Pregnancy Test
Lindsey, a 28 year old, came to me in March having suffered from amenorrhea (lack of menstruation) for nearly two years since she discontinued taking the birth control pill. She knew she wanted to eventually start trying to conceive and decided to come off the pill after having been on it for 10 years. When she did, however, her period never showed up.
This is fairly common after having been on the birth control pill for so long. Hormonal contraception works by halting the HPO axis, or the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis, which is how the brain communicates with the ovaries and tells them when to start producing follicles (fluid-filled sacs that house an egg) and when to ovulate. With this disruption in communication, the ovaries never get the message to start producing follicles to ovulate an egg, which is extremely handy when trying to avoid conception. When this communication has been disrupted for a long time (many years), your body can have a hard time resuming its normal rhythm. This is what happened to Lindsey after she discontinued the birth control pill. After a while, she eventually went to her family doctor to see if something was wrong but unfortunately she was met with resistance from her GP who didn’t think it was necessary to test her hormones.
This was where she was when she came to see me. I told her that it was definitely important to get her hormones tested to rule out a thyroid disorder, hypothalamus problem, low iron, or other endocrine disorders. I gave her a list of exactly which hormones were important to test and how to word it to her doctor, who finally gave in. Her blood work revealed low iron, a healthy thyroid, and low estrogen levels, although her FSH (the hormone the brain sends to the ovaries to start producing follicles that house the egg which would then grow and ovulate when it is mature enough) was normal. This was interesting because it ruled out Hypothalamic Amenorrhea (HA). We knew her brain was trying to send the message to her ovaries but her ovaries weren’t producing enough estrogen which would then send the message to the brain to trigger LH, the hormone that then triggers ovulation.
We worked on diet, lifestyle, key supplementation, and acupuncture to help activate her ovaries, balance hormones, calm her nervous system, and strengthen her HPO axis.
As a very type A and eager person, Lindsey took LH strips (OPK kits) from the drugstore every single day to see if she could catch when she would ovulate, which would happen before menstruation occurs. After 9 treatments over the span of 4 months, Lindsey finally got her positive LH surge! She was ecstatic. Her body finally got the message that it was safe to ovulate and her body was able to produce a healthy amount of hormones.
We waited for 2 weeks (the typical length of a luteal phase) but her period never came. Lindsey felt off so she decided to take a pregnancy test and it was positive! This surprised us both since she still hadn’t had a period since she came off the birth control pill. However, all it took was her body to ovulate one healthy egg and for that egg to fertilize. Her treatments have now shifted to pregnancy support and to treat her first trimester symptoms.
Initial Consultation or Free 15 Minute Discovery Call
Struggling with amenorrhea or fertility and curious to learn more? Give us a call at 604-678-8600 to schedule an initial consultation or free 15 minute discovery call.
Allison Locke, R.TCM.P, R.Ac, OBAAM, FABORM, RYT