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As you all may know from my previous postings, my first IUI was unsuccessful. I'm currently going through my second round (in fact the IUIs are scheduled for tomorrow and Saturday). However, my RE has been concerned with the extremely low levels of estrogen, LH, and FSH. This last cycle, i reacted a little too well to the FSH injections and had about 4-5 follicles that were growing. The RE almost wanted to terminate the cycle however when they took my blood, the levels were so low that the RE advised the chance of me ovulating all the follicles was very slim. Apparently the estrodiol levels should be about 200 or so for every good follicle (around the 15-18mm size). So if my blood level came back around 800 or so then it was too risky and we'd cancel the cycle. However my levels came back about 187. Which meant i had only 1 good follicle (18mm size) and it was still worth performing the IUI.
My RE said if i didn't become pregnant with this cycle we needed to take things a step further and perform some brain scans and additional blood tests. He said the levels are just way too low for someone my age, healthy and in her reproductive stage. He said its as if my body is just super supressed. He did ask me several times about my stress levels, my exercising, and maybe putting on some more weight. I started googling "causes for extremely LH and FSH levels in healthy women" and based on the research i realized that maybe i had Hypothalamic Amenorrhea. This is essentially when the body is put under extreme stress (too much exercise, weight loss, etc) and the hypothalamus shuts down and stops producing the hormones as a reaction to "save" energy for the body to function resulting in a lack of menstruation for over 3 months, extremely low estrogen and infertility. I started to put pieces together..
#1- After coming off Birth Control in July 2013, I did not have a natural period at all. I had to get on progesterone in December and finally had a period. Since then I havent been able to re gain my cycles without some kind of help.
#2-Clomid was unsuccessful for me because clomid binds to the receptors in the brain to block the production of estrogen..well i'm not making estrogen and my brain isnt receiving the signals (the RE's conclusion)
#3- About 3 years ago, I went through a darker side in my life. I was hanging out with the wrong people and unfortunately I developed an eating disorder. I was bulemic and on top of that, i was running 5-6 miles every 2-3 days and taking a weight loss pill. I dropped down to about 90lbs (I'm 5'3) but since i was on birth control pills, i was still getting my periods. I knew what i was doing to my body was HORRIBLY wrong but it was a habit. About the time I met my now husband, I stopped hanging out with those people and i started to overcome my battle. I've been good now for about a year.
Therefore the revelation kicked in... maybe i had put my body through too much stress and it shut down. I was so unaware because of the birth control pills masking the amenorrhea. I hadn't thought about this until now..and i am questioning on telling my RE because i don't want him to get annoyed that here i went googling my symptoms and bringing more stress.. but he should probably know what happened to me years ago. I just wonder if it can be reversed (as now i eat healthy, stopped working out so much, and put on some weight).. I was pretty upset last night because the guilt kicked in and i am so disappointed in myself.