I'm participating in WEGO Health's National Health Blog Post Month and will be posting throughout the month on various health topics/prompts. Feel free to join in by signing up here. You can also join the conversation via #NHBPM.
Today's prompt: A post about a conversation with your doctor.
*I'm swapping today's prompt with one from Saturday.
This seems like a pretty intimate topic and I'd say that a lot of conversations people might have with their doctor are fairly personal. For the sake of #NHBPM, I thought I'd tell my story. After all, I'm not the only female athlete who has struggled with this.
A conversation I've had with my OBGYN a few times is whether or not I'm going to be able to get pregnant when the time comes. Yeah, it's still a few years away, but I want to know because when it's time to have kids, the clock is ticking (I'm turning 30 in a few months) so I'd prefer that things happened accurately as soon as possible.
A few years ago I never got my cycle back after running my third or so full marathon. I had dropped back down to about 25 miles a week and was exercising less and yet still, no period after almost a year post marathon.
Essentially, my general doc had me take a lot of blood tests to make sure all of my hormone levels were accurate and my thyroid was operating correctly. Everything came back normal. So she said I had two options: a) either exercise less and gain weight (I was about 10 lbs heavier than I am now) OR b) take birth control and force the body to have a period and make sure I was getting the necessary hormones each month.
Well, neither solution really gave me peace of mind, but I went with option b) anyway. Asking me to workout less just didn't seem like an option. Endorphins are my insta-happy.
To this day, I wish I had just switched docs right then and dug further. I mean WHY do I need to gain weight and fat when my body had plenty of it already? Just doesn't make sense to me.
When I have my annual visit to the OBGYN, it's inevitable that I ask if she thinks I'll still be able to get pregnant. In turn, she tries to reassure me not to worry about it until the time comes.
After the doctor's less than stellar recommendations, I've yet to see a general doc again. It just seems so hard to find a good one, especially when you're not in need of one at the moment. Let that be a lesson - dig deeper for the sake of your own health.
What have I learned? YOU know your body best. Don't let someone else make major decisions for you. Trust your gut. If you're not satisfied with the answer, keep asking until it makes sense. I still have no idea if I am in fact ovulating... fun stuff!
Want to read more on women's health? I have really appreciated how open bloggers such as Caitlin of Healthy Tipping Point, Faith of Gracefulfitness and Courtney of Sweet Tooth Sweet Life have been about their health, including family planning, overall health, birth control, etc. The more we talk about it, the less stigma there is about discussing women's health issues.
Running front: In other news, my legs are extra sore from Sunday's 7 mile hilly trail run and Monday's 6 am 6 miler. Amazing how fast you lose the build up from those marathon miles!
I'm not a doctor and don't know a ton about OB health, but wanted to share my story. Please see your doc if you have questions or concerns.