It’s been over 5 years since I recovered my natural cycles after 8 years of missing periods aka Hypothalamic Amenorrhea (I explained what that is in this post). I remember feeling like I was doing all the right things to recover and just waiting for my period to return. It can be a long wait full of uncertainty and sometimes you just want a sign you are on the right track. So today I want to share a few Hypothalamic Amenorrhea recovery signs that indicate your body is healing and your period may be about to arrive!
Physical Hypothalamic Amenorrhea recovery signs
Part of the Hypothalamic Amenorrhea recovery process is reconnecting with your body. With all of my clients, not just women who want to recover their periods, body awareness meditations play a key role. It’s so easy to become disconnected from our bodies and their needs. This can happen due to working in front of a computer all day leading to numbness. We can also experience disconnection when we deny our bodies’ needs for too long e.g. chronic dieting or pushing through fatigue. One of the key Hypothalamic Amenorrhea recovery signs is feeling reconnected with your body and it’s sensations.
In general, this can mean knowing absolutely when you are hungry, thirsty or tired and exactly what you need. This might sound obvious to some but I am sure many of you understand how it feels to “lose touch” with your body. During Hypothalamic Amenorrhea you can feel so unsure and no longer trust the signals your body is sending you. Especially if you start the recovery process and feel that your appetite is out of control or you need to sleep all of the time. Building this trust with your body and accepting everything is so important to recovering your periods.
More specifically, experiencing sensations in the area of your womb is one of the most powerful Hypothalamic Amenorrhea recovery signs. If you are connected through this part of your body (e.g. through practicing regular womb meditations and breathwork) you will feel when the energy of your womb and sacral chakra come back online before your first period arrives. This can feel like tingling, warmth, heaviness or any other subtle sensation. It’s a deep inner knowing that comes via the physical body and makes you realise what a powerful energetic being you are!
Emotional Hypothalamic Amenorrhea recovery signs
As well as physical changes, you will also likely experience emotional changes during the recovery process. Again there are two facets to this. Generally, one of the Hypothalamic Amenorrhea recovery signs is feeling more emotionally stable day to day. Recovery can be a bumpy road where you experience a rollercoaster of emotions. Sometimes you can feel worse than before you started and that’s ok. Deciding to recover your period can bring up a lot of “stuff” as you face fears and challenge your beliefs.
What I experienced personally and see in other women is that once our hormones start to balance out and our period is due to arrive, some of this instability settles down. Partially this is due to a calming of the nervous system once you are well nourished and energy balance is restored. Less mental chatter around food and body weight fears will mean you experience less anxiety and feel calmer overall as you progress through your recovery. Your body and mind reach an equilibrium and it can be such a relief.
That said, another of the Hypothalamic Amenorrhea recovery signs is experiencing pre-menstrual symptoms. You might notice some long forgotten signs of feeling moody or irritable and wonder why. This can be particularly surprising if you have started to feel much better emotionally during recovery. It’s important to watch out for a period of feeling not yourself as this could be a sign that your period is about to arrive. Often, we don’t realise until afterwards that it was hormonal changes leading to us feeling off. But as a positive, cyclical mood changes can be a sign that your body is gearing up to menstruate again.
Measurable Hypothalamic Amenorrhea recovery signs
Finally, for those of you who like to track and measure things, one of the Hypothalamic Amenorrhea recovery signs which is measurable is Basal Body Temperature (BBT). Often during Hypothalamic Amenorrhea, your metabolic rate is lower. Your hypothalamus detects that not enough energy is coming in and turns down the metabolic dials. This is what causes your reproductive hormones to shut down but your metabolic rate also decreases so that you waste less energy as heat.
This can mean that your core body temperature drops from the usual 36.6°C to less than 36°C. I explained more about this in a previous post about signs of a low metabolism. So tracking your BBT under the arm or tongue a few times a week can be a good way to keep an eye on your healing process. Ideally, you want your BBT to reach 36.6°C first thing in the morning before eating anything. If you are resting and eating enough food to restore your hormones, this should happen naturally over time.
Another interesting pattern to watch out for is a sudden rise in BBT. All ovulating women experience this temperature shift each cycle. After ovulation the body temperature can rise by around 0.5°C and remain there until menstruation. This is how the fertility awareness method works to identify ovulation and therefore fertile windows. Towards the end of my recovery process I downloaded a menstrual cycle tracking app to record by BBT. Before my first period I noticed this sudden and sustained shift in temperature and I got so excited as I knew I was on the right track and my first followed 2 weeks later!
I hope that understanding these Hypothalamic Amenorrhea recovery signs gives you confidence in your recovery process. I know how hard it can be to trust your body and wait but I promise you can heal. Your body is a powerful healing machine that it is designed to find balance once it has the right conditions. Keep listening and responding again and again. Build that connection with yourself and your physical body and wait for the miracle to occur. I promise it will be worth it!
Not sure what to eat to recover your period? Check out my period recovery meal plan!
Over to you…
If you would like to work with me to balance your hormones and improve your health, contact me to set up a free 15 minute discovery call. I am a nutritionist, yoga teacher and women’s wellness coach. We work together using a combination of modalities to support your individual needs and help you to feel your best.
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