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My “Post Menopausal” Estradiol Levels

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“I may not have any estrogen, but I make a damn fine snickerdoodle!”

It’s always comforting to have the estrogen levels of a 60 year old when you’re trying to have a kid.

Since my “less-than-20” estradiol levels have registered as “post-menopausal” on my blood work chart, I’m not sure what exactly to report in the way of TTC until I either:

A: Decide to go on fertility meds

Or

B: Start to at least try some natural remedies to improve my estradiol situation.

Bottom line: I need to somehow raise my estradiol levels to over 50 for things to improve in the ovulation department, and even then, I may have challenges. The more I’ve been looking into things, the more I’ve read that Clomid has no effect if estrogen levels are already too low.

I feel a little bit stuck right now. My ovaries have shut down entirely due to the lack of estrogen in my body, and there is very little chance that I will ovulate on my own any time soon. I’m glad that I don’t have Premature Ovarian Failure, but I’m puzzled and more than slightly concerned that my estrogen levels are so low. Not only is it bad for ovulation, it’s awful for bone density. My mother (bless her ignorant and slightly annoying heart) has told me as of yesterday that all I need to do is “gain weight” and she is sure that things will improve for me. While it’s true that estrogen is accumulated in fat cells, and it is true that hypothalamic amenorrhea (caused by low estrogen) is often found in anorexic women and athletes due to low body fat, let me just state for the record that I have PLENTY of cushion for the pushin’. While I’m not overweight, I’m 5’6″ and about 125-130lbs which strikes me as normal. I’m 22% body fat. So, do I really need to gain another 10 pounds to magically ovulate? I’m absolutely NOT some lean mean workout machine, hence my annoyance and snippy commentary last time I spoke to my mom about this over the phone about her magic weight gain theory. Look, I have absolutely no problem stuffing my face with In N Out and cheesecake, but I firmly believe that my weight is not the issue.

So, if I’m not underweight…what the hell is causing my low estrogen? I believe I’ve found the culprit.

I’ve been reading quite a bit about stress induced amenorrhea, and I think that 2011 sort of put me over the edge. Between moving from my apartment of 9 years, planning a wedding, getting married, and trying to keep up my full time intense job, it may have been too much for me to take on…I don’t know. I don’t deal with stress very well as a general principal.

Which brings me to: HOW THE HELL DO I RELAX??!

Yoga? Weekly Massage? A major inheritance from a rich uncle who I’ve never met?

I think that Yoga will be my first plan of “relax attack” along with either soy isoflavones or licorice and peony (both which are supposed to be very good for estrogen levels.)

I have found a site that sells at-home estradiol testing kits for $35. In 3-4 months, I think I will test my estradiol levels again to see where I’m able to get on this new regime.

On another note, as I’ve mentioned, I’m on a trial for the next 10 days. Aside from all of the jurors and lawyers I see milling around the courthouse each day at lunch, I have also seen a side of society I don’t normally mingle with–yesterday I rode in an elevator with a young man dressed up in a shirt and tie, heading to one of the trial rooms. From the bit I caught of his neck and wrists, I’m 99% sure he was fully tatted under the button up shirt. I’m going to take a wild guess and say that this young man didin’t spend his weekends golfing with the boys. He also had those scary tear tattoos around his eye. I’ve also seen about 6-7 teenagers heading into family court pushing baby strollers. When I say teens, I’m talking 16 year olds. Pushing their three-year-old kids in strollers. I passed one pregnant 15 or 16 year old on the way back to the car, and I caught myself getting jealous about her fertility. JEALOUS!!?? I began thinking that if I had just gotten pregnant at her age, I wouldn’t be in this mess, and I started ruminating on what her estrogen levels must have been…until I stopped and reminded myself that she was 15 YEARS OLD.

This. This is what I’ve become.

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About Sunny

I'm a happily married, 31 year old gal who is just starting her journey to conceive. I also have ovaries that may need a jump start. This blog is an attempt to channel my obsessive research on my Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome into something positive....like a pregnancy test. That would be awesome. I also hope that other women with this condition will find support in this blog. There are a lot of us out here! Happy reading, whatever your journey may be.

4 responses »

  1. Ugh, please don’t EVER be jealous of pregnant 16 year olds…their lives will be hard and there’s no way that you would have wanted a kid at 16.

    I think yoga is a great place to start to de-stress. Acupuncture is also an excellent way to relax, a good acupuncturist can also work with you specifically to de-stress you.

    Also exercise in general is supposed to be great for stress.

    Good luck!

    Reply
  2. Yes, I know…it’s definitely wrong to be jealous of a pregnant 16 year old. I wouldn’t wish it on any girl, especially because I know how much growing up there is to be done between 16 and the age I’m at now. Yoga will definitely be explored, as will acupuncture. As will soy, I think. My fingers are crossed it all works. Much to check off the to-do list!

    Reply
  3. I’m on an estrogen raising quest too. Stress is highy implicated in my journey – moving countries, changing jobs, starting up my own business, being often on the breadline. And I’m such an organised person that I want everything perfect. I try to control too much.

    What are your top passions? Things that you do where you lose track of time? Those are the things you want to be doing more of to be less stressed.

    Finding the time to do them is the difficult bit for me…making them THE priority.

    Have you also thought about your creativity? I did a course with Laughing Sage Wellness clinic and realised how important creativity is to femininty.

    Went to the Drs today and had an ultrasound – my lining is thin and I still have many cysts over my ovaries. I know she’s going to want to give me progestrone and estrogen, but I really don’t want to go that way….

    Reply
    • Alison, I totally feel you on the control thing. I have major issues with control, and it’s very hard to be told that there’s “nothing I can do” but wait and see. I know this sounds corny, but doing jigsaw puzzles and paint by number is often a huge “get out of my own head” activity. I love doing that! It’s not really that creative, but I find it helps. I think about my creativity often, and how I’m not doing enough to put my own work out there. It’s mainly a source of stress and frustration for me, so I’ve been trying not to think about it too much. As for the cysts: From what I understand, those cysts are going to be with you for the long haul–they are old attempts at ovulation, and they won’t magically dissolve no matter what we try and do, unless we elect to have them surgically removed. I have cysts on my ovaries at all times, and I know that many women are in the same boat regardless if they are pregnant, not ovulating, ovulating, etc. At the risk of going insane, I have had to abandon the control over those cysts and accept that my ovaries will never be perfect and smooth. It’s fine as long as I can ovulate (which I’ve been told I can, I know you can too). The low estrogen levels are the big road block. If it’s low, progesterone pills won’t even give you a period. Estrogen and progesterone will, but it will not be addressing the main problem. I’m making it my 3 month mission to try and get my levels higher with soy and relaxation, but if not, I will have to move on to meds. Keep me posted on your progress!

      Reply

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