Monday, August 06, 2012

Hypothalamic Amenorrhea book!

I stopped working about a month before little C was born.  I had been working two days a week for a pharmaceutical company, managing testing for clinical studies.  It brought in a paycheck and got me some adult interaction that definitely helped me be more patient on the days I was home with the kids - but the job itself wasn't particularly fulfilling.  Didn't make any use of my PhD, it was mostly just organizing and staying on top of samples and labs.  Good for then but not a long term career.  So there was no question for me when C arrived that I would look to go back - maybe eventually, but not for at least a year.

I have toyed with the idea of going back to school - med school specifically, with the idea of becoming a reproductive endocrinologist, and getting to help women get pregnant, because I have found through my years posting on this blog, and even more so, on the hypothalamic amenorrhea thread at Fertile Thoughts, that the joy I get from supporting women in their quest to become mothers is incredibly fulfilling.  But honestly, med school?  Who am I kidding?  I'd have to take the MCAT again, and while I did well on it when I took it, gulp, 15 year ago, I'd need to do a lot of studying to get  back there.  Then four years of med school, residency, an OB fellowship and then a RE fellowship - I'm looking at being around fifty before I'd be done.  And yes, I could do it - but I think that it would come at a high cost to my family and I just don't think that is the right road to take.

So I've been mulling over what I could do instead.  What could I do to continue to help women with HA achieve their dreams to become mothers?  Get the message out!  It does seem that magazines and other blogs are starting to talk about how overexercise and undereating, particularly in combination, are not as healthy as we have all been led to believe they are, and are particularly detrimental to fertility.  Finally!

What I think I can add to the conversation, and would be worthy of writing a book about, is data about HA from the large cohort of women who have posted on the fertilethoughts HA thread over the years.  I have collated information on 325 pregnancies to date, and I'm sure there are more from "vets" that I am unaware of.  So my plan is to put together a comprehensive survey and ask those women (and perhaps others who might find such a survey through my blog or other places I advertise) for a bit of their time to help put numbers on things like the amount of time it takes to get cycles back naturally, the likelihood of pregnancy at different BMIs, what changes in exercise habits they had to make, that kind of thing.

I have a basic outline put together, and will post that  soon, which will include the questions I'm trying to answer with my survey, and the various topics I think are worth covering (questions that come up time and time again on the board).  I'd love any feedback you have to offer, now and when I post those!

9 comments:

The Infertility Doula said...

First, big congrats! Second, sounds like we are mulling over some similar thoughts. I'm thinking of going back to school too. Meanwhile, I'm also starting a business related to infertility support (more to come later). Let me know if I can be of help in collecting your data. Good luck!

Kellie said...

Nice. Sharing your experiences will certainly be helpful to others - I think it's a great idea.

♥ JAM said...

AWESOME! This would be AMAZING.
Let me know if I can help or contribute in any way!!

-Anita (JAM)

Rose81 said...

Great idea Nico, I sure wish there was a book like that available when I first realized I had HA--instead of just a paragraph or two!

Megan Krista said...

please let me know when this is available!

Kelly C said...

Do you know of any other books in the mean time to read about HA? I was just diagnosed and want to read about how to get my body it's cycles back without having to gain 30 lbs. There must be a way through nutrition and diet!

Nico said...

Hi Kelly, there really isn't anything out there on HA which is why I am working on it! In the meantime, come join the HA forum at fertilethoughts: http://www.fertilethoughts.com/forums/hypothalamic-amenorrhea/717289-hypothalamic-amenorrhea-dec-2012-preg-m-c-child-ment.html lots of women on there are working on recovery / have recovered, and can give you some good advice. HOw much you should gain depends on your current stats. Nutrition and diet are important - getting enough fat and calories to support functions beyond basic survival. You should also check out gwyneth olwen's blog, (google it), she's got quite a few articles on ha and recovery.

Lisa said...

I myself would like to go to med school too.

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