How Long Does Hypothalamic Amenorrhea Recovery Take?
One of the most frequent questions I get asked is how long does Hypothalamic Amenorrhea Recovery take? To your dissatisfaction, the answer to this question is highly individual. But there are some common predictors that help give answer. In this post I walk you through them.
How long should I expect Hypothalamic Amenorrhea recovery to take?
One might expect that recovery will be dependent on how long your period has been missing. Interestingly, studies have found that this is not determinant. Not even how long you’ve been in a state of low energy availability seems to determine the length of your recovery. Instead, it’s how quickly and to which extent you are able to adopt the necessary behavioral and lifestyle changes (increase energy intake, rest, reach your set point weight) which decides how long it will take for you to recover your period. Framed with other words, if you go "all in", give up exercise completely and increase your daily intake quickly, you recovery will be more speedy. If you prefer a more gradual change, recovery will be slower. There is no right or wrong here, the most important thing is that you do small incremental changes every day that takes you closer to your overall goal - to regain your period. Make sure that you monitor signs that will show you that you are on the right track (read my post on Signs Your Period is On Its Way to know what to look for).
On average, one study found a median time to recovery of six months, regardless of whether the women had been missing their periods for less than three months, or more than 10 years.
What might delay my Hypothalamic Amenorrhea recovery?
There are several reasons why your Hypothalamic Amenorrhea recovery might be taking longer than you’d hoped or expected. If you see no signs of improvement, you need to be honest with yourself. Here are some things to reflect upon:
Have you really done necessary changes to your lifestyle and eating/exercise habits or are you just thinking about doing them? What is keeping you from implementing the changes needed?
Are you addressing all the key aspects? Or are you neglecting some areas (intentionally or unintentionally?) One example could be that you have worked a lot on the food side, yet you are still stuck in a rigid routine when it comes to exercise.
Are you stopping half way? E.g. before you have reached the minimum daily intake goal? Are you unwilling to gain (more) weight or change your body?
Are you lacking the right support? Getting the right support is crucial in recovering from Hypothalamic Amenorrhea. It provides motivation, strategies and tools and helps preventing you from falling back or stopping half way.
As you can see there is not a simple answer to the question "how long does Hypothalamic Amenorrhea Recovery take". What might shorten the recovery time is the right support. Hypothalamic Amenorrhea Recovery is scary and uncomfortable, but it is worth it! An external help can help you identify the areas that yet need to be targeted in order for you to recover. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask for it.