I actually have never had a natural period. I was diagnosed with a pituitary prolactinoma at age 16 and was put immediately on the birth control pill to protect my bones. Fast forward 11 years to when my husband and I wanted to try for a baby, aaaaannnndddd… I didn’t get a period. Doctors conducted a plethora tests and didn’t know what was wrong, so I basically self-diagnosed myself with HA after doing a ton of research online and finding the Fertile Thoughts forum. I had been a varsity athlete my entire life (running track/cross country at Princeton, doing triathlons, working as a group fitness instructor), and in my mid-20’s got even more obsessed with my body image and food, loving the compliments I received from being tiny and fit. After years with disordered eating and an extreme mentality towards exercise, I can’t say I was that surprised when my period didn’t show up… but I was deeply saddened and scared.

Luckily, I found the incredible support of the forum and through the encouragement and love of the ladies on the forum, in addition to an HA/body image recovery blog I started (, I bit the bullet and went “all in”, gaining about 30 pounds in 11 months. It definitely wasn’t easy, but was a humbling experience.

After 11 months and thinking something must truly be wrong (still no period), I went to a fertility doctor who did an ultrasound and saw that I was about to ovulate—which would be my first ovulation in my life! As my husband and I were trying to conceive, we decided to go for it. Unfortunately, I didn’t ovulate in the expected timeframe according to blood test and ultrasound, so my doctor suggested I take the Ovidrel trigger shot and then do timed intercourse. To my amazement, IT WORKED! I got pregnant on the first try, and on my very first natural cycle of my life. I realize how incredibly lucky and blessed and am and still (at 28 weeks pregnant) can’t really believe this lifelong dream of mine is coming true. I truly would never be here were it not for your support and encouragement and I want to make sharing this message a lifelong goal of mine. Far too many women struggle with amenorrhea and infertility without knowing that it’s a relatively easy (but yet oh so hard) fix!

Ashley after hypothalamic amenorrhea recovery

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