I am six months postpartum, to the day, and wanted to share an update on my hormone journey as I know it’s not talked about enough, or at all, with many doctors- especially for women. This is a very personal subject and I am choosing to share to hopefully help guide other women into getting their hormones checked as well. I gain nothing from sharing this blog, so please, be gentle if you choose to leave a comment or respond in any way.
A little background, I gave birth to my daughter in August 2020 and dealt with severe PPA (postpartum anxiety) for over a year. I gave birth to my son March 2022 and have now been struggling with PPD (postpartum depression) for the last six months on top of my anxiety. I simply have not felt like myself since getting pregnant. My symptoms include, but are not limited to: weight fluctuations, brain fog, low sex drive, decrease in muscle, strength, and size, mood swings, heart palpitations, depression, anxiety, fatigue, muscle weakness, etc. If you’d like to take a test to see if you are experiencing hormone issues prior to blood work, here’s the basic test from the wellness center I go to. If you want to list me as a referral- I would be grateful, they have multiple locations in the midwest.
This is not to say that if you are experiencing the above symptoms that you have a hormone imbalance. I am simply stating my symptoms. I am not a doctor and this blog is not intended to be viewed or consumed as medical advice.
I expressed my concerns to my OB and he told me he couldn’t call in a panel until I was one year postpartum and I told him I couldn’t feel this way for another six months so he recommended a functional medicine doctor to get my panels ran and to get some answers. He also requested I provide them the blood work and any hormone therapy information to have in my chart as well.
Last week I scheduled my blood draw and a week later, today, I had my consult for my results and steps moving forward. They drew blood for 20 different tests:
While reviewing my results, the reference range was based on the time of month during my cycle at the time of the blood draw. My results were all over the board. My cortisol is through the roof, adrenals are barely functioning, estrogen is high, progesterone and testosterone are extremely low given my active lifestyle, amongst a few other things.
Moving forward, I will be on a low dose of progesterone and testosterone and we will re-draw blood in a month to view changes and make any changes to my dosages. After that, blood draws will be every 4 weeks in which we will monitor blood and symptom improvements. I would also like to note that I am not doing the pellets because you cannot alter dosages easily and they cannot be removed if I were to get pregnant. I take my progesterone orally in pill form and do my testosterone shots every four days (at home).
I would like to note that this is not just for postpartum women. Hormone health is extremely important during all phases of life!
If you are not in the area that my wellness center services, I suggest finding a “functional medicine” center near you to have your panels drawn! I hope this helps you not feel so alone if you too are struggling with your hormone journey. I will be making updates to this blog as I dive into my hormone therapy.