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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Can I fall pregnant with an eating disorder?

    I have not had my periods for years - amenorhoea - due to exercise and eating disorder - for over 20 years. I had my period briefly a few years ago when I gained some weight and reduced my exercise. But that was it. Am I fertile or ovulating? Is pregnancy still possible?

  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Dr Karin Hammarberg

    Registered Nurse

    Karin is a Research Fellow at the Jean Hailes Research Unit at Monash University and Senior Research Officer at the Victorian Assisted Reproduction Treatment Authority.Karin … View Profile

    A period follows approximately two weeks after ovulation. So, if you get a period about two weeks from today, you most likely ovulated today. The pattern you describe suggests that you are not ovulating.However, if you did happen to ovulate, you could of course get pregnant. If you wish to conceive you should see a fertility specialist. If you want to avoid pregnancy, you should use contraception.

  • Jane Karpavicius

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    Jane is an Accredited Practising Dietitian who specialises in nutrition for pregnancy and women's health and has expertise in the management of gestational diabetes. Jane … View Profile

    It's not uncommon for women who are under weight to have disrupted menstrual cycles.  Infertility can also be caused by over exercising.  My advice would be to contact a dieitian to assess your diet and lifestyle to optimise your chances of conceiving and also prepare your body for pregnancy to ensure best outcomes for your baby.

    Jane Karpavicius 

  • Louise Johnson

    Health Professional

    As Chief Executive Officer for the Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority I am involved with administering aspects of the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act 2008. With … View Profile

    With an eating disorder it is important to seek advice from a health professional in relation to plans to conceive - your GP can provide advice or provide a refrerral for specialist help if needed.
    Check the website www.your and the better health channel for information.

  • Jessica is an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) who incorporates a holistic and mindful approach to helping people achieve health and wellbeing. She has a particular … View Profile

    Yes it may be possible to fall pregnant. However, you will need to consult a specialist, like an obstetrician or a gynecologist who can assess your physical wellbeing and in particular, your hormonal status. Although it may be possible, we also have to acknowledge that dieting, excessive exercise, stress and a low weight negatively impacts a woman's endocrine or hormonal system. So unfortunately, some people may have trouble conceiving a baby or carrying it to full term. The closest to normal weight you are, the healthier your diet is, the better chances you'll have of a successful pregnancy. So whilst exploring your options and seeking specialist help, it will be important to focus on recovery and focusing on caring and nurturing for yourself.

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