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Pregnancy After Bulimia

Q: I was bulimic during my early twenties. It was so bad that I completely stopped menstruating for a year. Today I'm 29 years old, I'm no longer bulimic, and I get my period regularly. I'm also recently married, and I'd like to have a baby within the next few years, but I'm worried that I did permanent damage to my body and reproductive system while I was sick. Will I be able to conceive?

Dr. Donnica: Without examining you, I can't tell if you've had residual damage from being bulimic. The good news is that you've gotten this situation under control and your periods have returned to normal. That's usually a good sign for your future fertility. If you are planning to become pregnant in the next few years, I recommend starting to take a daily multivitamin with 400 mcg folic acid. You should also be taking a calcium supplement.

At your next doctor's visit, discuss your concerns and ask whether there are any other nutritional, medical, or behavioral changes that you can make to get your body in the best condition for pregnancy. While you're at it, you may want to be sure your husband is doing his part. Ideally, men and women should stop smoking or drinking more than 2 alcoholic beverages per day when planning to conceive. In addition, he may want to switch from briefs to boxers and avoid exposure to extremely hot temperatures (like hot tubs).

Created: 6/13/2003  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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