Carrying a child requires the ability of the body to provide for another body. When a mother’s body has been the focus of an eating disorder, her body is hardly able to provide for itself. Anorexia nervosa is one of the most common eating disorders and it is the most deadly mental health disorder that exists. Men and women die from anorexia nervosa as a result of their body shutting down, unable to continue functioning with the vital food source it needs to carry on. Every organ of the body can be affected by extenuating anorexia nervosa, according to the National Eating Disorder Alliance. Malnutrition, starvation, laxative abuse, and over-exercising systematically shuts down the body’s primary organs and functions. For women, anorexia nervosa can cause complications in their reproductive organs. Amenorrhea is a common development in which a woman no longer gets her monthly menstrual cycle, due to a lack of nutrition. Abnormal eating behaviors can inhibit the production of hormones which help the female body produce and maintain a normal amount of estrogen. Estrogen propels the menstrual cycle by supporting ovulation. Without normal and healthy amounts of estrogen, there are no ovulation cycles. Without ovulation cycles, it can become a statistical challenge for a woman to become fertile, impregnated, or hold a pregnancy through term.
Treatment for eating disorders and recovery from eating disorders can dramatically change a woman’s body, health, and opportunities in life. On the one hand, the body affected by eating disorders like anorexia nervosa is weak. Muscles have shrunken nearly out of existence. Nutrition is staggeringly low. However, the body fights for survival. It is true that many men and women lose their lives to anorexia. Many other men and women survive anorexia nervosa with shocking physical conditions because their body is resilient and willing, determined to live. For example, women with anorexia might develop lanugo, a condition in which the body will grow a mass of fine hair in an attempt to conserve warmth. The bodies of men and women in eating disorder recovery are remarkably strong and strong-willed. With the right treatment program, aftercare, and long term monitoring, men and women have a chance to live healthily in recovery. Women who may not have had a chance to produce a child can grow full families and safely carry a baby to term.
We see miracles every day at the O’Connor Professional Group. Our team of experienced professionals work closely with you and your family to create a custom plan of care which helps your family focus on healing. Call us today for information: (617) 910-3940