How Will I Know If I Am Starting The Transition To Menopause
Sometimes it can be hard for you and your doctor to tell whether you are in perimenopause, the transition to menopause:
- Symptoms: Tell your doctor or nurse about any menopause symptoms, such as hot flashes or trouble sleeping.
- Irregular periods: Track your periods. Irregular periods may be your first sign of menopause.
- Hormone levels: Your doctor may test the amount of hormones in your blood if your periods stopped at an early age . Doctors dont usually recommend this test unless there is a medical reason to do so. This is because, for most women, hormone levels go up and down in an unpredictable way during the transition to menopause. So it is difficult to tell for sure whether you have gone through menopause or are getting close to it based on this blood test.
You’re On Or You Forgot To Take Your Birth Control
Duh, right? Missing birth control pills or forgetting your Depo-Provera shot will always cause irregular bleeding, says Dr. Richardson. Anytime you fail to take a birth control method correctly, you will bleed because you have an abrupt withdrawal of hormones. This kind of bleeding, though, is not an emergency.”
You can also experience irregular bleeding if you’re just starting to use birth control. “Birth control like the arm implant and IUD can be linked to intermenstrual bleeding or spotting, a.k.a. unscheduled bleeding or random bleeding that isn’t a true period. This is especially true the first few months after having either the implant or IUD placed,” says Jennifer Lincoln, MD, an ob-gyn based in Portland, Oregon, and the author of Let’s Talk About Down There. “In addition, this kind of bleeding can continue with the arm implant no matter how long you’ve had it, while for many it stops over time with the IUD.”
What Birth Control Works Best To Suppress My Period
While many types of hormonal birth control could theoretically be used for menstrual suppression, some are more common or reliable than others. Birth control pills and IUDs are some of the most common methods, whereas IUDs and birth control shots are some of the most reliable.
There are several types of birth control pills: combination pills, which include both estrogen and progestin, and progestin-only pills. Among combination pills there are also monophasic and multiphasic. Monophasic means the amount of hormones in each pill is the same, whereas with multiphasic pills, the dose changes throughout the month.
Combination, monophasic pills are the easiest and most effective to use to stop your period. Most pill packets contain three weeks of active pills that have hormones and one week of inactive pills that dont contain hormones. This is designed to mimic someones natural menstrual cycle. If you want to stop your period, you simply dont take the inactive pills and instead go straight to the next set of pills that contain hormones.
Some brands, such as Amethyst, are designed to let you skip your period for a year or more. Others, such as Seasonique, are designed to give you a period only every three months.
Additionally, the contraceptive vaginal ring and transdermal contraceptive patches can both be used to reduce or eliminate periods with about the same effectiveness as pills.
Recommended Reading: Skipping Your Period On Birth Control
How Is Amenorrhea Diagnosed
Contact your family doctor or a gynecologist if you think you have amenorrhea. If youve never menstruated, the doctor will review your health history and do an exam. A regular physical and pelvic check can show signs of puberty.
For secondary amenorrhea, the doctor will begin with a pregnancy test. If this is negative, he or she will do an exam and review your health history.
Your doctor may order additional tests to rule out or determine a cause. A karyotype test looks at your chromosomes. A genetic test looks for the mutated FMR1 gene. Imaging tests can look at your female organs. A blood test can check your:
- Thyroid function .
- Ovary function .
- Testosterone levels, which can detect PCOS.
- Estrogen levels.
You’re Seriously Stressed Out
High levels of stress can cause either more frequent periods or completely missed ones, says Dr. Masterson, because the hormones that trigger your ovaries to ovulate every month originate in the brain .
Basically, when youre swamped at work or worrying a lot , those hormones can misfire and affect your cycle in negative ways.
Don’t Miss: 2 Week Pregnancy Symptoms Before Missed Period
What Are Irregular Periods
You have irregular periods if the length of your menstrual cycle keeps changing.
Your periods may come early or late.
The average menstrual cycle lasts 28 days, although it’s normal for it to be a bit shorter or longer than this.
After puberty, many women develop a regular cycle with a similar length of time between periods. But it’s not uncommon for it to vary by a few days each time.
No One Has To Get Their Period Anymore
Menstruating is painful, expensive, and unnecessary?
At the posthumous retrial of Joan of Arc in 1455, two decades after she was burned at the stake as a witch and a heretic, she was declared an innocent martyr. During the trial, a personal valet offered evidence of Joan of Arcs piety and purity during her 19 years on Earth: She never suffered from the secret illness of women. As far as the people closest to her knew, he claimed, she never got her period.
Saintly qualifications aside, amenorrheathe abnormal absence of periodshas historically been linked with misfortune. In 400 B.C., Hippocrates wrote that when the menses are stopped, diseases from the uterus take place. In 1652, the physician Nicolas Fontanus identified amenorrhea as the most universal and most usual cause for palsy, melancholy, burning fevers, nausea, headaches, and a distaste for meat. Some 18th-century physicians believed that suppressed menses could cause a married woman to spiral into deep hysteria, and even in 1961, the epidemiologist Frances Drew proposed that a young woman might manifest mental anguish by losing her period.
But some doctors today offer amenorrhea to patients as young as age 14 or 15: Menstruation has now become an elective bodily process. Once your periods are established, we can turn them off, Sophia Yen, a pediatrics professor at Stanford Medical School, told me. We now have the technology to make periods optional.
Read Also: What Can I Do To Make My Period Stop
Your Thyroid Isn’t Working Properly
An underactive or overactive thyroid gland can cause your period to come twice in one month. The thyroid gland is regulated by hormones produced and regulated in the same area of the brainthe pituitary and hypothalamusas the hormones that control menstruation and ovulation, explains Dweck. When one is off, the other might be affected.
If you have hyperthyroidism , you may also lose weight unexpectedly, feel nervous or anxious, have a rapid heartbeat, or have trouble sleeping. Hypothyroidism can cause weight gain, constipation, fatigue, and increased sensitivity to cold, among other symptoms.
Your risk of developing a thyroid disease could vary by race, potentially due to a combination of environmental and genetic factors. According to a 2014 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Graves disease, an autoimmune disorder often at the root of hyperthyroidism, is more common in Black, Asian, and Pacific Islander women compared to white women. On the other hand, Hashimotos disease, which often causes hypothyroidism, is more common in white women.
How To Skip Your Period Using The Ortho Evra Patch
The impact of having a monthly period, for some women, can be experienced as a minor inconvenience, yet it can also be a major health concern for others. The use of the Ortho Evra patch gives women the choice to decide when and if they become pregnant while also allowing women the ability to control when and if they have a period.
Research shows that if given the choice, most women would prefer extended menstrual cycles. Many women may have medical reasons for wanting to skip a period. The most common medical reasons that women give include headaches, cramping, painful periods, heavy bleeding, and PMS.
You May Like: How Do You Know If You Missed Your Period
What Is Menstrual Suppression
A refresher biology lesson: People who have a uterus, vagina and ovaries, and are between puberty and menopause, bleed around once every month. This involves thickening of the uterine lining, called the endometrium, which helps prepare the uterus for potential pregnancy.
It is entirely possible to stop this monthly bleeding by using hormonal birth control. Almost any hormonal method may stop someones period incidentally, whether or not the person actively tries.
Not having a period can significantly improve someones quality of life and ability to interact in the world, plus fewer missed days at school or work, Dr. Sarah Prager says. She is an OB-GYN at UW Medicine who specializes in family planning, birth control management, abortion and reproductive justice.
That is true for people who simply dont want to deal with irritating monthly symptoms and for those whose periods prevent them from living a full life.
Being period-free is helpful for people who have a condition called menorrhagia, where they bleed so heavily they can develop anemia and, in rare cases, may need blood transfusions. It can also be helpful for people who have conditions such as endometriosis or polycystic ovary syndrome , where periods may cause heavy bleeding and severe pain.
What Causes Missed Periods
- A teen girl may be fine and just a little late with regulating her periods.
- She may have a hormone imbalance called polycystic ovary syndrome and needs to be checked for high cholesterol and diabetes.
- She may have an ovary or thyroid problem and need hormones.
- She may have low estrogen levels from excessive exercise or low weight, and she may be at risk for low bone mass.
Without enough estrogen, not only do menstrual cycles stop, but the body does not absorb enough calcium to build strong bones. This can result in low bone mass. Since very little bone mass is added after women are 20 years old, the teen years are very important for building the right amount of bone for a lifetime.
Everyone, teen girls especially, needs the right balance of exercise, body weight, calcium intake, vitamin D, and estrogen levels to have healthy bones.
You May Like: When Does A Woman Ovulate After Period
Should You Be Concerned If Your Period Is Irregular
A couple of irregular periods per year are usually nothing to worry about. Any more than that, and you should see a doctor to be sure an ovulation problem or health condition isnt the cause. If you are someone who’s not on contraceptives and not of age for perimenopause or menopause and your periods are irregular, you should alert your physician. For example, if you do have PCOS, an irregular cycle can increase your risk of uterine cancer, says Lynn.
Quick Read No You Dont Need A Period Period
- Stopping your period is safe having a period isnt necessary for good health.
- Hormonal shots and intrauterine devices are the most effective methods.
- The most common side effect is breakthrough, irregular bleeding or spotting.
- Period suppression does not put someone at risk for infertility, if they want to have kids.
- It also lowers the risk for uterine fibroids and endometrial polyps or cancer.
Most people who have periods can agree: They arent exactly fun.
Research has shown that heavy, painful and otherwise disruptive periods also can have a significant impact on someones life, such as missing more days of work.
The good news? If you have a uterus, you dont need to have a period. There are safe, effective ways to stop getting a period for a little while or a long time. Heres what you need to know.
Also Check: How To Get Pregnant While Breastfeeding And No Period
Amenorrhea Treatment And Home Care
Treatment for amenorrhea will focus on the condition that causes it. Hormone replacement therapy or birth control pills can help start your menstrual cycle again. A thyroid or pituitary disorder can be treated with medication. Physical abnormalities may need surgery.
If something such as stress, weight gain or loss, or depression is affecting your menstrual cycle, you can take an active role in your treatment by taking steps to manage it. Friends, family, or your doctor may be able to help you.
You can help your doctor trace the cause of your amenorrhea by tracking changes in your cycle and symptoms and sharing this information with them. Tell them what medications youâre taking, and about changes in your diet, exercise habits, and stress levels.
How To Stop Your Period
For some women, having a period is a sacred moment, while for many, its felt to be an inconvenience. For others, that monthly flow brings on intense side effects like cramping, mood swings, and heavy bleeding that can make doing daily activities feel impossible. No matter which side of the coin youre on, you may have considered whether you should stop your period and, if you were to do so, how you can go about it.
The answer is, it depends on a lot of different factors.
There are many peopleboth medical professionals and professional menstruators that say stopping or skipping your period is perfectly safe. One of the main points that people who are for stopping periods make is that there are many times in a womans life when her period is naturally MIA, like when shes pregnant or breastfeeding. Another angle to this point of view is based on the knowledge that, while estrogen causes your uterine lining to thicken, progesterone keeps it thin. When youre using hormonal birth control to skip or stop your period, the progesterone keeps your uterine lining from building up, thus leaving nothing for your uterus to shed for a period. Those who are Team Stop Your Period believe that suppressing your period for either medical reasons or for recreational reasons is safe.
Granted, this statement came out in 2007 but, to date, there has not been adequate research to show that using hormonal birth control to stop your period is safe in the long run.
Recommended Reading: Cramps And Bloating But No Period
We Dont Need To Bleed: Why Many Women Are Giving Up On Periods
With recent confirmation that periods have no health benefit, an increasing number of women are using contraception to stop them altogether
For some, it is about bringing an end to debilitating pain or dark thoughts. For others, it is as simple as being liberated from the sinking realisation that you need a tampon but you left them in your other handbag.
When a new wave of feminist authors and activists are calling on women to embrace their periods, the idea that some do not want a monthly bleed and are seeking to avoid having them altogether can seem radical.
The technology is there, in contraceptives. They dont only prevent pregnancy. A recent drop in tampon sales has been linked to women using contraceptive methods that stop, or lighten their periods. About a fifth of women using the contraceptive implant no longer bleed , while many who take contraceptive pills without a break often achieve the same result and they are not the only methods.
The impact can be life-changing. I started taking the mini-pill purely for the fact it would stop my periods, says Jaimi Kendall, 25, from Exeter. For years, I had extremely heavy periods that would drag on for eight weeks or so and left me severely anaemic to the point where I started experiencing pulsatile tinnitus. Not having periods any more is a blessing.
So, if women do not want a period, is there a medical reason that they should? Many may be surprised to learn that the short answer is: no.
Sign Up To Our Free Weekly Voices Newsletter
‘You mean you take a pill just to fend off pregnancy how primitive!” exclaims Kate to a colleague who is clearly behind the times.
‘You mean you take a pill just to fend off pregnancy how primitive!” exclaims Kate to a colleague who is clearly behind the times. Kate is taking a contraceptive pill, but it’s no ordinary pill, for it has the added effect of improving her complexion. Her friend Liz is also taking the Pill, but hers is designed to reduce water retention, giving her a slimmer look. Finding a monthly period a nuisance, Jo simply takes a “no-period pill” which reduces hers to four per year.
Welcome to the era of the designer contraceptive. For while these pills are not yet available in Britain, they are on the way. Designed not just for contraception but for lifestyle and convenience, they aim to improve specific aspects of health and appearance.
Yasmin, a combined contraceptive pill developed by Schering, counters water retention, helping to stabilise or even decrease body weight. It could be available as soon as April. Meanwhile, Estrostep, a contraceptive pill that claims to combat acne, is already available in the United States and could be here in a few years. Others, such as Seasonale, which is due to arrive in 2005, reduce periods to four a year.
Seasonale, an 84-day pill that reduces periods to just four a year, works on the same principle as taking two or three packs of pills back to back.
Read Also: Yeast Infection Treatment While On Period