Youve Lost Or Gained Weight
Severe changes in body weight can lead to a condition known as secondary amenorrhea, which means missing your period for three months or more. This is particularly common when your BMI undergoes a rapid change.
Extreme increases or decreases in body fat can lead to a chaotic hormonal imbalance that causes your period to come late or stop entirely.
In addition, severe calorie restriction affects the part of your brain that talks to your endocrine system, giving instructions for the production of reproductive hormones. When this communication channel is disrupted, hormones can get really out of whack.
What Should I Do If I Have Missed My Period
Don’t panic! In most cases there is nothing serious going on. The most important thing to do is to do a pregnancy test if there is any chance at all you could be pregnant. If you otherwise feel well in yourself, and you are not pregnant, then the chances are your periods will start up again in due course.
You should consult a doctor if:
- You have not had a period for three months and your periods were previously regular.
- You have not had a period for 6-9 months but your periods have always been infrequent.
- You could be pregnant.
- You wish to become pregnant.
- You have hot flushes or night sweats and are under the age of 45.
- You have lost weight or your BMI is 19 or less.
- You or someone close to you is concerned about your eating or weight.
- You have milk leaking from your breasts and are not breastfeeding.
- You feel unwell in yourself .
- You have not had a period for six months after stopping the contraceptive pill .
- You are worried about your lack of periods.
Achieving A Healthy Balance
To train your hardest, you need to eat the right foods to fuel your body. Patton says, This will build muscle and prevent injury.
To prevent the serious health consequences associated with the Female Athlete Triad:
- Eat three full meals each day.
- Balance meals with carbohydrates, protein and fat.
- Never omit certain food groups, such as fats. Omitting food groups is a sign of disordered eating.
- Eat within 30 to 60 minutes of finishing all workouts.
- Eat post-workout meals high in carbohydrates and moderate in protein. Some good examples include sandwich & fruit, bagel with peanut butter and chocolate milk, energy bar and yogurt with granola, or spaghetti with meatballs, salad and fruit.
- Have a minimum of three carbohydrate-rich snacks throughout the day.
- When workouts last more than 90 minutes, eat 15 grams of carbohydrates or drink a sports beverage every 15 to 30 minutes.
- Consume adequate amounts of calcium daily: 1,000 to 1,300 mg per day. Best sources include milk, yogurt, non dairy milk , cheese, calcium-fortified orange juice, and dark green leafy lettuce.
Patton says female athletes who think they may be at risk for female athlete triad should see a sports medicine doctor. If youre having difficulty building a healthy diet or increasing your calories, you should see a registered dietitian for professional assistance, she says.
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What You Should Do If You Miss A Period
Unless youre experiencing other symptoms that concern you or you suspect you might be pregnant, theres no need to worry about missing one or two periods. Missing an occasional period now and then is not terribly uncommon, Dr. Stewart said.
If you miss three consecutive periods, you should talk to your primary care physician or OBGYN. Often the source is fairly obvious and a brief discussion with your provider could address the issue, Dr. Stewart said.
Your doctor will start with your medical history and a physical exam. From that information you can work with your doctor to plan next steps, which could be lab tests or imaging studies such as ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI.
Most of the time, you will find a simple solution to get your periods back on track. But its important to seek medical care, since sometimes missed periods could be signs of serious health problems. Thyroid disease, pituitary dysfunction, ovulatory dysfunction, chronic kidney disease or cancer can all be associated with amenorrhea. And those conditions could be linked with problems like osteoporosis, abnormal pregnancy, or cancer of the uterine lining.
What If My Period Is Irregular
Its really common to have irregular menstrual cycles at some point in your life especially when you first start getting your period.
Examples of irregular periods include:
Missing a period altogether
Heavier or lighter bleeding than usual
Bleeding longer than usual
Unpredictable timing of periods from month to month
Keeping track of your periods and symptoms on a menstrual cycle calendar or in an app is a good way to learn whats normal for your body, and help you know if anything changes.
Some peoples periods are irregular a lot. It may just be the way their body naturally works, or it can be caused by a health problem. If many of your periods are irregular, unpredictable, or abnormal, talk with a doctor to make sure everythings okay. They can also help you find a hormonal birth control method that may help make your period lighter and/or more regular.
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How Is Amenorrhea Treated
Your healthcare provider will figure out the best treatment for you based on:
- How old you are
- Your overall health and past health
- How sick you are
- How well you can handle specific medicines, procedures, or therapies
- How long the condition is expected to last
- Your opinion or preference
Treatment for amenorrhea may include:
- Hormone treatment
- Oral birth control pills
- Dietary changes to include increased caloric and fat intake
- Calcium supplements to reduce bone loss
Diabetes And Thyroid Disease
Jay M. Berman, M.D., FACOG, chief of gynecological services at Detroit Medical Center’s Harper Hutzel Hospital and professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Wayne State University, says other issues such as diabetes and thyroid disease may be to blame. “Many women will, for various reasons, occasionally not ovulate and this can cause an early or delayed menses,” he says. “Depending on her history, it may require further testing to determine the cause.”
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Medicines And Medical Treatment
As discussed above, a number of contraceptive treatments can stop you having periods. Other medicines can affect periods too. Examples are some medicines for schizophrenia , an anti-sickness medicine called metoclopramide and strong painkillers called opiates.A number of operations may result in absent periods. For example, after a hysterectomy you will not have periods. A hysterectomy is an operation where the womb is removed. As the blood during a period comes from the womb, you will never have periods again afterwards. Another operation , which is sometimes done for heavy periods, also causes periods to stop. In this operation the lining of the womb is removed. This is not usually permanent and periods start again in time.
Treatments for cancer, such as radiotherapy or chemotherapy, can also damage the ovaries and result in absent periods. Recreational drugs such as heroin may also cause periods to stop.
When Do You Get Your Period On Birth Control Pills
Once youve started your seven-day break from the pill each month, youll usually start to bleed two to four days into the pill-free week. This varies for each person, but birth control tends to make cycles very regular. That means that after a few months on the pill, youll probably find that your period usually starts on the same day of that week every month.
Youll probably be getting your withdrawal bleeding every 28 days, but even after your body has gotten used to the pill, you can still experience late “periods” on birth control.
Keep in mind that your birth control only works effectively if you take it correctly. If youve forgotten to take three or more non-placebo pills, you could experience withdrawal bleeding before your seven-day break is scheduled. This would mean that you are no longer protected for the month and that you need to use a backup method of birth control and start a new pack.
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What Is A Late Period
Although a few people might have pinpoint predictability with periods, most have a little variation. So if your period is a day or two late, dont panic.
Your menstrual cycle is the length of time from day one of your period to day one of your next period, Dr. Higgins says. On average, these cycles are 24 to 38 days long.
That means that a 28-day cycle one month and a 26-day cycle the next month is probably nothing to worry about. Your period might be considered late if:
- Its been more than 38 days since your last period.
- Youre normally really regular, and your period is more than three days late.
No Period For Three Months: Is This Normal
Not having your period for three months or more is known as secondary amenorrhea. This can happen for a variety of reasons. Natural causes of an absence of menstruation for three months include perimenopause, pregnancy, and breastfeeding. Certain lifestyle factors like stress and excessive exercise may also cause it. Furthermore, having either excessive or low body fat can also cause a missed period. Tumors on the pituitary gland or a hypoactive/hyperactive thyroid gland can also lead to hormonal imbalances and trigger secondary amenorrhea. Low levels of estrogen or high levels of testosterone can also result in a missed period.
Genetic disorders such as Swyer syndrome and Turner syndrome result in a lack of menstruation without proper hormone replacement therapy. Some people experience a missed period because of medications such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, or chemotherapy drugs. You could also notice no period for three months or more if you have just stopped taking birth control pills.
Physical issues like problems in your reproductive organs could also cause delayed or missed periods.
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Youre In Early Menopause
Early menopause, also known as premature ovarian failure, happens when your ovaries stop working before you turn 40.
When your ovaries arent working the way they should, they dont produce enough estrogen. As estrogen levels drop to all-time lows, you will begin to experience the symptoms of menopause.
Late or missed periods may be an early sign. You may also experience hot flashes, night sweats, and trouble sleeping.
Other signs of premature ovarian failure include:
- vaginal dryness
Why You Might Miss A Period
Amenorrhea is the term doctors refer to when a woman has missed three or more menstrual periods in a row.
It makes sense to chalk up a missed period to pregnancy if you’re sexually active. But the list of what causes amenorrhea is a lot longer than you might think, says Sherry Ross, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Providence Saint John’s Health Center.
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Why Your Period Is Missing
As mentioned, you may miss a period due to a number of different reasons. For instance:
1. Strenuous Exercise
If you lose weight rapidly through strenuous exercise, your period may become irregular. Training for a marathon may also affect levels of estrogen in your body that will result in a missed period.
The hypothalamus is an area in your brain with lots of hormones that regulate your period. It gets affected due to stress caused by a big scary event. This may lead to a missed period.
3. A Thyroid Irregularity
Any thyroid irregularity may also cause a missed period. It can happen whether you have hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism.
4. Polycystic Ovary Symptom
The condition refers to hormone imbalance caused by a lack of ovulation. This affects the balance of progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone in your body and causes you to miss a period. Fertility issues, difficulty losing weight, and hair growth on the chest or face are some of the typical symptoms of PCOS.
5. Celiac Disease
Any chronic disease like Celiac disease can affect your menstrual cycle because it works as a stressor to your whole body.
6. Birth Control
A missed period may be the outcome of using birth control pills or taking other measures to avoid pregnancy. Low-dose pills often cause you to miss a period. The same is true for implants, IUD, and shots.
Can I Be Pregnant?
Why Did I Miss A Period
Missing a period is not uncommon, and most of the time, it is not a cause for concern. Some of the reasons you might miss a period include:
Normal lifecycle changes
There are a number of changes that happen in the female lifecycle that can result in a skipped period. All of these are normal reasons to miss a period and are not cause for concern.
The most common reason for a missed period is pregnancy. If this is a possibility, take a home pregnancy test to see if this is the cause of your missed period. If you skip a period and then have one the next month at the expected time, its possible that a non-viable pregnancy occurred, and the period is actually an early miscarriage.
Breastfeeding can suppress your period, depending on how frequently you are nursing. You may get a period while breastfeeding, and then not have another one for several months or more, particularly if your baby is nursing exclusively. You can ovulate before you get your period, so its important to use birth control during this time, if you dont want to get pregnant.
A skipped period may be a sign that you are entering menopause and your periods are beginning to become less regular, especially if you are experiencing other symptoms of menopause . If you are 45 or older, there is a good chance this is the cause of a missed period.
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There Are Many Reasons That Periods Can Be Irregular Or Absent Some Require Treatment And Some Do Not
It is not uncommon to occasionally miss a period, or for periods to become irregular from time to time. Under some circumstances, periods can even stop altogether. Sometimes these irregularities are due to normal changes, and are not cause for concern. Other times, they are a sign that something is going on, and a call to your doctor is warranted.
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Whats A Normal Menstrual Cycle
Your menstrual cycle lasts from the first day of your period to the first day of your next period. The average menstrual cycle is about 25-30 days, but it can be as short as 21 days or longer than 35 its different from person to person. The number of days in your cycle may also vary from month to month. When you get your period, its normal to bleed anywhere from 2 to 7 days.
The average person loses anywhere between 1-6 tablespoons of menstrual fluid during each period. It can be thin or clumpy, and varies in color from dark red to brown or pink. If your period is so heavy that you have to change maxi pads or super tampons every hour, call your doctor or your local Planned Parenthood health center.
Everyones body is different, so their periods are different too whats normal varies from person to person, and can change over your lifetime. Some birth control methods or health conditions may also affect your period.
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