Do I Need To Keep Track Of When My Periods Happened
Diagnosing amenorrhea can be challenging. If the cause of amenorrhea isnt obvious, such as pregnancy, your provider may ask you to keep a record of changes in your menstrual cycle. This history of your periods can help your provider figure out a diagnosis.
Using an app or a journal, note:
- How long your periods last.
- When you had your last period.
- Medications you are taking.
- Changes in your diet or exercise routine.
- Emotional challenges youre having, such as stress.
When To Call Your Healthcare Provider
Missing a period every once in a while is usually not cause for concern. That said, you should see a healthcare provider if you miss more than one period, or your missed period is accompanied by new or unusual symptoms.
Seek medical attention right away if you also experience any of the following:
- New or worsening headaches
You’re Too Into Your Exercise Routine
Hitting the gym even though you’re exhausted from your workout the day before? Jokingly say you live at the gym, but it’s actually kinda true? Over-exercising , as well as rapid weight loss or suffering from an eating disorder, can all cause your period to disappear, particularly if your BMI drops below 19 or 18, says Dr. Dweck. Thankfully, “simply cutting down on exercise or gaining a couple pounds will get your BMI up a bit, and you’ll get your period,” she says. What you don’t want to do is go without a period for more than a year , which can put you at risk for bone loss and osteoporosis.
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No Matter Which Period Problems Are Affecting You You Dont Have To Suffer In Silence
You have no reason to feel embarrassed about your periodor the many period problems that can come with it. Talk of menstrual cycle problems is becoming so much more common because, hey, sometimes theyre just the lot were dealt as people with vaginas. Celebrities are out here talking about menstruation) problems, too! Some pad commercials evengaspuse red blood, these days! What a time to be alive.
If youre having period problems, see your doctor for help. If they arent committed to relieving your symptoms, thats a sign you should try to find a more sympathetic medical professional who can help you find the best treatment.
When Is Period Bleeding Less Than Normal
Period occurs because your hormones wash out the inner uterine covering called endometrium. The endometrium continues to get thicker and taller from the end of your period to when it begins again.
If period occurs very early or if natural hormones that control your menstrual cycle are affected, you may notice a scanty period.
Most women get their menses every 25 to 35 days. During period, bleeding last between 3 to 7 days in most women with blood loss about 40 to 60 milliliters.
Should your period last less than three days or blood lost during menstruation less than 20mls, you have a scanty period.
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How Depression Affects The Menstrual Cycle
The stress hormone cortisol is primarily responsible for changes in a woman’s cycle when she’s depressed. As cortisol levels rise in response to stress, the hypothalamus, an organ in the brain that plays an important part in regulating the reproductive system, stops sending signals to the ovaries to do their job.
Without this signal, ovulation is either delayed or stopped altogether. The result is a late period or sometimes no period at all.
The medical term for absent periods when there’s no pregnancy is amenorrhea, which also can be caused by health issues other than stress including problems with the hypothalamus, the pituitary glands, the ovaries, the uterus, or the vagina.
How Much Stress Is Too Much
There are many levels of stress ranging from a bad hair day to pandemics that shut you in your home for months. How stress affects your menstrual cycle is based on your unique brain and body.
Theres a continuum. Lighter stress may have lesser impacts, and heavy stress may have more dramatic impacts that last longer, says Dr. Kollikonda. The higher your cortisol levels, the more likely you are to have missing or irregular periods.
If youre someone who goes off the rails quickly, you may be more susceptible to problematic periods.
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Reasons For A Missed Period
Pregnancy is by far the most common cause of a missed period, but there are some other medical and lifestyle factors that can affect your menstrual cycle. Extreme weight loss, hormonal irregularities, and menopause are among the most common causes if you’re not pregnant.
You may miss a period for one or two months, or you may experience complete amenorrheathat is, no period for three or more months in a row. This article explores 10 common reasons your period may be delayed.
Verywell / Cindy Chung
You Are Taking Contraceptive Pills
Most women take birth control medication to lighten their period or stop it. These pills contain synthetic hormones estrogen and progestin, produced during the menstrual cycle.
These hormones work by blocking ovulation and making cervical mucus unfavorable for sperm to swim through.
However, some women have complained of spotting while on these pills. Though, these symptoms clear in few months after starting the pill.
On the other hand, you can get pregnant while on these pills. This may happen for many reasons. The commonest reason is not taking your medication every day as prescribed.
When To See A Doctor About Absent Menstruation
A teenage girl who hasnt started her periods by at least age 16 should see a doctor. A trip to the doctors office is also necessary if she is age 14 or older and hasnt experienced any signs of puberty yet. These changes would include the following in numbered order of appearance:
Menstruating women and teens should see their doctor if they have missed three or more periods in a row.
What Is Ovarian Cancer
People with ovaries can develop tumors or cysts on their ovaries. Usually these are benign not cancerous and will stay in or on the ovaries.
Less commonly, ovarian tumors are cancerous. Some ovarian tumors cause abnormal vaginal bleeding or missed periods, but its unlikely to be the only symptom.
Read on to learn more about the link between a missed period and ovarian cancer.
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Can Depression Make Your Period Late
There are many reasons a woman’s period may be late or her cycle may go off schedule. An obvious one is pregnancy. Others include poor nutrition, excessive exercise, and long-term illness. A less obvious reason for amenorrhea or missing a period, however, is depression.
The link between mental health and reproductive health makes sense when you consider that nature does everything it can to create favorable conditions for reproduction.
If a woman is chronically stressed, anxious, sad, or upset, she’s really not in a physical or emotional position to go through a pregnancy and then take care of and nurture a child. Under these less than ideal conditions, the female reproductive system can shut down.
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.
Will I Need Any Tests
If you go to see a doctor about your periods stopping, first of all the doctor will ask you some questions. For example, the doctor will want to know:
- If you have ever had periods and whether they were regular.
- How long you have not had periods for.
- If you have recently been using any contraception.
- If you are on any medication or have any other medical conditions.
- If you have recently lost weight.
- If you are under any stress.
- If there is any chance you could be pregnant.
- If you have any other symptoms, such as hot flushes or milk leaking from your breasts. The doctor may also ask about symptoms of pregnancy such as morning sickness or tender breasts.
Your doctor may then wish to examine you. The doctor may want to check your weight and height and then work out your BMI. They may also want to feel your tummy. They may want to look for signs of possible causes. In some cases an internal examination may be needed.Whether further tests are needed will depend on what has been discovered from talking to you and examining you. You may not need any tests at all. Tests which may be needed include:
- A pregnancy test .
- Blood tests. These are done to check out a number of possible causes. They may be done to check hormone levels . Occasionally tests for gene abnormalities may be needed.
- An ultrasound scan.
Scanty Period: What Causes Less Bleeding During Periods
If perhaps you just noticed less bleeding during periods , it may not mean much. During the menstrual cycle and because of hormone imbalance, you may experience lighter than usual bleeding sometimes.
However, if persistent for many periods, it may indicate a problem.
In some women, lighter than usual period bleeding may be the first sign of pregnancy. This occurs because of implantation bleeding.
Other reasons for a light period are perimenopause, drugs, sexual intercourse with a vaginal tear, weight loss, hypothalamus dysfunction, contraceptives, abortion and thyroid problems.
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You Got New Roommates
It may be a funny urban myth, but some experts say that moving in with a new group of girls can cause your period to become irregular in an attempt to sync up with the group. “I’ve heard of young college girls saying this happens to them,” says Dr. Goist. Though studies are definitely mixed some say it happens, others call BS. So we don’t totally know for sure. But think about it a little harder and you may find your lack of period is actually stress-related especially if you’re having roomie issues.
Doing Too Much Exercise
The stress that intense physical activity places on your body can affect the hormones responsible for your periods. Losing too much body fat through intense exercise can also stop you ovulating.
You’ll be advised to reduce your level of activity if excessive exercise has caused your periods to stop.
If you’re a professional athlete, you may benefit from seeing a doctor who specialises in sports medicine. They’ll be able to give you advice about how to maintain your performance without disrupting your periods.
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Is Depression The Problem
Amenorrhea caused by chronic stress and depression is called hypothalamic amenorrhea. If you tend to eat more or less than usual when you’re depressed and have gained or lost weight, that also could play a part in your menstrual irregularities.
If your doctor has determined that depression is behind your late or missed periods, getting back on track will be a matter of finding an effective way to reduce your stress and treat your depression.
What To Do If You Have A Missed Period For 2 Months
If you miss your period for 2 months in a row, you should connect with your doctor to see if everything is okay. You can also try a few things at home first:
1. Take a Pregnancy Test
After the first month passes, take a home pregnancy test when you are around two weeks late for your period. You can buy these online or at any drugstore. If the test is positive, give your doctor a call for confirmation. If the test is negative, give it a few more weeks then re-test.
2. Change Your Lifestyle
Have you started a new birth control method? Are you under a lot of stress? Have you lost or gained weight? One of the above causes may be the issue and you may be able to make some changes in your lifestyle that will help balance your cycles.
3. Call Your Doctor
If you don’t have a period after two or three months, you need to call your doctor. Going longer than two months is abnormal and you will need to be evaluated. The doctor will diagnose the cause and you may need medical treatment.
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When To See A Doctor
Seeing spotting instead of a period one month may not be a reason for concern. For example, if youre very stressed one month or perhaps skip your period because youre nearing menopause, your regular flow may return the following month with no treatment needed.
If your spotting is being caused by medical conditions, such as PCOS, thyroid issues, or STIs, you may experience other symptoms that prompt you to call your doctor. The same goes with possible pregnancy. Pay attention to the other symptoms youre experiencing along with spotting and make an appointment.
Always call your doctor if your spotting is accompanied by:
What Is The Difference Between Primary And Secondary Amenorrhea
Primary amenorrhea occurs when a young woman has not had her first period by the time she turns 16. Secondary amenorrhea happens when a woman who has previously had normal menstruation cycles stops getting her period. .
Primary amenorrhea signifies a change in organs and hormones involved in menstruation. Secondary amenorrhea has a wide variety of causes ranging from pregnancy to stress. .
In addition, women with amenorrhea may experience other symptoms such as:
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