What Happens To Your Body When You Purposely Skip Your Period
According to the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, most women will have an average of 450 menstrual periods during their lifetime. Additionally, according to a recent survey they conducted, over 80 percent of respondents reported adverse, period-related symptoms including bloating, moodiness, cramps, and irritability.
But there’s good news! Get ready to throw away your pads and tampons, because you can use hormonal birth control to skip your individual periods whenever you need to or stop menstruating altogether. You can do this on the pill by skipping your placebo pills every month, or you can opt to halt your period entirely with an IUD, injections, implants, and more.
Even if your period isn’t so bad, you can still suppress it for the sake of convenience. So if you’ve been approved for hormonal birth control by your doctor and haven’t had any problems with it, read on! This is what happens to your body when you purposely skip your period.
What Are Regular Periods
Most girls get their first period between the ages of 10 and 15, but some get it earlier and some later. The first period is known as menarche .
A girl’s monthly cycle is the number of days from the start of her period to the start of the next time she gets her period. You often hear this is a 28-day cycle. But 28 is just an average figure that doctors use. Cycle lengths vary some are 24 days, some are 34 days. And a girl may notice that her cycles are different lengths each month especially for the few years after she first starts getting her period.
Early in a girl’s cycle, her ovaries start preparing one egg. At the same time, the lining of the uterus becomes thick to prepare a nesting place for a fertilized egg in the event that the girl becomes pregnant.
About 2 weeks before a girl gets her period, the egg is released from the ovary . The egg travels through the fallopian tube into the uterus. If the egg isn’t fertilized by sperm, it starts to fall apart. Then the lining and egg leave a girl’s body as her period and the whole thing starts all over again that’s why we use the word “cycle.” The first day a girl’s period comes is Day 1 of her cycle.
It’s also normal for the number of days a girl has her period to vary. Sometimes a girl may bleed for 2 days, sometimes it may last a week. That’s because the level of hormones the body makes can be different from one cycle to the next, and this affects the amount and length of bleeding.
What Is Pcos And What Causes It
The exact cause of PCOS is unknown. But some factors that are thought to contribute or play a role in the condition are an excess of androgen, a male hormone, and excess insulin, which can lead to excess androgen.
When your body has too much androgen, it can affect your regular monthly cycle. This hormonal imbalance prevents the egg from developing or releasing properly. As a result, women with PCOS often miss their periods or have delayed or irregular periods.
PCOS can affect all women, usually between the ages of 15 and 44, but women who are obese and women who have a close relative with PCOS are at higher risk for developing this syndrome.
In addition to missed or delayed periods, other common symptoms include:
- An increase in facial and body hair, also called hirsutism
- Sleep issues
PCOS is the most common cause of infertility. About 70-80% of women with PCOS experience fertility issues. Fortunately, its also very treatable.
Don’t Miss: Brown Stuff Instead Of Period
Is It Safe To Skip Your Period
But now, 57 years after the pill changed everything for women, theres still confusion surrounding its long-term safety. Hormonal contraception has pros and cons, says Sauer. A 2014 study published in the journal Cancer Research discovered that recent use of the combined oral pill increased the risk of developing breast cancer by 50 per cent, while a 2007 study published in The Lancet found that being on it for five years or more doubled your risk of cervical cancer. Should we be worried?
You are slightly more likely to develop breast cancer, but only when youre on the pill, not once you stop theres no lingering effect 10 years after or into your 50s and 60s, says John Guillebaud, emeritus professor of family planning and reproductive health at University College London. Most pill-takers are under 35, the age when breast cancer is very rare anyway, so a 50 per cent increase on top of extremely small numbers leaves total cases in this scenario still very low.
The hormone doses in the present-day pill are much smaller than they used to be. When it was first invented it contained 100mg of oestrogen, which is what past research on increased breast cancer risk has been based on, explains Guthrie. Now it only contains 20mg, so future studies may find theres even less of a link or none at all. This lower dose of oestrogen also means blood clot risk has been lowered even further.
Theres also evidence that the pill can in fact be protective against cancer.
Things That Delay Your Period
A missed period is often the first sign of pregnancy, but there are other reasons for lateness, too. Here are some other factors that can delay your monthly flow:
Extreme diet and exercise
A healthy diet and regular exercise can do wonders for your health. But if you overdo it, you might say bye-bye to your periods, at least temporarily.
Athletes who train really hard or who dont get enough calories may stop menstruating, Dr. Higgins says. Its the bodys way of telling you that it doesnt have enough resources to support a pregnancy.
When your periods stop due to weight loss, diet or exercise, youre experiencing secondary amenorrhea. This means you previously had periods, but they have stopped. Secondary amenorrhea might happen to you if you:
- Eat an extreme, calorie-restricted diet.
- Have an eating disorder, such as anorexia or bulimia.
- Lose a lot of weight in a short amount of time.
- Undergo hardcore exercise training, such as for a .
Polycystic ovary syndrome
PCOS is a hormonal imbalance that interferes with the release of an egg . When you dont ovulate, you usually dont have a period. Many people with PCOS have irregular, late or missing periods. Other symptoms of PCOS include:
- Excess facial or body hair.
- Thinning hair.
- Weight gain or trouble losing weight.
Doctors diagnose PCOS by checking your symptoms and performing medical tests when needed. Medication and lifestyle changes can help manage the symptoms.
Some examples of major stress include:
Also Check: Can You Donate Plasma On Your Period
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.
Stay In The Game Or On The Job
Most experts agree that there’s really only one medical reason to have a period, and that’s if you’re trying to get pregnant. Dr. Sophia Yen, CEO of Pandia Health, a reproductive health specialist, and a reproductive rights advocate, shared that the only reason we get a period in the first place is because we aren’t pregnant.
She continued, “We build the lining of our uterus each month to accept an embryo. If we aren’t trying to get pregnant, then why build that lining and then have to shed the lining and risk endometrial cancer each month?”
So if you find your period impedes your athletic or work performance, you really can just drop it. Dr. Yen also shared that fewer periods aren’t a bad thing. In fact, she explained, fewer periods also means less anemia, a lower risk of some cancers , less landfill waste from our tampons, pads, and applicators, fewer days of missed work or school, and even better athletic performance.
Don’t Miss: Employee Probationary Period Template
Sohow Much Of A Delay In Your Period Is Still Considered Normal
âIf you have one or two irregular periods it is definitely something to pay attention to,â says Sherry Ross, MD, an ob-gyn at Providence Saint Johnâs Health Center in Santa Monica, California. A period is considered late if it hasnât started five or more days after the day you expected it to begin, according to Summit Medical Group. So if your period is, say, 10 days late, definitely take a pregnancy test and check in with your ob-gyn regardless of the results. In general, if your flow has been MIA for a week or more, that’s a sign you should take the test and also check in with your gyno to see what might be going on.
But again, you can miss a period and *not* be pregnant. If there’s no way you’re pregnant and/or your test comes back negative , one of these factors, including all the stress you might be under right now, may be to blame for your late period problems. Then, your next step is definitely calling your doc so they can help you suss out the best solution or treatment for your situation.
You Have Another Chronic Condition
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that affects your digestive system. When people with celiac disease eat gluten, their immune system reacts by attacking the lining of the small intestine.
When the small intestine is damaged, it impairs the bodys ability to absorb nutrients from food. Subsequent malnourishment affects normal hormone production and leads to missed periods and other menstrual irregularities.
Those with type 1 and type 2 diabetes might also experience a missed period in rare cases. This tends to only happen when blood sugar levels arent managed at ideal levels.
You May Like: 90 Day Probationary Period Letter
Stress Is Getting To You
Work has been totally nuts or your class load has you pulling all-nighters. “I describe it to women as whatever stress you’re under, your body decided it was not a good time to get pregnant. It’s your body’s way of protecting you,” says Dr. Goist. But as long as you can get your stress under control and it’s an isolated thing, it’s no big deal if you miss a period or it’s super late one time.
Stopped Or Missed Periods
There are many reasons why a woman may miss her period, or why periods might stop altogether.
Most women have a period every 28 days or so, but it’s common to have a slightly shorter or longer cycle than this .
Some women do not always have a regular menstrual cycle. Their period may be early or late, and how long it lasts and how heavy it is may vary each time.
Recommended Reading: Dark Brown Discharge Instead Of Period
Two Periods In One Month: Are Multiple Periods A Reason To Worry
Normal menstrual cycles range from 21 to 35 days. However, its not uncommon to experience monthly variations in menstrual cycles. Some cycles may be shorter and others longer, which means its possible to have 2 periods in a month.
In most cases, getting a period twice a month has a simple explanation. If it happens repeatedly, however, its important to take notice of any signs and symptoms. Read on to learn why two periods may happen in the same month.
The Normal Menstrual Cycle
Ovulation is the release of an egg that’s ready for fertilization. Ovulation typically happens 11 to 21 days after you start bleeding from a period .
Getting your period every 28 days is considered “normal,” but that’s really just an average, not the rule. Normal menstrual cycles actually last anywhere from 21 to about 35 days. Some woman naturally have very short cycles and some even bleed during ovulation. However, ovulation-related bleeding should be just a bit of spotting.
While most women have a regular cycle they can rely on, some have irregular periods for their entire lives.
Your period frequency, how many days it lasts, and how much you bleed is influenced by your body’s current hormone levels. Hormones fluctuate, especially during adolescence and before menopause. Some medical disorders and certain lifestyle factors also affect menstruation. These things can make you have more frequent periods or give you an occasional early period. Factors that could be at play include:
- Lifestyle changes
Recommended Reading: Usaa New Car Insurance Grace Period
Is It Normal To Miss A Period
There are several times in a persons life when irregular periods are expected: when a person first starts having periods , during breastfeeding, and at the beginning of perimenopause . On average, most people get their periods every 28 days. But a healthy persons menstrual cycle can last from 21 to 35 days. Apart from puberty, menopause, and pregnancy, a missed period may indicate a health issue.
Get Your Missing Period Back With The Balance Supplements
I designed my Balance Supplements specifically to help women address key deficiencies, balance their hormones, and reclaim their health.
BALANCE by FLO Living is the FIRST supplement kit for happier periods that supports balancing your hormones. Balance Supplements include five formulations that provide essential micronutrients to balance your hormones. Think of them as your personal insurance policy against environmental factors that are zapping your energy every month.
Read Also: Usaa New Car Insurance Grace Period
Uterine Polyps Or Fibroids
Uterine polyps, also called endometrial polyps, are soft growths in the endometrium. They can range from sesame-seed sized to larger than a golf ball. These growths are not usually cancerous. Uterine polyps become more common with age and are rare in anyone under 20. You may develop one or many.
Uterine fibroids are another type of non-cancerous growth on the uterus, but they develop from the muscle tissue rather than the endometrium. They may be inside or outside of the uterus and, as with polyps, you can have one or several.
Both polyps and fibroids can cause menstrual irregularities, including more frequent periods, longer and heavier periods, and bleeding between periods. They can also interfere with your fertility and cause miscarriage. Other symptoms of uterine polyps include:
- Post-menopausal bleeding or spotting