6 Reasons You Might Be Missing Your Period And Dealing With Amenorrhea
As a woman, you might dread that time of the month. It’s been happening since you were about 14 years old and you would have thought you’d gotten used to it by now, but nope. When your time of the month strikes, you’re annoyed, irritated, and probably a wee bit more emotional than you usually…
As a woman, you might dread that time of the month. It’s been happening since you were about 14 years old and you would have thought you’d gotten used to it by now, but nope. When your time of the month strikes, you’re annoyed, irritated, and probably a wee bit more emotional than you usually are (or a lot!).
PMS is no fun and for some women, it’s downright debilitating. So if you suddenly stop getting your period, you might be thrilled. Elated in fact. What could be better?
Thinking this way is wrong however as not getting your period is a very serious problem and needs to be treated as such. Not only will it completely ruin any chances you have of getting pregnant (if that is in the cards for you in the coming months/years), but it also means your hormone levels are seriously way off.
When a woman no longer gets her period, which is a condition referred to as amenorrhea, she’ll be at risk for a number of health conditions. Some of these include osteoporosis, heart disease, as well as issues with fertility as noted earlier. The problem is that these conditions don’t often become noticeable until later on in life, so you might think that you’re simply immune. You are just enjoying being period free and not really concerning yourself with the long-term dangers of such.
Getting to the root of why you are missing your period in the first place is also vital because in many cases, there may be an underlying condition present causing this as well.
So let’s take a closer look at six reasons you might be missing your period and how you can resolve those.
1. Reason For Missed Period: Too Much Exercise
The first reason you may find yourself missing your period is a common one: too much exercise. Fitness is en vogue right now with even those who don’t normally exercise lacing up their running shoes because it seems like the trendy thing to do.
While we would never encourage someone to exercise just because it’s fashionable to do so – you should want to exercise for health’s sake and improving your well-being. This doesn’t change the fact that more and more people are hitting the gym.
It becomes a problem if you hit the gym too much. Some people begin to get hooked on their exercise routines and take things a little too far. Whether it’s because they just have a type A personality trait and want to ensure they are putting their best foot forward. Or because they are battling with some unhealthy thought patterns regarding their body image and weight. Whatever the reason, too much exercise can be just as harmful as too little.
Remember that exercise is a stress on the body and any form of stress in abundance is going to set you up for problems. When you’re exercising too much, hormones start to shift and this can cause periods to go amiss.
Generally speaking, this does tend to happen with endurance exercise more than it does with weight training. But it can happen with any form of exercise so don’t think you’ll be immune to it. Some studies suggest that this problem can occur in up to 40% of female runners1.
It’s not uncommon at all to see marathon runners, for example, go for months without a period when in hard training.
Often what causes the missed periods, however, is lack of energy coming into the body to keep up with the energy going out. So in many cases, simply consuming more calories will help remedy the situation. If you love exercise and don’t want to cut back on how much you’re doing, try eating a bit more. See if your period doesn’t come back if you do this.
2. Reason For Missed Period: Too Little Food
Which now brings us to the next reason you might be missing your period and that is not consuming enough food. In some cases, the combination of doing too much exercise and eating too little food when happening together could mean an eating disorder is present2.
One of the defining characteristics of eating disorders is amenorrhea, so you can pretty much assume the two go hand in hand.
In this scenario, the individual often typically exercises too much (energy output) and near starving themselves (very little energy input). So this causes their menstruation to shut down. If the body doesn’t have enough available energy coming in, it’ll stop the processes in the body that are not required to stay alive. This includes the reproductive system. It only makes sense when you stop and think about it because if you are barely eating enough energy to stay alive, why would your body get pregnant and try to support another living human being? Clearly that’s not a wise plan to carry out.
In some situations, the exercise component of this is not at play and it’s just an issue of not eating enough food. You might not be exercising, but close to starving yourself and that is having a similar effect.
If you feel as though you may be close to having an eating disorder or already suffering from one, it’s important to get the help you need as soon as possible. The earlier you can treat this condition, the better the outcome will likely be.
3. Reason For Missed Period: Too Much Stress
Are you under a great deal of stress on a regular basis? If so, that could also be the reason your period is no longer with you.
Stress, as we talked about earlier in the section on exercise is very detrimental to your overall well-being, period included3. It may be odd to think that something that is more psychological (stress) could be impacting your physical. Remember though that just because stress starts out as a psychological issue does not mean it stays as a psychological issue.
As soon as your brain is heavily stressed out, your body starts secreting hormones such as cortisol, which are without a doubt going to impact the future nature of your health.
Cortisol is a catabolic hormone and can lead to all sorts of unwanted health problems such as weight gain (with a focus of fat gain around the midsection), increased cholesterol levels and heart disease, as well as increased problems with insulin section.
Insulin resistance is far more likely to happen if you’re dealing with high-stress levels.
The good news is that because stress is psychological and often an issue of how you are perceiving various situations, it’s something that you can control. While this isn’t to say you might never be stressed out – if you are put in stressful situations time and time again, it’s bound to happen at some point. The reality is that if you learn proper stress-coping methods, you can definitely decrease your overall stress load.
Journaling, deep breathing, meditation, exercise, calling a friend, or showing gratitude are all great ways to help cope with stress and help you figure out how to better handle yourself.
The thing with stress is that it can creep up on you. You might not think you’re that stressed out at first, but it builds and builds without you noticing it until it’s starting to impact you on a much higher level.
Being more aware of when you are feeling stressed and catching it in that early stage is a must for success.
4. Reason For Missed Period: Thyroid Irregularities
Another common cause for missed periods has to do with your thyroid gland4. The good news is that if this is the problem at stake, it’s a very easy fix so something that you shouldn’t have to deal with for a long period of time.
Why do thyroid irregularities lead to missed periods? The primary reason for this is because your thyroid gland controls pretty much all of the reactions taking place in the body.
You’ve probably heard of people who state that they have a fast metabolism and can’t seem to gain weight. Usually, this is because their thyroid is running faster than normal. They are burning up energy much quicker than the average person, therefore weight gain doesn’t come easily.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, we’ve all also heard those that claim to have a slow metabolism and that’s why they’re unable to lose weight as they should. If this is you, then once again, you can blame your thyroid for it.
Those who are dealing with hypothyroidism (underactive) or hyperthyroidism (overactive), typically also present other symptoms as well.
If your thyroid is too slow and sluggish, you’ll likely notice:
· A general feeling of lethargy much of the day
· Intolerance to cold – you’ll be freezing while others are warm
· Slow recovery from illness and/or injury
· Easy bruising
· Difficulty sleeping enough though you are tired
· Higher levels of food cravings
On the flip side, if your thyroid is hyperactive, you’ll likely notice:
· Feeling agitated and on edge a lot of the time
· Feeling jittery and anxious
· Noticing your heart rate beating faster than it should on many occasions
· Feeling like your entire body is racing
· Sweating more than average
· Suffering from higher levels of hunger – it might feel like you can never get truly full
While hypothyroidism is more likely to lead to amenorrhea in women and is simply a more common issue, hyperthyroidism can as well. Either condition is not optimal for your body, so it becomes important to address if it’s potentially causing your issues.
While hyperthyroidism5. may seem like many women’s dream come true (you can eat all the food you want and not gain weight!), for those who are suffering, it’s far less pleasant than it seems.
The good news is that both of these conditions can usually be fixed by simply taking thyroid medication, which will work to either slow down or speed up your thyroid.
5. Reason For Missed Period: Discontinuation Of Birth Control Pills
Another common reason you might notice your period goes amiss is if you just stopped taking birth control pills. Birth control pills may seem like a great idea if you aren’t trying to get pregnant and don’t have any plans to in the future. But the issue is they are a man-made form of a hormone that you are putting into your body and you are meddling with the way mother nature.
As such, it is very common to see a number of issues while on these pills. While it will vary from woman to woman, some of the key issues that often go reported are:
· Feeling bloated
· Suffering from joint aches
· Experiencing weight gain
· Having more food cravings
· Not feeling like their normal self
· Suffering from the loss of libido
· Feeling fuzzy brained
· Having an increased frequency of migraines
· Hair loss
…and on and on the list goes. Birth control pills do impact the body and in some cases, on a large scale. Sadly, many women often don’t realize how much they’re being impacted until they come off the pill.
Then some of these nagging issues they’ve been dealing with for years start to resolve and suddenly, it becomes more apparent. What’s more is that after coming off the pill, it can take the body months, sometimes even years to be able to re-regulate itself and start having a normal and natural period again.
So if you are planning on trying to get pregnant any time soon, you’ll want to come off the pill as early as you possibly can. If you are already on the pill, know that the damage has been done and it may take you time to get your period back. But you can decrease that time typically by coming off sooner than later. The more time you spend on the pill, the more deregulated your natural cycle will become.
Considering how many other varieties of birth control there are out there, you’d be much better pressed to look into using one of those instead.
6. Reason For Missed Period: Poor Gut Health
Finally, the last reason you might find that you stop having a regular period is due to poor gut health. When your gut is imbalanced, as is the case in many people who simply aren’t getting enough healthy bacteria (probiotics) into their daily diet, your entire body will not function as well as it should.
You’ll notice your immune system takes a beating and is no longer as strong as it could be, thus you fall ill more regularly.
On top of this, your hormones may start to shift, leaving a number of systems in your body out of whack. Because your hormones essentially control everything you do, if they aren’t functioning as they should, this is a huge problem you’ll face6.
The good news is that getting your gut health back on track is relatively easy with the help of optimized supplements. While some people will try and simply eat their way to better gut health by including yogurt more often in their diet, usually they still fall short because they aren’t eating probiotic-rich foods every single day. Even when they are eating probiotic-rich foods, sometimes those foods actually don’t contain probiotics like they think they do.
Supplementation is fast, easy, and if you use the right product, guaranteed. P3-OM will help to get your gut health back where it should be in a matter of days and if you take it regularly, you will keep it there for the time to come.
So there you have some of the most common reasons that you might be missing your period. While it may seem nice (and it is!) to not have to deal with PMS or the nuisance of using tampons or pads, when you stop and think long-term, this really is a problem that needs to be remedied.
Remember that if your PMS symptoms are so bad that you’re bedridden for days, you need to look into that as well. As that usually should not be the case for most people. If it is, there are likely things you can do to lessen that burden on you and make your period more tolerable.
- LINDBERG, JILL S., et al. “Exercise-induced amenorrhea and bone density.” Annals of internal medicine 101.5 (1984): 647-648.
- Benson, Joan E., Kathryn A. Engelbert-Fenton, and Patricia A. Eisenman. “Nutritional aspects of amenorrhea in the female athlete triad.” International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism 6.2 (1996): 134-145.
- Genazzani, Alessandro D. “Neuroendocrine aspects of amenorrhea related to stress.” Pediatric endocrinology reviews: PER 2.4 (2005): 661-668.
- Woolf, Paul D. “Hypothyroidism and amenorrhea due to hypothalamic insufficiency: a study in four young women.” The American journal of medicine 63.3 (1977): 343-347.
- Chopra, Inder J. “Gonadal steroids and gonadotropins in hyperthyroidism.” The Medical Clinics of North America 59.5 (1975): 1109-1121.
- Charlesson, B., et al. “The effect of short-term probiotic supplementation on gut flora of elite athletes.” International Sport and Exercise Nutrition conference. 2013.