Periods are an inconvenience, yes, but they’re indicative of so much more than just your hormonal health. From the fad diets to increasingly intense exercise regiments and over-bearing stress, it seems more women are beginning to lose their period. But, this shouldn’t be normal, or desired. Take charge of your health and learn the consequences of amenorrhea.
What is Amenorrhea?
Missing three periods in a row qualifies someone as having secondary amenorrhea. Primary amenorrhea is a girl who hasn’t started her period by 15 years old.
Most commonly amenorrhea is due to pregnancy, however various types stress can cause the body to shut down the reproductive process.
Beyond the absence of menstruation, symptoms can include hair loss, headaches, pelvic pain, and acne.
The Unfortunate Consequences
If you find yourself lacking a period for up to six months, your body can suffer great consequences.
Devastatingly, amenorrhea can affect the ability to reproduce. The longer one doesn’t have a period, the higher the chances of infertility become. Simply, if you don’t have a period you definitely cannot get pregnant then, and may suffer long-term fertility consequences.
Amenorrhea also is associated with decreased production of estrogen. This not only results in facial hair and smaller breasts but also can negatively impact bone density. The risk of developing osteoporosis are much higher in women with estrogen deficiencies.
You may also produce too much testosterone which can create ovarian cysts, leading to an ovarian imbalance and possibly even polycystic ovarian syndrome.
Causes & Remedies
The female body is very sensitive to stressors. Amenorrhea is the body’s way of indicating it is not a safe space to create a life.
Many different factors can contribute to losing your period including:
- Family History
- Eating Disorders / Low Weight
- Intense Exercise
- Birth Control
- Weight Gain
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Depending on the cause of your lost period, which can be difficult to identify, various treatments may be suggested.
You may need to gain weight, decrease exercise, increase calories and/or nutrition, and seek ways to manage your stress.
It is recommended that someone who is not pregnant and misses three periods in a row should see a doctor.
Don’t wait. The long term consequences aren’t worth it in comparison to the perceived convenience of no period.
Our society has demonized the menstrual cycle but it is crucial to our well-being and indicates so much more than our fertility. Losing your period is the body’s way of telling you it needs love. Give her a break, let her rest, and seek treatment as soon as you notice the signs of amenorrhea.
Cover image via Clue
Also published on Medium.