So my gorgeous friend and co-host on The Period Party (do you listen in?) Nicole Jardim has just launched her newest program Bring Back Your Period & Regulate Your Cycle. A woman after my own heart, we drum the same beat. I asked her to drop in today and share a little on missing periods, where they go and how you can get yours back!
Your period is missing! Where and why did it go? When will it come back? Why is this bothering you so much when you’ve wished countless times for your period to go away anyways?
Anyone who has experienced Amenorrhea knows about the anxiety caused by our friend who usually visits every month, suddenly going M.I.A. I mean, how dare she just dip out on you when she’s accompanied you (without invitation!) to so many dances, dates, beach weekends, and final exams?
Amenorrhea isn’t a disease, curse, or illness, but rather a symptom of something else going on with your body. Finding out exactly what is behind your Amenorrhea can be tricky because it can be an indicator of many different issues. The following are some of the main causes of Amenorrhea.
For the most part hormonal imbalances are behind the majority of Amenorrhea cases. Typically, the hormonal imbalance associated with amenorrhea is low estrogen or a combination of low estrogen and low progesterone.
When a woman’s estrogen and/or progesterone are too low, her body is unable to build up the uterine lining and subsequently shed that uterine lining each month (aka your period).
What exactly is causing this kind of hormonal imbalance can be one or a number of things. These are some of the top contributors:
- Hormonal Birth Control (especially the pill)
- Quitting Hormonal Birth Control (Post-Pill Amenorrhea)
- Eating Disorders like anorexia or bulimia
- Exercising too much (CrossFit 5 times a week anyone?)
- Mental and emotional stress
- Low body weight
- Low thyroid function (hypothyroid)
- Early-onset menopause (before age 40) caused by premature ovarian failure
Additionally, a woman might have an issue where her body is producing too much testosterone, a male sex hormone. High testosterone can actually prevent or significantly delay ovulation each month, which causes periods to become irregular or disappear completely. This problem is commonly diagnosed as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).
Structural and Genetic Issues
These issues usually require more than just food and lifestyle changes. If you have any of these problems or conditions, chances are that you already know it. For instance, if you are experiencing Primary Amenorrhea, which means you’ve never had a period and you are 16 years or older, then one of these might apply to you and you should see a doctor to determine the cause.
- Asherman’s Syndrome – uterine scarring or adhesions, which can prevent blood from exiting the uterus.
- Pituitary tumor – which causes high levels of the hormone prolactin. Prolactin suppresses ovulation and menstruation.
- Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome – under-developed reproductive organs or a lack of them.
- Other genetic structural abnormalities
You know all those scary side effects that most medications list? Well, sometimes those lists include missing your monthly cycle. Here are some meds that commonly cause Amenorrhea:
- Hormonal Birth Control
- Blood pressure medicines
- Allergy Medications
Our body progresses through natural phases and cycles where sometimes Amenorrhea is completely expected, so no need for alarm bells! These include:
- Peri-menopause and menopause
Many women tell me that not having a period is a blessing or they don’t want kids so why should they care about whether they have a period or not. My response is this: Regardless of whether you want children or not, it is imperative to understand that your period health is reflective of your overall health. If your period is missing or irregular, something deeper is going on that you need to look at.
There are also many physical and emotional symptoms associated with Amenorrhea that are no fun. These include:
- More acne than you’ve ever experienced in your life!
- Hair loss on your head or hair growth on your face (oh the injustice of it all)
- Your sexy underwear stays in your drawer thanks to a non-existent sex drive
- Or worse… when you do have sex, it hurts like hell
- Low or no fertile cervical fluid – yes, sometimes your underwear can be too clean
- Your energy is so low you can’t get out of bed easily or even get through the day without caffeine or sugar
- Depression or mood swings that disrupt your relationships and your life
If you have not had a period for more than three months and you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, I highly recommend seeing your doctor to determine the exact cause.
If you want real solutions though, I highly recommend you sign up for Nicole’s free 3-part video series, Bring Back Your Period & Regulate Your Cycle. In it she will debunk the myths around your period and cover her top solutions to help you address your amenorrhea and the symptoms associated with it.