Have your periods gone missing?
Are you wondering why?
If your doctor has ruled out another medical cause, you might have functional hypothalamic amenorrhea. This is a condition in which the brain's hormone control center shuts off the signal for your ovaries to release an egg. If no egg is released, your periods may become irregular or stop altogether.
This can happen because of one or more of the following reasons:
·You’re not eating enough, or you’re very careful about how you eat (particularly if you are limiting fat in your diet)
·You’re exercising too much (keep in mind that what's ok for someone else may be too much for your body)
·You’ve recently lost weight
·You’re experiencing significant stress
Some of the above reasons are related to energy balance. Eating enough provides the body with energy, and exercising causes the body to use up energy. Without adequate energy, the brain can shut off functions that are not essential to survival, such as ovulation (releasing an egg and giving you a period). Additionally, the hormones that result from chronic stress can also cause ovulation to shut down.
So My Period’s Gone. Why Should I Care?
It might seem like a relief to not have to deal with a period anymore. But you might also have a niggling feeling that this isn’t normal and maybe isn’t ok. That would be correct. Getting regular periods is a sign that you have healthy levels of a hormone called estrogen, and not getting your period means that something is off. In teens and young women, low estrogen is commonly caused by an inadequate diet or having a body weight that is too low. Having estrogen levels that are too low can put you at risk for health problems such as:
·Osteoporosis (a disease in which bones break easily)
·Depression and anxiety
What If I Still Get Periods, But Not as Often as Before?
Irregular or infrequent periods can be caused by the same factors that cause periods to go missing entirely. This is also a sign that estrogen levels are too low and can cause similar problems.
How Do My Missing Periods Affect Me Today?
If your periods are less frequent or missing, you may also be noticing other weird things going on, such as:
·Having to urinate frequently
·Having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
Getting your hormone levels back to normal can help you feel better and prevent health problems later in life. This will mean finding the right balance of nutrition and exercise for you. You may also find it helpful to learn some new skills to help you manage stress.
Even if your period has been gone for a while, you can learn to care for your body so that you get regular cycles again soon.
It’s always a good idea to get checked out by a doctor to make sure there are no other medical or hormonal problems causing the lack of periods.