If you miss at least three periods in a row, it is called amenorrhea. This can happen for a number of reasons, including:
- Over exercise
- Undereating and low bodyweight
- Medical conditions like PCOS and hypothyroidism
- Extensive smoking
Some of these are natural, such as breastfeeding, menopause and pregnancy with least adverse effects on health. Sometimes, this is not the case. Sometimes, missed period is due to our own lifestyle choices or medical conditions. This is secondary amenorrhea.
Secondary amenorrhea is the one that occurs due to causes other than natural ones that affect our lifestyle, such as over exercise, medical conditions, body weight and stress. This blog is going to focus on how to get your period back when you have secondary amenorrhea.
Why losing your period isn’t a good thing
Missing your period for a few months might seem like quite a treat. However, if you are missing them due to a lifestyle factor, it isn’t such a good thing. Your period is a window to show your body’s overall health.
The reproductive system requires energy to work. If you are not getting enough calories, or over exercising, then your body will shut down the unnecessary functions, such as the reproductive system.
Same goes for if you are really stressed. Researches have proved when your cortisol levels are high, the body will think that this isn’t the safest time to create life and will therefore prevent ovulation by making hormonal changes and periods as a result.
But, you’re not trying for a baby right now, so why does it matter missing the odd period?
According to a research, loss of periods and irregular periods has been associated with a larger risk of wrist and hip fractures which relates to reduced bone density medically termed as “osteoporosis associated with amenorrhea.
Having a healthy and regular period which comes every 21 to 40 days, is a sign that your body is functioning well. Missing a period or more, or having a very irregular cycle can signal a problem.
How to get your period back when it goes
I suffered from amenorrhea for a few years due to low body weight and over-exercise. When it was time to start trying for a family it kickstarted me into really sorting it and seeing it as a problem. This worked for me, I hope it can work for you too.
It is medically proven that swapping one running or HIIT workout for a yoga session can help to reduce cortisol. When you do too much high intensity exercise your body becomes stressed, it doesn’t know that you are taking part in a fitness class and not running away from a Sabre Toothed Tiger.
Each night try a little meditation to close your day and switch off. This can help you to relax and reduce your stress.
Gain weight/ lose weight
In my case, I was underweight, which was causing my body to think it was best to switch off reproduction and therefore periods. However, this can also happen if you are overweight too. Try to eat a healthy, balanced diet with a focus on wholegrains, fruit, veggies and protein. Limit takeaways and trans fats.
Maca, vitamin D, CBD oil and Omega 3
Make sure you consider taking supplements. The Nutri Guy (a nutritionist) advised me to take maca, omega 3 and vitamin D.
- Vitamin D – Low vitamin D may contribute to irregular cycles, long cycles and amenorrhea (read this)
- Omega 3- Help to increase egg quality
- Maca – Maca may regulate hormones and increase energy levels.
- CBD oil– I’d also heard that CBD may help to balance hormones so I added this to my daily supps too.
I also read a book which I would 100% recommend, The Period Repair Manual. It goes through everything from lifestyle to diet and exercise. It also explains the importance of a healthy period and how it can show your overall health and wellbeing.
How long does it take to get your period back when it goes?
For me, it took about 4-5 months to get it back after gaining weight and swapping some high intensity exercise. However, it was still irregular. I introduced supplements, nutrition advice and meditation, then they started to become more regular.
Every woman is different. If you are struggling with amenorrhea, chat to your GP who should be able to talk you through your options and look into any underlying causes as to why you have missed periods. Remember, if they suggest going on the pill – this is not a real bleed, but a withdrawal bleed. So it doesn’t solve the problem!
Pills advised by your doctor are according to the underlying cause e-g in cases of medical conditions responsible for amenorrhea, the treatment is focused on those medical conditions resulting in a better period after their resolution automatically.
P.s – I’m not a DR. This is just what worked for me. I hope it can work for you too! This article has been medically reviewed though, to make sure I am providing correct medical information! You can read more about our medical review policy here