Why are you missing your period?
What I’m talking about when you lose your period is called, secondary amenorrhea. This is the absence of menstruation for at least 3 cycles.
As I’ve said before, your period is your monthly report card. It’s going to tell you if you’ve been too stressed, not sleeping enough, eating too much sugar, drinking too much etc. And you can’t hide from it. Remember that your PMS is your body talking to you. PMS is a hormonal imbalance and isn’t normal. It’s common, but not normal.
A little bit of science so you understand: The hypothalamus (located in your brain) produces GnRF which signals to your pituitary gland to produce LH and FSH to signal to the ovaries that it is time to release estrogen and progesterone which is recognized by the pituitary gland.
This feedback loop is a very well-orchestrated system and if one part of it isn’t 100%, it will throw everything off.
Sometimes the body isn’t getting enough nutrients. Make sure that you are getting enough of the following in your FOOD. Your body can’t absorb synthetic supplements as well as it can food.
Iron. If you lack in iron you may suffer from anovulation (no ovulation) and even poor egg health which can inhibit pregnancy. (1)
Vitamin C: improves hormones and increases fertility. It has been shown to raise progesterone in women with low progesterone. (2)
It also helps reduce cortisol (3).
B vitamins: B Vitamins support your adrenal glands by preventing the breakdown of too much dopamine and serotonin (4) during stressful times, leaving enough for us to remain buoyant and energized (5).
If your adrenals are depleted you won’t be getting your period or ovulating.
Omega 3 fats: They are needed for sex hormones and shape female brains during hormonal transition (6).
Enough body fat: There is a minimum requirement of 17% body fat in order for menstruation to begin at puberty but a 22% body fat was needed to continue regular menstruation as girls approached the age of 16. Without this amount of fat, girls cannot reproduce (7).
On the other end, being overweight can throw your body out of whack and result in a lack of period.
Cholesterol: Cholesterol is necessary for the formation of sex hormones. Don’t worry it doesn’t give you heart disease. It was found that ‘elevated’ cholesterol in women of all ages and the elderly was demonstrated through data from studies to actually be a positive marker of longevity! (8)
Fiber: This helps to flush out excess hormones which may be causing a hormonal imbalance
Zinc: You need zinc to produce mature eggs that are ripe for fertilization. Zinc is also great for hormonal imbalance and improves the health of the hippocampus (important for getting your period) (9). Also, a thing to note – animal foods provide the most readily absorbed forms of iron and zinc (10).
Stress: Oh boy this is a big one for me!! In a nutshell, if you’re stressed, whether it is good stress or bad stress your body will go into fight or flight. Basically, it thinks you’re running from a saber tooth tiger so there is no way you need to be making a baby! As a result, your reproductive system is shut down because your environment is perceived as ‘unsafe’ to have a child.
Estrogens and progesterone are made in both your adrenals and your ovaries but will be shunted toward the production of more cortisol when a woman is under chronic stress. Cortisol also impedes ovulation and ovarian steroid production.
Have a read of this article if you have a lot of stress in your life and also start incorporating yoga (11).
Thyroid issues: an overactive or underactive thyroid can also cause your cycle to stop. Measuring your temperature every morning like I do, gives you a good indication of your thyroid. If your basal temp in the morning is consistently below 36.5, this is further evidence of low thyroid function (12).
A very low carb diet can increase also cortisol and slow down thyroid (13). For more info on this, read this article of mine.
You’ve just come off hormonal birth control: Your body can take quite a long time to get back into knowing how to produce your delicious hormones so give it time and make sure all of the above things are under control. If you want some tailored advice, please contact me for a one-on-one strategy session. Also, make sure you read my past 3 articles on getting my period back after coming on the pill. Article 1. Article 2. Article 3
Of course, this is just a list of possible things that might be affecting your lack of periods. Please remember that every woman is different and there is NOT a one-size-fits-all approach to this. Hence, in my strategy and coaching sessions, I take the time and effort to really understand your personal situation and health history so we can develop a plan and ideas of the things that will most likely help your body.
- . https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17077236
- . https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4772032/
- . https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4335177/
- Hulley, S.B., et al, 1992. “Health Policy on Blood Cholesterol. Time to Change Directions.” Circulation 86:1026-29
This article is intended for information purposes only. It is not meant for diagnosis or treatment. Please contact a professional educated in the area of holistic health and fertility awareness.