Losing your period can happen for many reasons, and it is important to figure out why your period is gone.
If it’s gone for just a month or two, it could just be signs that you have been overly stressed or maybe undereating/overexercising or you have had a hormonal imbalance. If your period has been gone for several months, it is important to talk to a doctor incase it is due to hormonal imbalance or problems with your thyroid that creates hormones or illnesses that can affect your hormones and menstrual cycle.
But it is also important to do something about why your period is gone. Most often not having your period is due to having too little weight and body fat, or overexercising and being very stressed. Those are things you can actually do something about without having to take medication and hormones.
When i was sick with anorexia and overexercising i lost my period for several years… i don’t think i had ever really had a regular period before it was gone as i was so young when i got sick. To get my period back i had to of course eat more and reach a healthy weight – and maintain that weight. I remember when i was half recovered and still underweight and got my first period in years… or well, it wasn’t actually my period. But i was convinced then that i was healthy and didn’t need to gain anymore weight, despite being around 5kg from my lowest healthy weight. However, it wasn’t until about a year or more later, after having reached and maintained a healthy weight for several months that i got my period back again. It was still irregular for several months. Also the times i have been very stressed or fallen into a cycle of a little too much exercising it usually affects my menstrual cycle. And after i stopped taking birth control it took about a year for my period to become regular again.
Having had a low weight as well as not having had a period or regular period for the majority of my adult/fertile(?) life has also led to me having low bone density, and infact the scans from my most recent bone density test have shown that i pretty much have osteoperosis – which is kind of terrifying. Having your period and hormones in check reduces the risk of developing osteoperosis and other complications/risks of not having a period, or having a low weight for a long time.
Tips to get your period back:
Having a healthy weight and fat percent i.e you can have a healthy bmi but have alot of muscle and very little body fat and your body still won’t be healthy.
Eat enough healthy fats = healthy fats are part of hormones, so if your diet doesn’t include enough fat there won’t be enough fat to help produce the hormones.
Eating enough calories and nutrients overall.
Get enough rest and try to avoid stress – meditation and yoga can be helpful to manage stress.
Don’t overexercise – exercising is also a stress. I would recommend “Light” and moderate training. And i would avoid heavy cardio if you are underweight/have been overexercising, and instead maybe do an exercise form like yoga, short walks or strength training. Remember exercising is a stress to your body and your body has to feel it is healthy for it to be safe enough to have a menstruation.
After reaching a healthy weight, eating enough calories including healthy fats and resting it may take a few weeks or 2-3 months before your period comes back, so give it time. And allow your body to rest up and feel safe.
*Some people do need to take hormones to kickstart their period again.
*Also note, if you have been on birth control and you stop, it can take several months for your period to come back again and be regular. This isn’t something to worry about unless it takes a very long time after stopping.
Foods to eat?
There are no specific foods that will kick start your period unfortunatly, but there are certain foods that may help you reach a healthy weight, or foods to eat to include more healthy fats into your diet.
If you are underweight, you need to eat at a surplus.
If you exercise alot, you need to both cut down on exercising and also focus on eating enough and resting.
Healthy fats such as: Avocados, nuts, seeds, nut butters, oil. (If you eat animal products – salmon, eggs, dairy products).
Eating enough iron rich foods, such as dark leafy greens, tofu, seeds and nuts, grains.
Maybe make smoothies with oats, nut butter, banana, berries and plant based milk. Make rawfood balls/bars. Chia seed pudding with oatmilk, nut butter and banana. Handful of nuts and seeds. Trail mix. Toast with avocado. Yoghurt with granola.
Add an extra snack – or maybe drink some plant based milk with your meals. Fortified plant based milk is rich in vitamins and minerals which is great when trying to regain weight!
Give your body time… your period may be irregular in the beginning, but also it doesn’t begin right away. It can take weeks to months for your body to feel safe and healthy enough.
Having your period is a sign that your body is healthy and that your body could carry a baby. I.e if you are very stressed, underweight, too little body fat, eating too little…. then it is unlikely that your body could carry a baby. Not to mention all the energy you do eat just goes to your other organs and muscles that are more important. Having your menstrual cycle does require energy hence why you are more tired and hungrier, but it is not a vital function in the body, so when your body is in a stressed mode or gets too little energy, it shuts off the functions that aren’t vital for survival and carrying a baby isn’t a vital function. (Just like you can lose your sexdrive/lower libido when you are underweight or stressed, because if you are in a “flight/stressed” mode your body knows there isn’t exactly time for sex, haha.)
Also important to remember that the longer you go without a period (amenorrhea) the higher risk you are for osteoporosis but even things like ovarian cancer. Not to mention that if you don’t have your period you can’t become pregnant (i.e you can become infertile if you never get your period back). So even if most girls would like to skip having their period – it is important (even if it’s not as important as having your liver, heart and lungs working properly).
So remember: Eat enough, make sure to rest physically and mentally, don’t over stress your body and make sure to have a healthy weight and fat percent.
*& some more posts: