Question for the ladies...

I am becoming very concerned. I started working out and eating right back in January. I didn't start taking it entirely seriously until the beginning of February and since then, I have not yet had my period. I KNOW I'm not pregnant , and while I did have a couple of weeks of severely under-eating, I have since corrected the problem and have been eating the right (healthy) amount of cals for weightloss.

I suppose I should also note, I took birth control for 3 years and stopped doing so in December. I'm just so worried that me not having a period is going to hurt me in the long run, like keeping me from having kids in the future.

I know I'm obviously not going to get a doctors advice from myfitnesspal, I'm just wondering if any of you have had similar experiences. I would normally just go to the doctor for such a problem but I am without insurance and cannot afford the expenses at this point in time...

Replies

  • RinnyLush
    RinnyLush Posts: 389 Member
    Wow - it sounds like you just described my scenario to a 'T'! My boyfriend and I decided to go off of hormonal birth control in April (too many emotional side effects for me) and rely on other methods. Since then I have been a big ball of anxiety, constantly worried if I was pregnant because my period hasn't been regular. This month it was 2 weeks late, and lasted almost 9 days! Try not to stress out about it too much - your body is going to take a longer time than you think to readjust to its natural schedule. Keep track of your period by marking little dots or X's on your calendar when you DO get it so that you can see exactly how irregular it is, or if you are just being paranoid. Also, it doesn't hurt to go see a doc and just make sure everything is tip top down there. I did that and they really put my mind at ease. Hope that helps! :flowerforyou:
  • easjer
    easjer Posts: 219 Member
    Ok, first things first. If you were on hormonal birth control, it can take awhile for your body to begin hormone regulation again in a consistent fashion.

    Second, dieting and starting a new workout regime can both shock your body into delayed ovulation (which means a delayed period). My cycle normalized to an 18 day ovulation after I started losing weight until I started working out regularly - then I suddenly had a 45 day cycle (I ovulated on cd 33!). That is not at all abnormal.

    Finally, it is totally normal to have wonky cycles. Nearly every woman does at some point. A couple of wonky cycles is not an indication of any serious problem and not an indication of fertility problems. Promise - this is a field I know a great deal about after dealing with sub-fertility for a long time.

    Here is what you need to do at this point - if you hit 60 days since stopping birth control/your last period with no signs of a period and a recent negative pregnancy test, call your OB/GYN. Some want to see you at 60 days, some will want to wait 90 days, especially if you are coming off a hormonal birth control. Follow their directions. Between 60 and 90 days, they can give you Provera to jump start your cycle. That may be all it needs, and things may start regulating themselves. It can take months to get regular after hormonal birth control, especially if you were on it for a long time. But if things continue to be irregular, then you've already got a head start on it, so you can begin talking to your doctor about any necessary testing to see if your hormones are regulating properly.

    But honestly, I'd guess it's just the combination of factors here. If kids are in your planned future, you may want to get a jump-start and consider learning to chart your cycle - it can teach you a ton about how your body is working (or not). www.fertilityfriend.com has an excellent tool and free course if that is of interest to you.
  • RinnyLush
    RinnyLush Posts: 389 Member
    Also, in regards to the exercise, I have noticed my cycle has been affected by how much I run. That could also be why it's late. There are lots of reasons, so try not to worry too much. Again, see a doc or take a pregnancy test just to put your mind at ease. Seeing that little negative sign might be enough to relax you via catharsis. :wink:
  • heyitsnicolelee
    heyitsnicolelee Posts: 39 Member
    I have been on birth control for years to regulate my period because it was all over the place when I was younger. When I talked to my doctor about going off of it, she warned me that your situation could happen and not to freak out so it is totally normal. You could always talk to your doctor to put your mind at ease.
  • vicrandom
    vicrandom Posts: 80 Member
    I think the last time I went off hormonal birth control it took 4 months to get a period - or maybe it was closer to six? Plus my boobs got outrageously tender/painful. Synthetic hormones do a number on your endocrine system; some people can get pregnant right after going off the pill, but lots of people take forever to readjust. Keep up the good nutrition and if you get freaked out, just count up all the symptoms of pregnancy you don't have and remind yourself that sooner or later, your period will return.
  • stef_monster
    stef_monster Posts: 208 Member
    My periods were incredibly irregular until I got on birth control- they were anywhere between 29 and 45 days apart. It stressed me to no end. I know from experience that making a change in your diet and activity level can DEFINITELY have an effect on your cycle.

    Since you just stopped taking BC in December, I wouldn't stress too much about it. Some methods take longer than others to 'get out of your system'- I've been advised by my doctor that after being on the depo shot for a few years, I may not have a period or be able to get pregnant for 6 months to a year if I ever stop taking it. Your body may just be taking a while to get back to normal.

    That being said, I would still be freaking out in your situation. Give it a few months, and bite the bullet and go to the doctor if things aren't returning to normal.
  • Jmoss4852
    Jmoss4852 Posts: 70 Member
    @RinnyLush thanks for your response! I try not too worry too much about it. It's just really bothering me that I haven't had a period since the end of January. I'm not at all concerned about being pregnant, I'm just really concerned about the long-term effects of not having a period. I never thought I'd actually WANT the damn thing to come. Lol.

    Running is my main form of exercise also, so maybe there are some reasons behind that...
  • easjer
    easjer Posts: 219 Member
    Honestly, I think everyone ought to read up about charting to learn the basics of the menstrual cycle no matter what. Many of us were poorly educated about menstrual cycles in school or by our parents and don't have a firm grasp of how things are supposed to work and what is normal.

    Any stress (emotional or physical) in the ovulatory phase of your cycle can delay ovulation. Any delay of ovulation results in a 'late' period (but it's not really late, because ovulation determines the length of your cycle - the number of days between ovulation and your period is a constant - if that luteal phase is extended, then you have a truly late period).

    Normal cycles are 21 -35 days (but up to 40 days if otherwise regularly occuring isn't abnormal). Women frequently vary in cycle length by a few days. Charting can teach you the signs of impending ovulation (as can fertility monitors or ovulation predictor tests), and help you pinpoint when you are most fertile - either to help you conceive or to help you avoid conceiving and can make the rest of your cycle less stressful because then you *know* if you have a chance at being pregnant or not.

    I've charted for well over 10 years now, both for conception and avoiding conception, and I highly recommend it.
  • easjer
    easjer Posts: 219 Member
    @RinnyLush thanks for your response! I try not too worry too much about it. It's just really bothering me that I haven't had a period since the end of January. I'm not at all concerned about being pregnant, I'm just really concerned about the long-term effects of not having a period. I never thought I'd actually WANT the damn thing to come. Lol.

    Running is my main form of exercise also, so maybe there are some reasons behind that...

    You'd have to go much longer without a period to be concerned about health risks - I promise. If you are very concerned, contact your doctor to inquire about Provera.
  • Jmoss4852
    Jmoss4852 Posts: 70 Member
    Thank for your reply! I had heard that stopping BC could keep me from having a period for awhile, but i guess I'm impatient. Lol. I just hate not knowing exactly when it will start. I was so used to a routine and now it's all wacky.

    If it really gets to be be a long period of time, I guess I'll just have to pay out of pocket and go see the doc...
  • vcuchick
    vcuchick Posts: 29 Member
    I had that same problem when I stopped birth control myself a little over two years ago. (I think it's pretty common) I asked my OB/GYN and she said that women MINIMUM require 4 periods per year (that's why some varieties BC methods do that) and as long as you are absolutely SURE you're not pregnant, and are eating the correct calories and a good variety of choices, I would say just relax. If you go over 12 weeks without a period then you may want to call your MD...sometimes they'll give you BC meds to re-introduce a period to get your system back on track, but it took me a good 6-10 months to get everything "in tune." Keep up the good work and everything should work itself out. When in doubt, just give your GYN a call and she can help you figure out the issue. :)
  • kittenful
    kittenful Posts: 318 Member
    Ok, first things first. If you were on hormonal birth control, it can take awhile for your body to begin hormone regulation again in a consistent fashion.

    Second, dieting and starting a new workout regime can both shock your body into delayed ovulation (which means a delayed period). My cycle normalized to an 18 day ovulation after I started losing weight until I started working out regularly - then I suddenly had a 45 day cycle (I ovulated on cd 33!). That is not at all abnormal.

    Finally, it is totally normal to have wonky cycles. Nearly every woman does at some point. A couple of wonky cycles is not an indication of any serious problem and not an indication of fertility problems. Promise - this is a field I know a great deal about after dealing with sub-fertility for a long time.

    Here is what you need to do at this point - if you hit 60 days since stopping birth control/your last period with no signs of a period and a recent negative pregnancy test, call your OB/GYN. Some want to see you at 60 days, some will want to wait 90 days, especially if you are coming off a hormonal birth control. Follow their directions. Between 60 and 90 days, they can give you Provera to jump start your cycle. That may be all it needs, and things may start regulating themselves. It can take months to get regular after hormonal birth control, especially if you were on it for a long time. But if things continue to be irregular, then you've already got a head start on it, so you can begin talking to your doctor about any necessary testing to see if your hormones are regulating properly.

    But honestly, I'd guess it's just the combination of factors here. If kids are in your planned future, you may want to get a jump-start and consider learning to chart your cycle - it can teach you a ton about how your body is working (or not). www.fertilityfriend.com has an excellent tool and free course if that is of interest to you.

    ^There's some great advice here.

    I had a slightly different issue when I started MFP; my cycle decided to go all sorts of wonky. I had two periods a month for 5 months. It was frustrating and confusing. I did some research and figured out that it happens to some women, and it was likely due to the combination of regular exercise and eating differently (read MUCH healthier and much less) than I was used to. It did eventually regulate itself, so I'm back to normal now.

    My advice: Look up the effects of ending your birth control. See if this is a common after effect. Call your OB/GYN to ask questions, make an appointment if they can't answer you over the phone. Good luck!
  • Jmoss4852
    Jmoss4852 Posts: 70 Member
    Honestly, I think everyone ought to read up about charting to learn the basics of the menstrual cycle no matter what. Many of us were poorly educated about menstrual cycles in school or by our parents and don't have a firm grasp of how things are supposed to work and what is normal.

    Any stress (emotional or physical) in the ovulatory phase of your cycle can delay ovulation. Any delay of ovulation results in a 'late' period (but it's not really late, because ovulation determines the length of your cycle - the number of days between ovulation and your period is a constant - if that luteal phase is extended, then you have a truly late period).

    Normal cycles are 21 -35 days (but up to 40 days if otherwise regularly occuring isn't abnormal). Women frequently vary in cycle length by a few days. Charting can teach you the signs of impending ovulation (as can fertility monitors or ovulation predictor tests), and help you pinpoint when you are most fertile - either to help you conceive or to help you avoid conceiving and can make the rest of your cycle less stressful because then you *know* if you have a chance at being pregnant or not.

    I've charted for well over 10 years now, both for conception and avoiding conception, and I highly recommend it.


    Thank for your reply! I had heard that stopping BC could keep me from having a period for awhile, but i guess I'm impatient. Lol. I just hate not knowing exactly when it will start. I was so used to a routine and now it's all wacky.

    If it really gets to be be a long period of time, I guess I'll just have to pay out of pocket and go see the doc...

    Wow, you really are very educated on this! Thank you again! I already feel a little more at ease.
  • cms0417
    cms0417 Posts: 13
    I've noticed that since I've started working out on a regular basis and eating healthier that when I'm on my "sugar pills" my period is extremely light, if anything at all.
  • LeanButNotMean44
    LeanButNotMean44 Posts: 852 Member
    You may want to take a calcium supplement until you get back to being regular. I didn't have a period for 2 years (not due to the same reason as you), but I did get a couple of stress fractures. Absence of a period increases your chances for fractures and osteoporosis.
  • Jmoss4852
    Jmoss4852 Posts: 70 Member
    I also want to note, my BC was Ocella, a generic of Yaz.
  • smujambo
    smujambo Posts: 11 Member
    Do you have a Planned Parenthood or the like relatively nearby? They could potentially be a good low-cost resource for information and for getting things checked out. Before I had insurance I would go to PP for all my annual exams. Could possibly be worth checking out if cost is a factor keeping you out of your OB/GYN's office.