Listen up ladies! We’re about to get real intimate here. I’m pretty much an open book about my 6 year struggle with an eating disorder and today we’re going to talk about all things period- or, should I say, lack thereof. So, grab a cup of coffee (or evening tea!) and let’s dive right in and talk about why I lost my period and how I got it back!
Before my eating disorder I pretty much had consistent periods. They weren’t super heavy, nor did they come with debilitating cramps (I mean, they sucked, sure, but they were manageable) Overall, I’d rate my period as “average” (if there is even such a thing).
It was during college, as I started losing weight, that my period became less regular, maybe skipping a month here and there. But, hey, I didn’t mind! I didn’t have to carry tampons or worry about the dreaded leak. I didn’t think it was a bad thing.
Then, it stopped coming all together. At this point I had already known I had a problem that was getting out of hand. But, again, I didn’t mind not having my period. It seemed easier. I didn’t think it was a big deal.
There are so many reasoning why you could lose your period (AKA amenorrhea) like:
- low body weight
- hormone imbalances
- exercise routine
For me, the reason was the low body weight. My body literally started shutting down anything that was not essential to survival- one of which was reproduction. I figured that when I decided to recovery (I’ll totally admit, I did NOT want to at first- it was my “safe” place) my period would just come back and it would be all fine and dandy. Well, not exactly. Losing your period can lead to
- osteoporosis (weakened bones due to low estrogen)
- mood swings (hormone imbalances)
- pre-menopausal symptoms (again, those hormone imbalances)
And that’s just naming a few. Now, let’s talk about the big one, since we’re all probably thinking it: Fertility. Obviously, if you aren’t ovulating and having periods your chances of getting pregnant are pretttty slim.
I remember when I “came clean” to my then boyfriend, now husband, about how sick I was, how I knew I needed to get help. I remember saying the words “Right now, I don’t get my period, I can’t have kids”. I think it made more of an impact on me, I had never said those words out loud, and suddenly the situation became so real. I couldn’t run from it anymore.
As I worked towards recovery (it took me a few years of solid effort- not including the couple years that I half a$$ed it- parson my french, but it’s true) I still wasn’t bleeding regularly. When I finally gave up the scale and let me body find it’s set point weight was when Aunt Flow finally came back for a visit.
I’d also like to say that after finding my set point weight I FEEL my best! I’m the most body confident I’ve ever been. I no longer am trying to reach this obscure number that my body doesn’t function optimally at. If you aren’t feeling great day to day, then what the heck is the point?! Can I get an AMEN?! (I’m going to assume I just hear a SLEW of amens!)
Now, every month when my period comes I see it as a reminder of what I’ve been through and how strong I am for recovering.
I still have no idea what the future holds for me and how ammenorhea will affect me going forward. Will I have super brittle bones when I get olds? Will I have a hard time getting pregnant when I want to? (Totally NOT right now, if you’re curious!) All I can do is roll with the punches, which is exactly when I intend to do.
If you’re in the same boat that I was in- talk with your doctor. Like I said, there are a lot of reasons why your period might stop, but it’s super important to find that answer! And let’s make it sooner rather than later, okay?
**If you have lost your period I highly recommend you consult your doctor to find out the cause! This post is not intended to provide medical advice or direction.