'Oh boys, you only laugh at your period until you miss it.'
Do you also know that scary moment when you look at your calendar and realize that your period hasn't started?
The case seems clear at this point: no period means pregnant.
You may wait a few more days, hoping the bleeding will still start. Or you storm off immediately and take a pregnancy test. But it turns out negative.
No period but not pregnant. What's going on in your body?
In this post you will find out
- What amenorrhea is
- How a hormonal imbalance might be causing it
- What diseases can be possible causes
- Why your lifestyle is the main cause of amenorrhea
- How you can support your body with amenorrhea to get regular ovulation again
1) What is amenorrhea?
There are several types of missed periods.
If you're over 16 and have never had your period, the technical term is primary amenorrhea. This usually occurs due to congenital physical causes such as malformation of the genital organs or autoimmune diseases.
If you have already had your period but missed it for more than three months, it is secondary amenorrhea. This variant is usually based on external influences such as stress or medication.
If you have not had a period for more than 6 months, it is called hypothalamic amenorrhea.
A missed period is a symptom from your body that something is wrong. This article gives you an overview of possible causes.
The tips in Chapter 4 are general support for a healthy lifestyle. However, if you have the feeling that an illness, as described in Chapter 3, is behind your amenorrhea, then be sure to discuss this with your doctor.
Your cycle consists of a sophisticated and fragile hormonal process.
Estrogen is formed in the follicular phase, which means that an egg matures until ovulation occurs. Ovulation is the transition to the luteal phase, and the egg produces progesterone.
If the egg is not fertilized, the progesterone level drops again and the menstrual period marks the end or the beginning of a new cycle.
If you look at this circuit, you realize that the lack of blood is not the problem. The origin lies in a lack of ovulation.
No egg means no change in progesterone levels. As a result, your body simply did not receive the information to build the placenta in the uterus for implantation. That's why it doesn't have to be discarded. So you don't have a period.
Always be aware that your body only wants the best for you.
Pregnancy is a feat. When your body feels that it is a time of crisis and carrying a child would drain yourself of too much energy and therefore harm you, the body decides that you should not conceive. As a result, he misses ovulation and you don't have a period that cycle.
In the following sections, you will learn about the possible causes of your missed period.
2) Hormonal change and imbalance
As described in the introduction, it is quite possible that you will miss your period because you are pregnant. During pregnancy, you are flooded with a different cocktail of hormones and different processes take place in you than in a normal cycle.
Most women experience menopause between their 40s and 50s. Here, too, your hormone balance changes in a natural way due to the slowly missing cycle.
Many women experience irregular cycles with missed periods when they stop taking the pill. This is because the body has to produce hormones itself again and the 'right' dosage has to level off first.
Taking or discontinuing certain medications such as hormone preparations, cancer medication, psychotropic drugs, cortisone and antihypertensives can also lead to a hormonal imbalance, which is reflected in a missed period.
3) allergies and diseases
Missing your period can also be a sign of other illnesses. Two examples of this are:
Your thyroid plays an important role in the production of sex hormones. A missed period can therefore occur with both overactive and underactive menstrual function.
In polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCO syndrome for short, hormone production is disrupted in the ovaries, among other things. This not only leads to missed periods, but also often to obesity, insulin resistance and an excess of male hormones.
4) Your lifestyle as a possible root cause
In most cases, the cause of your missed period is lifestyle.
Young women in particular often pursue an illusory body ideal: they do excessive sport and starve themselves into a deficiency.
The body needs a certain amount of fat. If it lacks this energy reserve, it will not allow ovulation because the starved female body could not provide the embryo with enough nutrients for healthy development.
Malnutrition is also a form of stress on the body itself. It doesn't necessarily mean you're undereating. You may be missing important micronutrients. It is also possible that you eat an unbalanced diet and therefore have deficits in one macronutrient.
Even if you actually consume enough calories to cover your daily nutritional needs, you may be missing carbohydrates, for example because of your low-carb diet.
For your body this means 'starvation' despite the high number of calories.
Stress and lack of sleep have almost become status symbols for professional success in today's society.
While the wrong diet and excessive exercise can cause physical stress, mental stress can also lead to missed periods.
Maybe you're now thinking that you don't want to have children at all and that's why you're even glad that you're rid of this useless period. But unfortunately it's not that simple.
Missing a period for a long time (pregnancy excluded) is not without consequences.
In the long term, a missed period means a drop in estrogen levels. The hormone estrogen is responsible for more in your body than just the maturation of an egg cell. It also plays an important role in maintaining bone mass.
Osteoporosis, i.e. bone loss, is therefore widespread in women after menopause and with low estrogen levels.
Bone loss is becoming more and more common in young athletes. Your low estrogen levels cause bone mass to shrink - sometimes before bone formation is even properly complete.
A regular period is a sign of your health. So be happy about it!
5) How can you support your body with amenorrhea to get regular ovulation again?
- Take the symptom of a missed period seriously.
- Go on a search for causes, where the reason for the absence can lie with you personally.
- Learn to listen to your body's needs and meet them. It starts small: drink when you're thirsty, eat when you're hungry. As simple as this may sound, it is essential. If you don't drink when you're thirsty, your nervous system thinks you're going through a drought and stays in stressed survival mode. This simple exercise is also a great way to start listening to your body again. Remember: your body always wants what is best for you.
- Exercise and sport are essential for your health. But you also need breaks and regeneration time, otherwise you will burn out. Consciously plan training breaks in your calendar.
- Treat yourself and your body to a balanced and healthy diet. Make sure you have variety on the menu and prepare your food fresh. As flat as this sentence sounds, it is full of truth: you are what you eat.
- Lower your stress level with meditation or yoga. Prove to your body that there is no crisis and allow it to relax in between.
- You can also support your body with medicinal herbs. Rosemary, raspberry leaves, elderflower, sage and mugwort are the basis of classic cycle teas. Monk's pepper is particularly effective. With these herbs you support your body in regulating the hormone balance.
About the author:
Corinne Tolotto is a certified organizing coach and brings more structure, lightness and joy to her clients' lives. On her blog she writes about tidying up, sustainability and productivity.