Have you seemed to have mysteriously lost or misplaced your period?? You are of reproductive age, in your youth and yet you feel like you may have lost your period!! It’s been 3, 4 now 6 months since your last period and you are getting nervous and scared that it may be gone for good and you will never be able to have a baby when you want to. The anxiety is building now and you may worry that you are infertile or have some sort of vagina cancer!! Does it feel like I’m in your head? That’s because these were the same exact thoughts that ran through mine when I didn’t have a period for 6 months at the tender age of 22. IT WAS AWFUL. When I finally got my cycle back it was the catalyst to keep going on a turbulent journey towards optimal health. Now I’m just on a mission to empower other women who may be having mini panic attacks every time they don’t see spotting on their panties. The technical term for lost periods is amenorrhea and there are numerous reasons for them to go missing but today I am going over 3.
Post pill amenorrhea
Post pill Amenorrhea is when you quit taking Birth control pill only to find that your period has taken a longer hiatus, probably sunning herself in cuba, while you are slowly losing your mind waiting for her. This is EXACTLY what happened to me. After 4 years on the pill during college, I wanted to come off. 2 months later, no period. I googled it and was reassured that it would take time for normal cycles to return. 4 months later, no period. OKAY, WTF!!!? This time I wasn’t reassured by wikapedia, and found some online message boards which were even more scary with other women who were going 2-3 years of NO PERIOD after coming off the pill. After 6 months, I got desperate. I went to my first traditional chinese medicine doctor, took some herbs and the rest is history. Post pill amenorrhea is more common than you might think. It makes sense, after years of taking synthetic hormones that suppress ovulation it's no wonder why your body may have forgotten how to do it on it’s own. Not to mention how the BCP can mask hormonal imbalances that would also affect how regular your periods are to begin with. Basically your body has to remember how to make its own estrogen in order to ovulate. Sometimes the communication from the brain to the ovaries has to be reignited as well. You have to help nurture these systems that have gathered dust and to help them remember, with the right herbs, nutrients and lifestyle interventions. But you CAN get your periods back, that is the most important thing to remember!
Are you a type A cardio bunny, who pushes herself to the limit in work and in the gym?? You go 110% in everything you do, but lately your periods are going 0% making you frustrated and a little scared for your health. Well if you are the kind of person who struggles with high levels of stress either emotionally or physically, you could be experiencing some adrenal fatigue which directly affects your periods or lack thereof. Your adrenal glands are your bodies response to stress and when you have the siren going all day everyday, your adrenals will get burnt out and simply not make enough hormones you need to have energy throughout the day. We need a healthy level of cortisol to have energy throughout the day as a base line, but when your adrenals get fried you will barely have enough to get out of bed in the morning. When your adrenals are “fried” they are too exhausted (so to speak) to be able to produce pregnenolone the grandmother of all steroid hormones including: DHEA, estrogen, progesterone, cortisol, etc. This is bad news for your periods because you need enough estrogen to ovulate and you need to ovulate to have a period. If this is you, the best thing to do is start nurturing your adrenals with rest, high quality sleep, enough nutrients and some adrenal supporting herbs.
Low thyroid function could also be affecting your periods but do keep in mind that the thyroid and adrenal function are very closely linked. There is even a chance that your adrenal fatigue could be affecting your thyroid function. Your thyroid hormones affects every cell in the body, its the driver for your internal temperature, your metabolism, all the way down to the lushness of your skin and hair. Missing or irregular periods can be a symptom of both an underactive thyroid (most common form) or an overactive thyroid. Both conditions disturb the communication between the pituitary and the ovaries, disrupting ovulation. Your ovaries actually need thyroid hormones to nurture the follicles to ovulation. Again, failure to ovulate which causes failure to bleed. There are other connections as well with thyroid dysfunction and insulin sensitivity and poor detoxification of estrogens, common causes of PCOS and PMS.