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For Those Who Got Periods after Amenorrhea


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Hi.... for any of you that had secondary amenorrhea (an absence of periods for a period of time after having had regular periods previously) and returned to menses, I have a couple of questions and I'm hoping you can help.

Up until I was 21, I got periods every 30-33 days with occasional spotting mid-cycle. I ranged from normal to slightly overweight. Then, I got pregnant and breastfed for a year. I became very thin and never got a period back, even after gaining weight. I took hormones and Clomid to get pregnant (and did have a brief period after taking Clomid, which makes a person ovulate) with baby #2, then breastfed her for a year. I stopped in Feb. 2009, but was running, and again became very thin and was malnourished. I was put on Birth Control and DID have withdrawal bleeds, but that's because it was a vaginally inserted Birth Control so the hormones went right to the source.  But at 5'8" and 112 while running 40+ miles per week, I decided enough was enough and in August and September got serious about gaining weight. I've gained ~20 pounds and cut back on running a lot.

This past Friday, much to my amazement, shock, awe, and surprise, I saw a few specks of blood on the toilet paper. I experienced light cramps and spotting for about 4-5 hours, but then it went away. I had been SUPER energized all week, had the spotting, that weekend noticed a spike in my hormones, and woke up yesterday... EXHAUSTED all of the sudden and occasionally having cramps.

I guess my question is...

Can I look forward to my period coming back? Or is this likely just a fluke? What happened to you when your periods came back?

I did, as I mentioned, have occasional mid-cycle spotting when I was younger. But before this past Friday, the last time I had any menstrual bleeding without birth control or that one time that I took Clomid was in April 2005!

I'm not stressing myself out, I'm just hopeful that my body is acting on all of these hormones... and I was wondering what your stories were, whether you suffered from an eating disorder or had been breastfeeding, etc, or just had to gain weight in general to get your period back.

 

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dude thats awesome that you got some spotting. How heavy or light were your periods when had them? I didnt have my period for almos two years 14 to 16 years old. But then one day i just got it and it was pretty heavy for the whole week. I had to gain like 25 pounds to reach 135 pounds (im 5'4"). but when i was gaining i was still exercising a good amount. I had to get my hormone levels checked to see how high or low my estrogen was. The last time i got it done my levels were well above the hundreds. Thats higher than my previous being in like the twenties. Just see if you have spotting or blood for three days consecutively and thats ur period.

hi

It could be your period is coming back again! relax, dont exercise too much as it may hinder your chances of getting your period back, especially after anorexia...

For me,  i got my period while i was still in the underweight category, but it was very light. But once i upped may calorie intake, and didnt exercise for weeks, and gained to BMI of 20, my period became a lot better, and less farther in between cycles and much more normal prior my AN..

Keep upping your intake, take it easy, and hopefully it shall return to you :)

Well I think everyone is different. I got my period back at a low weight and had to keep gaining. I think it was because of the high cal diet with 30 percent fat and very little activity. In the past in recovery attempts I did not get it back early but I think it was due to lack of fat/cals/and I exercised. I think spotting can be a sign to your body is trying to get to a normal point but is not quiet there. How is your calories/fat/activity now? Pre ed I got my period every 5 weeks and now it is like 4 weeks give or take a day or two and I think it is normal flow but at the start it was lighter then now. Not sure if that is the reply you are looking for. Hope it comes back in a regular way soon

Hi abbi! Thanks guys!

Right now my BMI is over 20 and I do exercise, but I only run 20  miles a week, down from 40-50. My diet is probably 20% Protein, 30% fat and 50% carbs. I am not restricting at all. I think that maybe this has something to do with the fact that I'm more regulated - no big binges followed by restriction, etc.

Something I did note was that my cervix was high when I was spotting.... which could mean ovulation or mid cycle. I did this dance when I was TTC so now I'm hyper sensitive to all of those things.

When I gained weight in 2006/2007 to try and get pregnant, there was no spotting. At the time, though, I was using laxatives and bingeing/restricting, even though I was only walking for exercise. Now, I do exercise but I'm always getting calories and at regular times throughout the day.

I was not exactly in the same situtation (no pregnancies), but I lost my period for about a year. I don't think I was underweight, but perhaps for my body I was. I gained some weight back and made sure to eat a lot of fat, healthy fats! I had almonds almost everyday and cottage cheese and I did eat some baked goods :) I can't say medically if the fat helped, but I think it did. After I gained some weight back it still took some time for my period to come back. However, to answer your question I did feel crampy and tired before I got it. It was almost as if I could feel my ovaries ovulating...like a pinching. Also, this may be TMI, but I was getting some more...fluids...which made me feel like my body was going back to normal! Shortly after, I finally got it back! Hope this helped a little. 

Original Post by bsh0611:

Hi.... for any of you that had secondary amenorrhea (an absence of periods for a period of time after having had regular periods previously) and returned to menses, I have a couple of questions and I'm hoping you can help.

Up until I was 21, I got periods every 30-33 days with occasional spotting mid-cycle. I ranged from normal to slightly overweight. Then, I got pregnant and breastfed for a year. I became very thin and never got a period back, even after gaining weight. I took hormones and Clomid to get pregnant (and did have a brief period after taking Clomid, which makes a person ovulate) with baby #2, then breastfed her for a year. I stopped in Feb. 2009, but was running, and again became very thin and was malnourished. I was put on Birth Control and DID have withdrawal bleeds, but that's because it was a vaginally inserted Birth Control so the hormones went right to the source.  But at 5'8" and 112 while running 40+ miles per week, I decided enough was enough and in August and September got serious about gaining weight. I've gained ~20 pounds and cut back on running a lot.

This past Friday, much to my amazement, shock, awe, and surprise, I saw a few specks of blood on the toilet paper. I experienced light cramps and spotting for about 4-5 hours, but then it went away. I had been SUPER energized all week, had the spotting, that weekend noticed a spike in my hormones, and woke up yesterday... EXHAUSTED all of the sudden and occasionally having cramps.

I guess my question is...

Can I look forward to my period coming back? Or is this likely just a fluke? What happened to you when your periods came back?

I did, as I mentioned, have occasional mid-cycle spotting when I was younger. But before this past Friday, the last time I had any menstrual bleeding without birth control or that one time that I took Clomid was in April 2005!

I'm not stressing myself out, I'm just hopeful that my body is acting on all of these hormones... and I was wondering what your stories were, whether you suffered from an eating disorder or had been breastfeeding, etc, or just had to gain weight in general to get your period back.

 

Well I have a lot to share so I will keep it brief.  For my situation, (hopefully this will help you understand that I can relate)  I am recoverying from a long battle of an ED and had amenorrhea for over a year and even though I am in recovery I still haven't gotten mine yet. 

As for you, there are a lot of things that contribute to your spotting of a period...to missing one for a few months and then loosing it again.  That can be based on how you went from extreme forms of over exercising to where you would loose your menstrual cycle.  Also starting and ending any form of birth control will affect your hormones and mess up your menstrual cycles by either having them stop, spotting, or bleed constantly.  And I don't want to sound blunt but your constant and drastic fluctuation in weight isn't helping your hormones to find their balance.  Think of them in a constant yo yo affect!  yikes.  It's a great thing you did gain weight, especially if you are suffering from an ED.  You can't possibly run like you really want to (like in the past) weighing 112 and being 5'8"...it's very unhealthy. 

So the spotting you did have was a sign that your body is trying to menstrate, along with the cramps you experienced...which is gooooooood!! You will get your period back if you maintain a healthy weight (not underweight) along with your running (not obsessively) and taking enought calories....this all contributes to your body havingit's normal monthly cycle. 

My nutritionist did go over with me that in order for a recovering person with an ED or when a person looses it it's mainly because there isn't enough body fat to have a cycle.  Her words are that the only way you will know if you have hit that mark (right amount of body fat to be healthy)  of recovery is when you begin to menstruate.  At least you had some spotting.  But if you fall back into your old habits it will go away again.  Keep up the positive work you have done. 

 

dancerqueen, thank you for the input and the insight. I really wish I had a nutritionist with whom I could work! As for life since the spotting this past Friday.... I am just putting myself in full belief mode. I have taken it easy when I feel like taking it easy and I've actually been eating even more than before. I don't know if that's physically or calorically responsible, but if its just 2 weeks to nudge my body in the right direction..... its worth it.

I'm not even capable of restricting! I get hungry all the time now.

That's awesome! I'm sure that your symptoms are a sign that your period will come back soon. You should be super proud. :)

I remember when I was trying to get my period back, I was still exercising a lot and not eating much. I ate very often, but small snacks. Then, during the summer I got a job where I would work 8-10 hours a day. So my "eat snacks often" plan was done. I would prepare lunches and snacks for my breaks that would equal probably 1500-1800 calories. Then I would come home at night and binge. But, I wouldn't restrict the next day, because I would be starving again in the morning!

Needless to say, I started getting cramps and "just kidding" periods (you know, when you feel like you are bleeding, but only look in your panties to find clear discharge?). After a month or so of this going on, I got my periods back.

I hope in the near future you will have a success story to share with us. :)

muttlover - did you find yourself hungry for a lot of calories for a long period of time? Yesterday I ate around 3,000 and I could have eaten more. It was pretty intense.

this is a good thread i havnt had any periods for 11years :(

I got my period back after having had amenorrhoea for 1.5years and suffering with disordered and restricted eating for 2+ years.

Mine came back after I gained about 30lbs and had been eating well for about 3 or so months...

Since I've regained my periods, they've been somewhat erratic..I started again back last March and since then I've gone months when I've skipped a period and then others where I've had them twice in a month. But now they seem to be fairly consistent as they used to be. When they came back, they were noticeably lighter than they had been before but after a few months they were back to "normal"

 

So, keep eating well and don't worry if they aren't exactly how they used to be eg a bit lighter or more irregular for a few months after you first get them back...hopefully they should start to become more normal again. :) Congratulations, and good luck to all those of you that are still trying to recover from amenorrhoea. 

Bsh0611 and Muttlover:

Wow very inspirational both of you and such great progress!!!  I know it sounds crazy, but if you keep telling yourself and believe that you will get your period back you will!  I have been 4 months into recover and still no period for me and don't know why. 

I am no longer capable of restricting either.  I know that if I do I will be heading down the wrong road again.  I like the fact that I am past the point of not thinking twice of grabbing chips or cookies out of the pantry and eating them.  I also do the exact same thing MUTTLOVER where I have days because I am so busy working or in class I just snack and snack and snack  to about 1700 cal. (I don't obsessively calculate it anymore) and then when I get home at night I binge and not restrict the next day either because I woke up hungry.  lol. 

My nutritionist advised me that these cravings and binges I do have are still signs that my body wants it and to not deprive myself of them.  It can take up to a year or less to fully repair all the nutrients, blood levels, menstration, metabolism, hormones, building of muscle and organ functions, hair growth, labido, shall I go on.... to repair. 

Like she keeps telling me....The only way you will hit a set weight and get closer to a full recovery is to listen to your body, eat throughout the whole day to speed up your metabolism and the binges are all part of the process.  Don't feel guilty....remember tell ED to **** off.   :) 

Bsh0611, my situation was similar in that I had amenhorrea for nearly two years after overexercising and not eating enough. I did finally get my period back after cutting back on exercise and gaining 14lbs. Spotting can be a good sign but I justed wanted to say I had a similiar thing happen to me when I was in the midst of amenhorrea, I spotted for a couple of hours one day and then nothing happened again. I hope since you have gained weight the spotting IS a good and that your period returns. When mine came back this summer they remained 50 - 60 day long cycles with me not Ovulating after cd35, and a considerable lighter flow than I ever had.

 

Also for anyone who is afraid that amenhorrea will cause infertility, as long as you overcome it getting pregnant shouldnt be a problem!

Sarah, were you underweight when you spotted? Was the spotting happening when you were getting better, or when you were still underweight/ill?

The spotting I had was when I was underweight and not even trying to recover, to this day I dont really know what caused the spotting but at the time I convinced myself the spotting meant it wasnt my weight that was the problem and I was healthy Embarassed

 

But if you have a history of spotting then I would take it as a good sign, you are doing really well. I know how hard it is to deal with weight gain and how your new body looks. Have you had your homomones tested to see where the levels are now? Or maybe try provera to see would you get a bleed?

Hi. Getting a period is sometimes not a sign of being healthy. I got mine back early where I still had to gain more weight to not have other health complications. I know a girl who got pregnant and was severly underweight. For you though bsh you mentioned 1 day you had 3000 but on a daily basis what is your caloric level? The ratio looks good BUT if you are not eating enough calories daily those nutrients can't do their job. You are a mom which is high activity plus running. Also for many just because you reach a healthy weight and are eating better it does not fix the past immediatly. Some bodies need time to replenish and repair. Have you discussed the concern with your gp or gyno?Keep up the hard work

I've discussed it with both GP and gyno. TWO GP's took my being underweight as a fine thing - "why not try a full marathon!" one said. This is when they treated me for GAD, too! My Gyno said, "maybe gain some weight" but never got back to me with concerns. She put me on the NuvaRing but I couldn't afford to stay on it, AND it made me nuts. So I just stopped.... and I guess she didn't like that. She offered no other help or advice.

I mentioned 3,000 because honestly I was looking for the redundant reinforcement of "that's not a binge." I burn anywhere from 2,000-2,800 per day, and I try to eat that. But I think I have been tired and just need to cut back. I was so heartened by the spotting because I NEVER spotted on my own - EVER - not with clomid or the hormones or anything. So that plus the cramping.... I'm going to keep eating and upping my fats and sleeping and relaxing to try and help it. It has to be a good sign.

I take a multivitamin and calcium, plus I make sure I get enough fat and protein, I get veggies in my diet daily and fruits, too. So its not PERFECT, but its balanced as can be!

Hey bsh0611, I've experienced amenorrhea for like only 4 months. I know, it might seem like a short time but I know how it feels. I had an ED but the truth was that I never WAS overweight in the beginning. In fact, I was actually only 49 kg at 168 cm  but I was healthy like any other kid. Then came ED and I was 41 kg at my lowest point & my periods went out the door.

I started to lose my hair slowly but then I got a wakeup call & ate much more up to 2200 cals a day but the weight literally didnt come back. Then last July i got up from bed & found out I had my period & it's been regular ever since!!!! =D rejoice....

I only gained like 4 kg which makes me 46 kg, dont get surprised at my underweight state because I'm half Japanese so high metabolism runs in the family.

But my point here is, eat what you're SUPPOSED to eat at the RIGHT amount & regardless of whether you reach your healthy BMI as long as your body feels healthy be it at any weight, you'll get your period back. Some bodies can function when its underweight & some can only function if its at a normal OR slightly overweight range.

Oh ya, PS: My hair have stopped falling out & now it's thick as hell. =)

O my goodness! How old are you? Why is it gone? I haven't had one in 6 years and it's because I was too thin. I was 5' 6" and 100 pounds, but now I'm up to 125 pounds and feeling a lot better. No period yet for me though....

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