Can being overweight affect menstrual periods?
Asked by on Jul 05, 2010
in Health Conditions
My 18 year old daughter is obese and hasn't had a period in two years. She started her period around age 12 and was fairly regular for about a year or two, and then as her weight increased, her periods became sporadic and now reduced to almost never. She has a lot of body hair including facial that makes me think hormone imbalance. We don't have insurance to get a lot of blood testing done but if we reduced it to a specific test can you recommend one?
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common cause of infrequent, absent or irregular periods combined with facial hair and obesity. Unfortunately, there isn't a specific test to find it and a doctor has to rule out other conditions that could produce the same symptoms. Have you considered seeing a doctor at one of the excellent federally-funded health centers where you pay what you can afford? A school nurse may also help you to navigate the system. Meanwhile, it won’t hurt to follow the diet for PCOS: low calories for weight loss, 40–55% of calories from carbohydrates of mostly complex and unrefined whole grain breads, beans and legumes, and fresh vegetables, along with at least 30 minutes of daily exercise. Read about PCOS at About.com.