6 Reasons Why You’re Not Getting Your Period That Have Nothing To Do With Pregnancy
July 28, 2017|María Isabel Carrasco Cara Chards
In my upcoming book My Most Stupid Fears there’s a long chapter explaining the time I freaked out watching a reality show called I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant. In case you haven’t watched this glory of television, the show presents stories of women who all of a sudden go into labor and, as the title suggest, they have no idea what’s going on, since they didn’t know they were pregnant. To be honest, when someone told me about the show, I thought it was completely idiotic. I mean, how can’t you notice that a human being is growing inside you? The most unsettling and scary thing about the show was the fact that they didn’t present any symptoms, or the ones they got were easily mistaken for something else. For instance, many of these women had their somewhat regular periods and, in some cases, didn’t even have a baby bump. Now, why was I so shocked about this? Because although I’m pretty sure they exaggerated some of the cases, some of these women were using some sort of birth control.
Why do I start with this informative case? Because it made me think about how much we associate menstruation with pregnancy. I mean, yes, it’s kind of the natural process of ovulation, and menstruation is the consequence of an egg not being fertilized. But just as some of the women in I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant had monthly spotting, there are cases where women don’t get their periods while still not being pregnant. Here are 6 examples of this phenomenon:
Sudden changes in weight or obesity
In the case of weight loss, your body tries to make the most of the nutrients in your system if you don’t have them, and the lack of them creates a hormonal imbalance. Gaining weight can also make you miss your period. When a woman is overweight, the body produces excessive amounts of estrogen, the hormone in charge of regulating the reproductive system. When there’s too much of this hormone, your cycle can also be altered. In either case, the best thing is to pay a visit to your doctor to discard other health problems.
It’s no secret that when we’re under a lot of stress our body reacts in many ways to prevent a shutdown. One of the most affected regions is the brain, especially the hypothalamus, the area that is in charge, among other things, of regulating hormones.
Stress isn’t only a psychological experience that translates physically in the body. It can also happen the other way around. For instance, when you subdue your body to too much exercise, your muscles also get stressed. In the same way, too much exercise means a rapid loss of fat in the muscles, and your body provoking what we discussed before.
Now, when it comes to menopause, we have two options: either you’re reaching it, which can make you miss some periods, or you suffer from premature menopause. Basically, the estrogen levels start to decrease and ovulation gradually stops occurring. Some women under 40 experience it because the hormone rates suddenly decrease. However, this is not that common, so it’s always advisable to see a specialist if you present any symptoms.
One of the most common hormonal disorders is Polycystic Ovaries, a condition that sometimes develops cysts in the ovaries, making an important imbalance that alters the levels of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Naturally, there are many levels, and each woman presents it in a different way, but one of the most common symptoms is having irregular or no periods at all.
We all have a small gland in our neck called thyroid. This gland that resembles a butterfly regulates our metabolism and also has determined functions, like creating certain hormones. Two common ailments related to this gland are hyper and hypothyroidism. Women presenting the latter can present menstruation irregularities and, in some cases, no bleeding at all.
As you can see, missing periods aren’t always signs of pregnancy, but it’s always important to go see the doctor to find out if you have any condition stopping the regular ovulation process. Having regular checkups and keeping track of your periods can help you notice every irregularity.
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